The SEO landscape has changed drastically in the five years due to the shift in how users interact with search, social sites, and new ways to advertise online.
Localization & Personalization Alter Rankings
Ranking “number one” meaning has changed. Most studies estimate that 50% of traffic flows to the top 3 results which these days, some things change this equation that makes results different based on Google’s understanding of your intent for the search, your location of your search and the history of previous searches.
Ranking from one city to another will be quite different. Local results like national results are like a piece of pie. Which now there is a piece of pie for every town. So rankings will be different based on zip codes, user search patterns, and individualization.
The first thing that you should know is that algorithm updates happen over 200 times per year, and just the major ones even get reported and named after cute animals like Penguin much less fully understood. This means that Google uses a lot of information and methods to determine what website should show up for your search, including your previous searches, what websites you’ve visited before, how other people who searched for that same information behaved when presented with results.
This layer of localization and personalization means that you will most times get a different search result from your phone than from your desktop. You also will likely get a different order of results from someone else’s phone. You may even get a mapped list of local businesses that Google thinks are relevant to your search before it displays any websites, which creates yet another area of ranking opportunity for “local SEO.”Speaking of mobile, you also now have to meet a particular set of mobile friendliness, have a great website load speed not just for desktop either. Google is now going to be looking at and ranking websites based on how their mobile website content fulfills the searcher’s query.
Finding Opportunities For Optimization In New Areas
The reality is that websites which started in the early 2000’s have an absolute advantage over newer sites because they have simply been around longer, and likely tried something that may have worked well for them. The reality of digital marketing now though is that new sites and companies can take better advantage of new content management systems, new methods of optimization far easier than their established competitors. If you’re designing a new website, then you can start with a mobile responsive site that works just as well if not better on mobile than desktop, and isn’t riddled with the small architecture issues that can stack up and prevent you from ranking as well as you deserve.
Leverage AMP & Rich Cards To Optimize For Mobile
You can take this advantage even further by being the first in your industry to adapt to a new coding standard. For example, if you own a restaurant your website can capture a “Rich Card” on mobile search results that appear before mapped results or organic listings with your storefront and cuisine served. This is a further extension of Google’s push to utilize Schema markup to display Rich Snippets.Going back to Google’s focus on providing the ideal mobile experience has even lead to the development of a super streamlined, lightning fast loading version of a page called the “Accelerated Mobile Project.” If you implement AMP-HTML into your site, then you’ll dish up a result optimized for mobile and get a fancy badge in the search results to help get more clicks to your site. If you’re on WordPress, this is as simple as installing and configuring a plugin or two where it might take more effort for other content management systems like Drupal or Expression Engine.
Connecting Digital Marketing To Revenue
So here’s the truth, while there are now tons of alternative ways of showing up in the SERPs, through Rich Cards, AMP, Mapped results, etc. your job isn’t done simply when you start to get rankings. Digital marketing is thinking through the process of optimizing the site so that you can capture as much traffic from organic results as possible or creating effective ad campaigns that bring paid traffic but you’re also responsible for what happens to that traffic once it arrives. Have you gone through your site’s conversion process recently? Submitted a contact form or made a purchase? Maybe there’s room to improve! You can eliminate additional fields in forms, decrease the number of steps to purchase, or add trust badges. You can consider using an interactive design like this steel door site did if your sales funnel has many qualifications before your make a purchase.
This also means that you need to have accurate metrics and a proper installation of analytics that lets you know just how many visitors you have that are converting and where they came from. You don’t want to be the one who realizes that you just spent $480 on Adwords traffic to complete eight surveys when you meant to only pay $1 per completed survey. Failing to proper setup goals in Google Analytics, or whatever analytics program you’re using, is painfully ordinary. If you don’t have accurate data telling you whether the leads you’re getting from your site are being paid for with ads, or coming from a particular page with great rankings you’re going to miss the opportunity to create more of that success, and will likely put your budget into the wrong area.There are so many new ways to get a ranking advantage; it can make your head spin. Just make sure you’re doing everything you can to understand how your site is generating revenue before you spend your time chasing the newest and latest SEO tactic.
There are so many new ways to get a ranking advantage; it can make your head spin. Just make sure you’re doing everything you can to understand how your site is generating revenue before you spend your time chasing the newest and latest SEO tactic.