Is the time of voice search officially here?

With digital assistant sales increasing by a huge 103% in the last year it is safe to say that smart speakers are soon surpassing their trend status and becoming staples in the everyday home.

 

A recent study indicated that the top uses for these speakers were listening to music, checking the weather, asking fun questions and researching. With half of the uses of these devices essentially being search it highlights the necessity for a shift to voice-centric SEO strategies.

 

Voice search is still relatively new, so there is no exact formula for what exactly we should be doing for optimisation, but a key point to consider is the language difference between search styles.

 

While majority of typed Google searches are succinct keywords phrases, voice search is slightly different. Rather than a condensed two or three-word sentence, voice searches are generally spoken style questions.

 

So unlike general searches such as “Fahrenheit to Celsius” a voice search would be, “what is the conversion between Fahrenheit and Celsius?” Because of this specific question-style search, the results must reflect answers to these searches, reflecting sentence structures rather than simple keywords.

 

The surge in digital assistants doesn’t mean that our laptops, desktops and phone are becoming obsolete, it simply means that we have to consider other platforms to include in our SEO strategies so we don’t get left behind.

Troubleshoot your SEO strategy for 2018  

 

It’s a brand new year, which means a fresh start for you, your business and your SEO strategy. But my keywords haven’t changed, why do I need a new strategy? While keywords are the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about SEO it isn’t the only objective. Your SEO strategy can be tweaked at any stage of your business’ life cycle to keep your current objectives at the forefront.

 

So, if you’re not just thinking about keywords, how can you refresh your strategy? Well, consider your short-term and long-term business goals, if you haven’t developed any then the beginning of the New Year is the perfect time!

 

Think about what you wish to achieve in 2018, is it increased traffic? Maybe you want to improve your local search? Establishing your objectives helps clarify the necessary SEO strategy, ultimately making it more effective.

 

There’s no denying that SEO takes a huge chunk out of your day because not only is it quite intensive but they are continuous updates and algorithm changes that can actually harm your SEO campaign if not adhered to. So investing in a professional SEO strategy could be your best business move of 2018.

 

Finding an SEO agency to handle your day-to-day SEO campaign ensures that you have more time to grow other aspects of your business, pushing your 2018 business goals even further!

The top 3 SEO buzzwords of 2018  

 

With 2017 coming to a close it’s time to start looking to the New Year to make resolutions and come up with new strategies. Not just your strategy for eating healthier, getting more active or meditating but your SEO strategy as well! To get an idea of what 2018 will hold for SEO we’ve compiled a list of the top three buzzwords that will influence how you should be strategizing.

 

MOBILE-FIRST INDEXING

2017 has been a big year for mobile with increased searches, shopping and more, so it’s no surprise that 2018 will put mobile first. Throughout this year Google has reminded us of the impending mobile-first index that will be coming soon and it’s finally here. So get your website mobile-friendly before you fall behind.

 

VOICE SEARCH

Digital assistants are becoming more and more popular and with their features growing by the day, it seems as though they’re here to stay. Because of that, voice search is something that SEO specialists are looking at optimising, as written and speech patterns differ for search queries.

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Search engines are smart and they’re only getting smarter. Platforms such as Bing have introduced AI to their search queries, with features that assist users in improving their search experience with better and cleverer results. Its only a matter of time before an AI war breaks out between search giants so keep an eye out when considering your SEO strategy.

 

While this is definitely not an exhaustive list of everything 2018 will have to offer, there are no doubts that these SEO terms will be dominating the scene.

Key metrics to keep your eye on

Implementing an SEO campaign is one thing but actually analysing your results are a different story. While reporting to clients can be daunting it can also provide fresh insights and new ways to tackle SEO for improved results.

 

Looking out for key metrics and noting their changes throughout different approaches provides a great framework for measuring your methods and its successes.

 

TRAFFIC

That’s a pretty obvious one considering most SEO goals are related to increasing site traffic through paid and organic methods. When measuring traffic it’s important to look past the homepage and consider other landing pages to monitor their performance for a well-rounded SEO approach

 

CLICK THROUGH RATE

Keeping an eye on the click through rate (CTR) provides an indication of the site’s pages that are having the most success with searchers. If some pages are performing significantly better or worse than others consider how the approach for that page differs and tailor a strategy to combat this.

 

 

CONVERSIONS

Another obvious one but no less important, conversions are a very tangible indication of whether an SEO campaign has been successful, have more customers called or bought things online? Or has their been a dip? While this could be a number of non-SEO related factors it is still a factor to consider when measuring the effectiveness of an SEO campaign.

 

Obviously there are dozens of metrics that can be measured, analysed and compared but it would be almost impossible to keep an eye on everything, so focus on a few key metrics to look out for.

Top 3 SEO agency red flags

SEO is important, that is something that most businesses can agree upon, but because of how quickly the industry is changing it can be almost impossible to keep up.

 

Rather than letting SEO suffer by trying to operate in-house most businesses will invest in an SEO agency to get the job done, but how do you find the right SEO fit? We’ve come up with the top three red flags you should be looking out for when hiring an SEO agency.

 

FAST RESULTS

SEO is very much a marathon, not a sprint, so any agency promising quick results is most likely taking shortcuts that can harm your business in the long run. If an agency is promising quick results, ask them the methods they use to achieve this and decide if it aligns with your business goals and values.

 

 

MIS(SED) COMMUNICATION

Communication is key to any agency relationship and SEO agencies are no different. Ensure that you find an agency that promptly responds to questions but also listens to your ideas and goals. An immediate red flag is a lagging response time for an initial consultation.

 

POOR PITCHES

Whether it’s a casual coffee meeting or a formal presentation, a pitch can tell a lot about a business. Are they able to adequately address questions and concerns? And do they provide an actual framework for how the end-goal is achieved? A pitch also provides an indication of the standard of work an agency will provide as it is a reflection of their quality.

 

But at the end of the day it is important to trust your instinct, no one knows your business and its perfect fit better than you. So trust you gut but keep a criteria in mind for making your final decision.

Your user-generated weapon

Regardless if you’re booking a Christmas holiday, upgrading your car or even trying out a new restaurant, your Path to Purchase always stays the same. You become aware, you deliberate your options, make a decision and then evaluate your decision.

The path to purchase model is a staple of Marketing 101 that is used to track and intercept consumer processes. Traditionally, this model was highly influenced by business-to-consumer communication. However, the emergence of review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and other online forums has caused a digital disruption, shifting communication to consumers.

 

In fact, more than 90% of consumers rely on peer-based reviews to make both large and small purchases. This means that consumer-to-consumer discussion has become an integral aspect of the decision-making process.

 

Whilst the consumer-to-consumer communication appears to remove retailers from the conversation completely, you aren’t necessarily powerless.

 

So, how can you use user-generated content for your business?

 

In terms of SEO, user-generated content allows for a continual stream of content linking to your site, opens opportunities for new keywords and provides both website and social media content.

 

Featuring and utilising user-generated content provides an opportunity for advertising, SEO and increasing conversions but it also re-kindles brand-to-consumer communication.

How to make your blogs boost your SEO rankings

 

Blogs are a great way to share the latest news, tips and information to your audience. They give your brand an opportunity to flex its creative muscles and can even help with SEO. But writing a blog post for SEO isn’t as simple as getting content online.

 

While blogging for some businesses is simply a way to connect with their target market, the benefits can definitely extend beyond that so we’ve compiled our top three tips for blogging for SEO.

 

Keywords

In the same way that keywords are important for search and on-site content, they also play a role in blogs. Featuring relevant keywords in your blogs directs your audience to what they are looking for, otherwise your blog could simply be left floating around online if you don’t already have an existing following.

 

But the same rule applies for blogs as it does for any other content, don’t force keywords into your content, let them appear organically and sparingly.

 

Quality content

When you’re writing blog posts for SEO it can be easy to write following algorithms, but one of the most important aspects of writing is blog is user engagement and experience. Regardless of the purpose of your blogs it will eventually be read by a potential or existing customer, meaning if should provide insights and information that they find useful or interesting.

 

Write using natural speech patterns to better engage and connect with your readers and ensure that your content is something worth reading, rather than a selection of words made for a search engine.

 

Share your work

Some brands write regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly blogs, upload them onto their website and continue creating more content. While regular blogging is important, it can prove futile if no one is reading these posts.

 

Sharing your content whether amongst colleagues, friends, professional networks and social platforms is not only beneficial for SEO but for developing your audience and brand following. This is also an opportunity to assess your content to see what works and what doesn’t.

 

 

We’re definitely not saying that your blogs should cater to SEO, for some brands it’s simply a way to share knowledge and ideas but it’s definitely a great way to enhance your current SEO strategy and communication with your audience.

Multiple sites to boost SEO – does it work?

Using multiple websites for a single business is a pretty common SEO tactic, but the question is, does it work?

 

 

And like with almost every single SEO question, it depends.

 

There are both benefits and pitfalls of this practice and depending on how your SEO agency approaches this tactic there definitely could be more pros than cons.

 

So, how does it work? Different domain names are created which are normally variations of the original website with similar but differing content. If you’re a business that offers a vast range of products or services then this could be an extremely useful practice for you as it can connect you to the right consumers and reduce your bounce-back rate.

 

Another great benefit from multiple sites is the ability to increase Google real estate, particularly if you are in a smaller, more niche industry.

 

However, there are things to look out for when building multiple sites for one brand such as duplicate content. It’s a well known bad practice to use duplicate content on one website and its similar for other sites. While some duplicate content can be useful, ultimately it is important to ensure that content is unique and provides the reader with genuine information on each site.

 

So, if you’re thinking of building multiple sites then go for it! Just make sure you are taking the right approach and utilising the benefits to your advantage to minimise the pitfalls.

The future is calling: is Web 3.0 here?  

It all started with the humble Web 1.0 when only big companies or organisations had websites and users were still figuring out how to navigate this new space. Web 2.0, what we are using saw a shift in user generated content and user engagement. The Internet has developed from a space of receiving information to giving it as well.

 

Just as Web 2.0 was the next phase in the Internet’s evolution as is Web 3.0 which some suggest is already here – arguably in its early stages. Because of this there are no clear definitions of what Web 3.0 exactly is but there are a few recurring elements:

 

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • The semantic Web
  • Seamless connectivity

 

We’re already seeing a rise in artificial intelligence with tools such as Facebook’s shopping bots and Google is increasingly pushing for a greater understanding of semantic data.

 

So, what does Web 3.0 mean for SEO if anything at all? There’s no doubt that there will be a change in the way people search and receive their information and should the semantic Web develop context will be key in not only queries but also creating the response to those queries.

 

We’ve already mentioned how artificial intelligence and devices like digital personal assistants receive natural language searches and there’s no doubt that this trend will continue to increase with Web 3.0.

How to bounce back from bad bounce-back rates  

 

The ultimate goal of SEO is to rank first and while that is a significant aspect of increasing reach it isn’t necessarily the most important SEO goal for your business. Generally most businesses aim to increase sales and boost their profit and ranking first on Google won’t always give you those results.

 

Online retailers want to invest in digital strategies that don’t just boost their rankings but also boost their sales and generate the highest returns on their SEO investment. While things like conversions, sales and phone calls are the most obvious indicators that your SEO is increasing sales there may be some that you’re missing.

 

Bounce-back rate is one of those Google Analytics measures that can often be forgotten when brands start increasing their rankings. But a high bounce-back rate can indicate issues within your site that are preventing you from reaching your business goals.

 

Consider what factors are driving your potential customers from leaving your site. Could it be difficult to navigate? Maybe it’s visually unappealing? It could even be misleading. Figuring out what is turning people away and correcting these problems could not only reduce your bounce-back rate dramatically but keep people on your site longer. Longer duration spent on your site could lead to purchases or even enquiries.

 

When looking for an SEO agency don’t just listen to the #1 ranking spiel but ask what else they can offer your business.

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