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Tag: On-SERP SEO

voice searchIn recent years, voice search has been dominating the search landscape. It has become a convenience to many, allowing everyday users to speak into their devices instead of typing keywords into a search query to get answers. According to Forbes, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen by 2020. Speech recognition in our devices has also become extremely complex and precise. Although voice search has been around for some time and is not a completely brand new concept, we’ve experienced a technological breakthrough in recent years with the introduction of voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

As a result, a majority of devices are now optimized for voice search. What does this mean for brands and businesses? It is predicted that half of all online searches will be made through voice search by 2020. It’s now time for businesses to optimize their interfaces, platforms, and websites to keep up with the evolving landscape of voice search.

Here is how voice search will change the digital marketing landscape and what you can do to prepare for it:

Voice Search Will Prioritize Featured Snippets

When you ask a voice assistant a question, they will read the featured snippet of your search query. If you’re not too familiar with featured snippets, they are search results that are featured at the top of Google’s organic results on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). It’s important to understand why you need to start caring about On-SERP SEO so that you can begin effectively optimizing your content to attain a featured snippet on Google’s search engine results page. Businesses need to start accounting for a voice strategy and optimize their content for voice search.

Tips to organize your content for SERPs:

  • Create content to answer specific questions
  • Organize your content in a question and answer format
  • Make sure to create high-quality content

Looking to the future, featured snippets will be more valued and there will only be more competition to win a spot at the top of search engines.

Semantics of Search Will Change

When users are using voice search, they often use a more conversational tone. While users may be typing “Brooklyn weather” when conducting a text search, they may ask “What is the weather in Brooklyn?” instead when conducting a voice search. More often than not, users are more likely to phrase queries as a question. Since voice searches are more conversational and natural in nature, it will prioritize the semantics of search queries. As a result, this will affect the digital marketing landscape and marketers will need to reevaluate the keywords used in their content and overall marketing strategy.

Instead of using short keywords in your SEO strategy, make use of long-tail keywords and direct answers to users’ most common questions. It’s time to start paying attention to how your consumers talk. Brands and businesses will need to take into account the tone, word choice, and phrasing used in voice search in this voice search revolution. Reevaluating your content’s keywords to adapt to voice search will help your website rank higher on search engines or earn featured snippets.

Voice Search Will Grow the Mobile-Friendly Environment

People are no longer only searching on their desktops. Hands-free capabilities that come along with mobile devices encourage users who are always on the go to utilize voice search. Whether you’re cooking or driving, voice search and mobile go hand in hand as a convenient tool for consumers’ everyday life.

With users always on the go, voice search is only going to continue to dominate the mobile environment.

Brands and businesses need to ensure that their websites and content are optimized for mobile. It’s time to adopt a mobile-first mindset. Set your business up for success and stay ahead of the game. Around 70% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business with a mobile-friendly website. From a marketer’s standpoint, it is your responsibility to make sure that your business’ interfaces, websites, and platforms are all optimized for mobile.

Key considerations to become more mobile-friendly:

  • Improve your webpages’ loading times
  • Incorporate vertical content and use larger text
  • Redesign pop-ups for mobile devices
  • Resize buttons and CTAs (Call to Actions) for mobile
  • Make information easier for people to find

It’s time to think with a mobile-first mindset if you want to set yourself up for success in this changing landscape. Work with your teams to develop mobile-friendly interfaces to stay ahead of the game.

Voice Search Will Place a Larger Emphasis on Local SEO

Many people who are using voice search use it to search up local things in their area. Where is the closest gas station near me? Top 10 Italian restaurants me? Nearly 22% of voice search queries are seeking location-based content. Local businesses, retailers, and boutiques should take advantage of this opportunity to build a local SEO strategy. A local SEO strategy can ultimately help drive traffic to your website and boost sales. Not considering local SEO is just another missed opportunity.

Tips to improve your local SEO:

  • Create, update, and optimize your Google My Business Account
  • Gather positive reviews from customers
  • Incorporate local keywords in your content
  • Use location pages or create a location specific “About Us” page

Keep in mind the key considerations in today’s evolving evolving search landscape. Optimizing your content for voice search is definitely one of the content marketing ideas to try in 2019. Seek out voice search optimization services and solutions and work to build out an effective voice search strategy that will help build your brand in the long-term.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

Confused by SEO concepts? Wondering how to sift through all the jargon to find some simple answers? We understand your frustration. For many business owners and marketers, it is hard enough trying to keep your website ahead of your online competitors without getting side-tracked by confusing search engine optimization terms.

To help you get a better idea of some of the most commonly confused SEO concepts, we have put together a mini-glossary of the widely used jargon. Keep reading to find out more about ranking, algorithms, SERPs and other concepts.

seo

Confused by SEO Concepts? Here’s How to Sift Through the Jargon.

In no particular order, some of the most commonly confused SEO concepts include the following:

  • SERPs. SERPs is short for Search Engine Results Pages. This means where you are placed on search engines such as Google. Page one would be the first page of the search results (which is where you want to be), while page two and three mean that web users need to click to view your ranking. The harder it is to be seen on the first page, the less likely your website will be found. It’s worth noting that there are always exceptions to this rule. If you are not on the first page yet, don’t worry… this comes with time, solid SEO practices and a great deal of work.
  • Ranking. A ranking is essentially how well your website does online. A good ranking means that your site is found on the first page of the SERPs. Although many businesses think that they need to be right at the top, you are still doing well even if you are a few places down. Although not too far down! According to Advanced Web Ranking, the click-through rate for position 5 on Page 1 of the Google search results is only 3%, and it decreases for every position after that. So high up on Page 1 is where all the action is. A number of factors determine your ranking, including on and off-site SEO, content, industry and even the keywords you are using.
  • Algorithms. Algorithms are how your website gets to that all important first page. Every so often, Google updates their algorithms to ensure a better quality experience for consumers. Google is always trying to return the most relevant search result for a user’s search, based on their language, location and search history. Factors that are typically considered include quality of content, the relevance of the content, and others.
  • Penalties. If you have been trying to take shortcuts by buying dodgy links, or your website is loaded with poor quality content, and other elements that Google thinks have a negative impact on the user experience, you may face penalties. Generally speaking, penalties take the form of lost rankings. A website that may have been at the top of the SERPs may suddenly find themselves on page three if they have been penalized by Google.
  • Keywords. A more accurate term would be “search term”. Many people assume that keywords consist of a single word. In reality, search terms need to be as specific as possible or “long tail”. An example of a bad keyword would be something like ‘shop’. Because this term appears in many contexts, it would not help anyone find your specialty kids clothing shop online if they searched for this term. A better term would be ‘Durban shop’, but there are still countless shops in Durban, so this would not help much either. A term such as ‘kids clothing shop in Durban’ meanwhile would make it far easier for your shop to be found.
  • Keyword Density: This refers to how many times your keyword appears in your content. This is tricky because you want your keyword to have a good density on the page (around 3%) but you don’t want the content to sound overly repetitive for the user. It takes good copywriting skills to write content that is both keyword-dense & reads well. You can check your keyword density using this nifty free density checking tool.
  • Search volume. This refers to the number of searches done for a keyword over the course of a month. Although a higher volume can be a good way to find phrases that are frequently searched for, lower numbers for specific searches will generally have a better conversion rate since your site is more relevant to the searcher’s query.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR): This is how many times your website is clicked when it does show up for searches. Let’s say you show up on the first page for a search 100 times, and out of those 100 impressions, your site is clicked on 10 times. This means your CTR is 10%. Google wants your site to be relevant, so good CTRs mean your site is relevant to searches and will do better in the organic rankings.
  • Competition. This refers to how many other websites are using the same term and actively optimizing for it. Be wary of high competition phrases. Even if these have a high volume of searches, you will likely not be able to rank if many others are using the term as well. A low and medium competition will be easier for your content to be found. Just imagine, if there are 2 million pages returned for a specific search result, to get to the first page of the search results, Google has to decide that you are more relevant than 2 999 990 other web pages!
  • Backlinks: Google has confirmed that 30% of your ranking score comes from your backlink profile. This means the links that come into your website from other websites. Think directories, social media, and business listings.
  • On-SERP SEO: Is the optimization of any and all content on SERPs that you can either control or influence in some way (e.g. meta title, meta description, feature snippets).
  • Featured Snippets: A featured snippet is a summary of an answer to a user’s query, which is displayed on top of Google search results. It’s extracted from a webpage and includes the page’s title and URL.
  • Zero-Click SERP: A zero-click SERP is one where the answer is displayed directly at the top of a Google search result. The search intent of the user is satisfied without having to click any actual search result links.
  • Voice Search: Also called voice-enabled, allows the user to use a voice command to search the Internet, a website, or an app.

At WSI, we are passionate about making it easier for businesses just like you to get found online. We aim to make the process as simple as possible so that you don’t have to lose sleep (or waste time) stressing about getting relevant website traffic. If you have any questions on any of these SEO concepts, or you have a specific bit of jargon you’d like us to demystify, get in touch with your local WSI expert today.

30 ways to generate more leads free ebook

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 8, 2018, and was updated on January 24, 2019.

In 2019 and beyond, digital marketers, and companies that embrace digital marketing strategies, need to be well versed in changing what they care about. Oh, and caring about a lot of things at once, which comes standard with living in the digital world. And for good measure, let’s throw in keeping on eye on the future with the intent to figure out the next pivot before anybody else – and boldly acting on it.

So when I see something like this, from one of the brightest and most influential SEO minds of the last decade, I think, “Hmm, maybe I need to dig into On-SERP SEO a little more.” A SERP, of course, is a search engine results page, and SEO is, well, you know by now!

on-serp-seo

A few months after the above tweet – in September 2018 – Rand gave a talk at a marketing conference. His session was called, “On SERP SEO – The Infuriating Reality of Search’s Future” and we urge you watch every second of the video if you believe what we’re saying.

 

 

Keep in mind this isn’t to say it’s time to immediately start freaking out about On-SERP SEO. Most are aware Google has been tinkering with SERPs (especially mobile SERPs) on the regular for a long time now. What it does mean is that since On-SERP SEO is on Rand’s mind a lot, it should probably be on mine (and yours). It also means I’m interested in dedicating time specifically to generating On-SERP SEO results, which is something that may be on your radar, too.

What is On-SERP SEO?

Before you can snag the answer box of your dreams, you first need to know what On-SERP SEO is (and if you don’t know, that’s totally fine).

On-SERP SEO is the optimization of any and all content on SERPs that you can either control or influence in some way. Traditionally, meta titles and meta descriptions were the main (and only!?) content that SEOs and content marketers could control on SERPs, but that changed when Google introduced featured snippets, which are:

Featured snippets are organic search results that Google doctors up to look pretty, and then places them in the most prominent position on the SERPs – yes, above the #1 results!

Here is the featured snippet on the SERP for the query, “What is an Android TV box?”:

Why You Need to Care About On-SERP SEO – Featured Snippet

For this particular result the paragraph answer box is owned by CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Start Googling things and, if you hadn’t already noticed, many SERPs will include a featured snippet at the top of the page, especially if your queries are questions.

If you’re looking for a quick primer on the different types of featured snippets and other On-SERP SEO content types, this is a great rundown.

Why is On-SERP SEO Important?

There are a number of reasons why On-SERP SEO is important. On a basic level, we can use the Android TV box example above to highlight why a business would covet the featured snippet the CBC currently has.

The CBC article explains what an Android TV box is, as well as how it allows users to “cut the cord” and essentially watch all the TV shows and movies they want – for free. It discusses the legality of the apps that allow users to stream for free, and even links out to some websites that sell preloaded TV boxes.

For a large media corporation like CBC, readership, traffic and awareness are the bread and butter of their business, so the more featured snippets they can attain, the better. In this specific case, they could likely earn some affiliate commissions with a featured snippet for a query with tens of thousands of searches per month, according to keyword data. For whatever it’s worth, CBC isn’t using affiliate links, but it’s easy to see why for content driven affiliate sites, featured snippets are extremely valuable.

There is another, less obvious reason On-SERP SEO is becoming a vital component of core SEO, and it’s summed up by this comment Rand made in the discussion thread of the tweet above:

Why You Need to Care About On-SERP SEO – Featured Snippet – Rand Comment

If more and more searches are ending on the actual Google SERPs, as indicated by Rand’s original tweet and furthered by this comment, then On-SERP SEO is critical – especially because, at least right now, it’s difficult to discern what the goal of featured snippets should be, if not to generate click-throughs. As is usually the case in the digital world, the marketers and companies who figure out how to crack these tough questions are the big winners.

How to Optimize Your Content for SERPs

Ah, now to answer the question you’re all wondering about: how do you optimize your content in order to attain a featured snippet on Google’s search engine results page?

Here’s the short answer to how you win a featured snippet on Google’s search results pages:

  1. Do keyword research to develop a shortlist of specific questions that a) you can answer and b) you can rank for
  2. Rank on the first page for one of these search query questions
  3. Optimize the content of your web page to very specifically answer the question

Simple, right? If only!

Look, nobody said this was going to be easy. The great Dr. Pete has been writing on this topic for years now, and his older articles are still some of the best content there is on the subject (herehere and here) – quite frankly because we just don’t have any more of an idea of what works. Of course, tools like Moz or SEMrush will make your life a lot easier if you’re planning on doing this alone, or you could always get in touch with us – we’d love to help you improve your On-SERP SEO!

At the end of the day, keeping up with On-SERP SEO trends, and perhaps attempting to win a featured snippet or two, likely puts you way ahead of your competition. And if you can become an expert at On-SERP SEO and make getting featured snippets like second nature, you’ll be reaping huge rewards in the future.

WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy.  Simply give me a call or email me at rknutsen@wsiebizsolutions.net to learn more.