Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to successful digital marketing strategies. SEO can help your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP), allowing for greater visibility and organic search traffic. As the digital-based business market continues to expand, these efforts increase the prospects of getting your brand and products seen when it matters most.
Why Your SEO Strategy Matters
There are two main aspects to SEO: technical and creative. Technical SEO sets your site up for search engine success. Your site needs to comply with SEO best practices and web standards in order to sustain traffic. On the other hand, the creative content of your website is what makes your brand relevant to searches performed by users.
Optimizing your site will not only improve the user experience but help deliver better information to search engines so your content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results.
Since SEO is about visibility and optimizing your chances of being found on the internet, it only makes sense to incorporate it into your overall digital marketing strategy.
Nearly every business has a website. Why not make yours as easy to locate as possible?
Key elements that build a strong SEO strategy (on both a local and national level) include:
- Site speed and performance
- Mobile usability and responsiveness
- Technical SEO elements like metadata
- And quality content
...To name a few.
These elements are important when you consider that SEO is more than just technical and creative strategies. At its core, SEO is all about the user and the experience your site provides.
Industry Updates in SEO
2021 was a huge year for SEO. This is in part thanks to the rapid growth of digital markets, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also responsible are massive Google algorithm updates. Without a doubt, the trend in prominence and importance in SEO is set to continue into the new year.
SEO is at the intersection of technology, marketing, and a user-focused approach. As SEO becomes more standard practice for online and brick-and-mortar businesses alike, there are developments in not only the technical components of SEO but also the satisfaction of the person behind the screen.
On a more technical note, SEO has led to the creation of “semantic search,” which is a way for search engines to understand the context and intent of search queries beyond just crawling for keywords. This field attempts to bridge the gap between technology and our spoken language and is part of the movement to improve voice-to-text technology and other helpful accommodations. This trend, and SEO in general, will continue to change the way people find information, so it is helpful for marketers and writers to periodically check on developments in SEO.
Another ranking factor that Google is focusing on is the impact of how user-friendly a website is. The better the user experience, the higher the ranking.
Factors and data that determine user experience:
- Direct site visits
- Dwell time
- Time spent loading the site
- Bounce rate
- How many pages were clicked during the person’s time on the site
- Amount of backlinks total
You can succeed in these areas by generating interesting content on topics people want to learn about, making your website aesthetically pleasing and run efficiently, having an organized navigation structure, creating and maintaining a directory of internal links and including external links to credible sources and websites when applicable.
It's important to mention, too, that accessibility is an important part of user experience.
Core Web Vitals: Big news for 2022
Google launched a Page Experience update in 2021 that took over the internet. If you're already keeping an eye on your SEO, you may have noticed sudden, otherwise unexplainable rank changes. This update involved more emphasis on core web vital metrics in the categories of Loading, Interactivity, and Visual Stability. This means that Google is placing even more ranking factors on user experience elements.
The new update measures:
- The mobile-friendliness of the site
- The loading performance of Largest Contentful Paint (LCP),
- First Input Delay (FID), which measures interactivity,
- The visual stability, or Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- No deceptive content or malware
- HTTPS security.
Now that the update is an integral part of how Google crawls and ranks websites, it is more important than ever to make sure you're up to speed with the new metrics. If you still aren't sure what this means for your website, consider getting an SEO audit done. This will help you find out where you stand in the wake of the updates, and make a plan for the new year.
Finetune your Website’s SEO
From being able to create global and national business connections, to making your website more visible and easily accessible to your local community, SEO can play an integral part in a successful marketing strategy.
Want to learn more about SEO? Give us a call at (814) 746-6987 or complete the form below and a specialist will reach out to you.