Times, they are a-changin’, but when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), you can guarantee that change will happen at least a few times daily.
Why? Google updates their algorithm at least 500 to 600 times a year, which is around twice a day.
What may have worked before may not work any longer, and in order to keep your head above the proverbial water, you’ve got to be able to adapt.
Luckily, we here at Cobalt Digital Marketing have got your back. In order for us to be successful as local digital marketers, we have to be on top of the industry’s top SEO tactics and practices. When we are successful, your website and your business reap all of the benefits.
1. Optimize your website for voice search.
Voice search has been a useful mechanism for a few years now and it’s grown tremendously in popularity. Back in 2014, Google released an infographic that stated 51 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use voice search more than once a day. Of course, those statistics have only increased since then.
According to Alpine.AI, at the start of this year, approximately one billion voice searches would be occurring every month – and it’s believed the numbers are actually higher than that. They also concluded that by the end of 2018, over one billion voice-enabled devices will be in circulation.
[bctt tweet=”Over 1 billion #Voice #Searches occur every month #HearingVoices #DigitalTip” username=””]
That’s a lot of potential customers that you want visiting your website, and if your SEO isn’t optimized for voice search, you can kiss a whole lot of traffic and sales goodbye. So what do you do?
Make a new keyword research strategy that takes voice searches into account. Normally, when people use their device’s voice function, they ask in full-sentences and in a natural manner, so you will want to focus on this instead of short queries.
For now, Google Analytics doesn’t carry a function to separate voice search within its console yet, but take an hour or two to write down commonly-asked questions in your particular niche in order to flesh out an editorial content strategy optimized for voice search.
[bctt tweet=”By the end of 2018 over 1 billion voice-enabled devices will be in circulation #TalkingOutLoud” username=””]
2. While you’re at it, don’t forget to optimize for mobile too.
In a report generated by Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of all online searches come from mobile devices. And just recently, Google announced that they will be issuing out “mobile-first indexing” sometime this year. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of a website for ranking and indexing in an effort to help mobile users find their desired content.
If you haven’t yet, you’ve got to get on the mobile optimization bandwagon. You can start with double-checking that all of your web pages on your site are optimized for mobile users.
One easy way to do this is to check out your Google Search Console, and look for and click on “Search Traffic” and then select “Mobile Usability”.
Doing this shows you site-wide results and allows you to see any mobile usability errors that might be hurting your website. You might also want to run your landing pages through this free mobile-friendly test to make sure that they are in good shape too.
[bctt tweet=”Nearly 60% of all online searches are done through #mobile devices. #TargetStrategy #OnTheGo” username=””]
3. Re-optimize existing content and compress those images.
If blogging is your business, you’ll eventually want to do a content audit, where you search through all of your past blogs and improve weaker-performing ones, combine two similar ones, or remove it completely.
Remember, you want to target your content to customers, not keywords. Google’s algorithm is becoming more and more sophisticated, so it knows when you are trying to game the system with keyword-heavy content. Keywords aren’t even within the top-ten ranking factors for SEO anymore.
A content audit for the purposes of SEO enables your website to gain rank by using a variety of performance metrics to find out which of your blog posts need that extra little boost to bring in, or back, traffic. Don’t conduct it weekly or anything, but do it in a timely manner. Aim for conducting a content audit at least quarterly, which may be a little easier to do instead of waiting every six months to a year.
One strategy that you can apply when conducting a content audit is best done by using the Google search console to find what keywords Google is associating with your article. By using this data, you can rewrite your article in an effort to target the main topic that the keywords cover. Check it out in the Google Search Console.
Other than that, it’s no secret that page loading speed will become a ranking factor when it comes to Google’s algorithm changes in July 2018, even in mobile searches, and the best way to speed that up is to compress those images.
Besides, uncompressed images can make your website look amateurish, which makes you lose credibility, and potential customers.
That said, most experts agree that the average loading speed—depending on location and industry—is around nine seconds. Google, however, disagrees and thinks that is too much time, rating nine seconds as poor. Instead, Google recommends that websites shoot for a three-second loading time.
When your page takes nine seconds to load, it leaves your bounce rate at 123% or higher. Think about it, if you landed on eBay and it took nine seconds to load a web page, would you stick around for another web page to load? No, not when other websites work at reasonable page speeds.
Search Engine Optimization can be difficult to keep up with but trust that Cobalt Digital Marketing is on top of it for your benefit.
You need experts that know and keep up-to-date with Google’s algorithm changes to keep your website ranking high – and we know just the right people to help you get the job done. You need none other than the catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing.