Five SEO fundamentals can put you and your brand in a great position in 2020 and beyond
SEO is said to be ever-changing, and that’s because search engine algorithms and updated technologies are the main culprits driving these changes. I am sure that every year, you’ve come across countless articles about the latest and greatest SEO tactics. Yet the ranking factors and the fundamentals of SEO, such as quality content, indexation and backlinks, remain unchanged. With all these new tactics, how about sticking to the old ones and doing them well?
For this reason, SEO Windy City has laid out the five SEO elements you should always utilize for your SEO strategy, regardless of the emergence of new technologies or algorithm updates.
- Human Factor
One of the most important elements that’s often overlooked in search is the human factor because we are only focusing on the search engines. Don’t get us wrong, understanding the technical side of SEO and staying informed with the latest updates is important. However, understanding the user behind the query is even more important. Why? Because in the end, it’s the customers who are making the purchasing decisions and SEO Windy City knows this better than anyone. Search is now more about context rather than content; therefore, we need to understand the intent. For instance, a particular keyword might have different intent, even though it’s the same keyword. Take “Home Automation” (il. 1), for example. One user might be looking to buy home automation services and products, while another customer may just want to know what home automation is. These two customers are at two different stages of their purchase journey, and failure to understand that could ultimately lead you to serve the wrong content – resulting in higher bounce rates.
Therefore, listen to your customers and understand what they want. And in turn, they will make you a trusted brand. They’ll pick you over your competitors because you offer them a unique value – accurate, helpful information that solves a problem or fulfills a need.
- Quality Content
You hear “content is king” so often, that it’s become cliché. However, with voice search and mobile-first index, it’s important we produce quality content over quantity. What do we mean by quality content? The search engine’s number one goal is to solve user’s problems and ensure they find the information they want. Regardless of where the customers are in their purchase journey, providing them educational and helpful content will not only drive them further down the funnel but will eventually lead to more revenue, thus impacting our client’s bottom line.
- Constant Testing
This brings me to my next point; in order to produce content that will impact or influence customers at the bottom of the funnel, it’s important that we perform constant testing, whether SEO/SEM cross-testing or content testing. At a time when SEO is becoming more data-driven, we can no longer rely on gut checks, experience, or personal preference. Just because a particular test was successful for a particular page, doesn’t mean it will see the same success for another.
So where do we start? Fortunately, there’s plenty of data available – we just need to analyze it. Here are four that SEO Windy City focuses on for the testing that may be helpful for you:
- On-page content – This should allow you to see where the customer’s pain points are, and why the current content isn’t converting. Run a content test to identify what’s preventing the customer from making a purchase. You can then improve or make changes to the content based on your findings.
- Surveys – Ask your customers what’s preventing them from purchasing your products. This can be done on-page or off-page.
- Reviews – Check your customer reviews, not only the bad ones but also the good ones. You have no idea how much content you can create based on yours or your competitor’s reviews.
- Social Media – Check social media and see what customers are saying about your brand. Again, similar to reviews we can create new content addressing their feedback.
- Comprehensive Reporting
Not long ago, rankings and traffic were the only success metrics that search agencies reported on, and unfortunately, some still do to this day. That doesn’t mean that rankings and traffic are not important. After all, what good is reporting on conversions if you don’t even have traffic?
My point is, SEO is no longer solely about rankings and traffic; the days of getting higher rankings and increasing traffic – and doing nothing afterward – are long gone. The reality is our clients don’t care how many top-ranking keywords or how much traffic you get them if that traffic does not impact their bottom line. Our comprehensive reports need to show the impact of our work; SEO Windy City’s reports not only contains traffic and rankings, but also other metrics such as conversions, orders, revenue, etc. – making it incredibly valuable to clients.
According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing survey, 84% of consumers have purchased something after watching a video. This shows the importance of video and the vital role it plays in digital marketing – especially with YouTube being the second biggest search engine, with 1.8 billion monthly users. Think about the content you’re providing, how is it influencing the decisions of your customers and prospects? Again, Wyzowl says 91% of consumers watch an explainer video before making any purchase. Thus, it’s important that you highlight the strengths of your products and services. Furthermore, emphasizing the unique value that your business provides can truly speak to your customers.
SEO is always changing, however, in order to succeed we need to continue to be proactive in our strategies, adapt when needed, but always stick to the fundamentals. Utilizing the aforementioned five SEO fundamentals can put you and your brand in a great position in 2020 and beyond, regardless of an algorithm update or emergence of new technology.