As Google and other search engines ramp up their efforts to enhance the relevance of search results, it is time for you to keep pace with the changes and advise your clients on how they can figure in the good books of both search engines and internet users as well.
Simply adopting white-hat techniques may no longer be enough to sustain visibility and user interest. According to established SEO experts, you will need to judiciously employ a host of advanced SEO techniques not only to rank high on search engine result pages but also on e-commerce sites and eventually surface on voice searches as well.
Here are a few advanced SEO techniques that you’ll need to employ in 2019 to gain that competitive edge. Consult an SEO expert to know how these techniques can be leveraged to boost your business prospects.
Enhance User Experience
Google has been and still is centering its efforts around user experience, constantly trying to improve the relevance and quality of the search results it throws up in response to user queries, and rewarding user-friendly websites with high rankings on the result pages.
With its searches now complemented by artificial intelligence (RankBrain), it becomes all the more necessary to focus on the quality and appeal of your landing pages, keeping visitors engaged with compelling content and offerings.
Statistics such as how many visitors click on the website link featured on the search engine result pages (SERP) and how long they stay on your site (Dwell Time, Bounce Rate) matter more now that algorithms can apply their learning to aid website rankings. A site ranking at the last of the result page may gain a few positions if more users find it relevant and click on the link, while a top ranking site may lose its rank if it does not receive much traffic from search.
Optimize For Semantics
Keyword density is still an important factor that indicates content relevance, but only if it occurs naturally as a part of a meaningful sentence. Focusing on conversational style content that answers common queries, links with meaningful anchor texts containing a mix of exact and long tail keywords are likely to be rewarded by ranking algorithms.
Researching the purpose and expectations of your target /potential customer is important for you to deliver content that matches their requirements. Not everyone may be looking for textual content. Though semantically optimized, pages of content are not always interesting without a couple of infographics, images or even videos to break the monotony.
Exceptional content still rules high, especially when it is comprehensive, engaging and evokes a favorable response.
Aim For Featured Snippets/Answer Boxes
Apart from consistently enhancing user experience and building a vast store of relevant content, it is now time to set your eye on the top spots of the SERP, offering authoritative information that gets displayed in the answer boxes, featured snippets, knowledge graphs and other special types of results.
Incorporating structured data elements into your webpage enables Google to better understand the content and display a rich result enhanced with image/logo/review/rating instead of the plain blue link.
If your site qualifies for a rich result, there are chances of Google automatically including it in a Carousel along with other sites that match the search query.
Gaining visibility and standing out from the crowd is important to draw user attention. Being featured ahead of other websites on the SERP does spike traffic and with great on-page optimization, it is possible to boost lead conversions as well.
Address Mobile First Indexing
Google’s recent update now ranks websites based on how well they fare on mobile devices. It is important you optimize your website for mobile so that there are no complaints/compromises regarding content, legibility and performance.
Irrespective of whether you have a separate version of the website for mobile devices or you opt for dynamic serving, the site must be relevant and user-friendly.
Investing in responsive web design might prove cost-effective and rewarding as a responsive website can automatically adjust to different screen dimensions, make it ready for any handheld device.
Gear Up For Voice Search
This is also the right time to start pondering about how best your website fares when it comes to voice searches from digital assistants across smart devices. Reports reveal that by 2020, about 50% of search queries will be voice driven, given the proliferation of mobile phones, smart home devices.
Unlike text searches for specific keywords, voice searches are more location specific, conversational style queries, the answers for which are fetched from Google’s Answer Box.
Apart from making it to Google’s Answer Box, optimizing your website for voice searches typically involves:
- Creating conversational content that answers user queries
- Focusing on long tail keywords
- Including an FAQ page with common queries related to your product/company and the relevant answers
- Optimizing for Local Search (List your business on Google Local)
Ranking for voice search may require revamping the content on your website to include long tail keywords in their natural flow. You will have to identify keywords people use to search for your product/website, treat them as questions and answer the questions authoritatively.
Your SEO expert is the best person to help strategize and execute yet another successful SEO initiative in tune with changing trends. While SEO is still very much about ranking high on the search engine result pages using White-hat techniques the challenge is to keep track of user preferences and adapt quickly to changing trends.
With smart algorithms capable of machine learning, intelligent language processors deciphering human conversations and digital assistants processing and serving information, keeping pace with technology changes is a must to remain relevant.