Many things are beginning to return to pre-pandemic normalcy, but some things will forever be changed. The internet is just one of them. The internet has continued to grow as the leading source that people use to research everything from medical conditions to hair and makeup products, which is mind-boggling when you think about it.
With millions of different sites out there to compete with, you need as many tips and tricks as possible to get your page seen. In a new post-COVID age, what businesses quickly learned is that SEO companies in Charleston are where the biggest chunk of your marketing energy and budget should go. Sure, having a user-friendly website is part of it, but if no one ever uses it, what’s the point?
According to recent statistics, search engines are responsible for as much as 69% of all digital traffic. Although Google is continually changing algorithms to stay ahead of the SEO cat-and-mouse game, SEO remains the most valuable tool that you have at your disposal to win. These are the seven biggest trends to try for your SEO strategy for the rest of 2022 and beyond from our top SEO companies in Charleston, SC
Optimize Search Intent Using Long-Form Content
One of the most important aspects of your SEO campaign is going to be your content. Ranking for the correct keywords is the only way to push higher up in the rankings. Quality content has always been a must, but long-form content is the focus now.
Long-Form Content Has Many Benefits
- Higher Conversion Rates – Calls-to-action, when strategically placed, can help to generate more leads that ultimately lead to a better conversion rate
- More Social Shares – If you have value-added content, it is more likely that people will share it with others
- Higher Website Authority Rating – When you provide in-depth and value-added content, you make yourself a trusted and authoritative voice within your industry, which helps to further your EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)
- Enhanced Visibility Online – Long content pieces of 2000 or more words rank higher in SERPs than shorter pieces
- Better Opportunities for Link Building – When visitors find your content useful, they are more likely to reach out with backlink opportunities
The key is to optimize your content for search intent. User or search intent is a phrase that is used to describe the purpose of the visitors’ search online. There are four different types of intent searches:
- Navigational – This is where the user is in an awareness phase. They are not really exactly sure what they are looking for or what specific things are called
- Informational – Users utilize informational intent just in the interest phase of their search. The more they search, the more refined their keyword search becomes
- Commercial – This is where the intent of the user is to make a decision. They are aware of the solution they need and they are comparing one against another
- Transactional – Users in this phase are ready to act by either starting a transaction, purchasing or subscribing (starting free trials, requesting demos, etc.)
When you understand the difference between what your content is targeting and at what phase, you can use the right keywords to increase your SEO rankings.
In 2021, the new kid on the block became Search Experience Optimization, which is continually growing in significance. Google’s Page Experience Update, a US update, is meant to measure the experience that users have when they interact with a website in more depth than just purely informational.
Google Page Experience Update Factors:
- Metrics of Core Web Vitals
- Mobile-First Design and Optimization
- Popups and Ease of Use Related to Interstitial Behavior
- The Security Measures of the Site
One of the most essential elements of Mobile-First Indexing is Search Experience Optimization (SXO). It is expected to continue growing in importance. Because on-page visitor experiences are a direct signal that Google uses to rank websites for their SERPs values, a user’s experience is even more important on platforms such as User Engagement Metrics in GA4 and User Stickiness in Google Analytics.
What Does That Mean for SEO Services in Charleston?
- Optimize videos and images
- Your website should have operational Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Implement lazy loading
- Optimize CSS code
- Allow for dimensions of embeds and images
- Speed your server up
Users having a good experience on your page doesn’t override the quality of your content and link building, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to it, especially as it grows in significance. Improving your Core Web Vitals score is even more critical if you have competing pages with content that is similar to yours and you are vying for the number-one position. Optimization of your mobile performance and page engagement are going to be trends to continue to watch.
Internal Linking and Content Framework
Internal linking, the flow of authority, and informational architecture will be more heavily weighted for ranking factors as authority competitiveness becomes more challenging. One of the things to watch for is topic optimization over keyword optimization.
What is Content Framework?
Although it’s a catchphrase, all “content framework” really means is better organizing your content with a full strategy. You want content that is sensible and easy for users to navigate, while also attracting Google’s automated page-crawling tools.
Google not only works to match search results with keywords; it also tries to find contextual meaning and intent to deliver the best-matched results. A good content framework should have an effective mapping strategy for keywords. It is no longer about putting keywords on a page; they have to be mapped related to topics, and topics have to be structurally organized.
And it all needs to be tied to an internal linking strategy that has an authority flow to the correct pages with content that makes sense. Therefore, content frameworks have to be topic-relevant with an authority flow of internal linking. If you can manage that, you will have a powerful strategic SEO campaign.
SERP features are not new, but recently they have grown in significance. Accessibility settings and features were recently added to Android’s platform, along with ways to help people with disabilities; some are Talkback, Live Transcribe, Sound Amplifier, Live Caption, and others.
Bing, now the third-largest search engine, has added the snippet, which is a feature for people with disabilities to interact with a search engine’s content by using voice search for the vision impaired and annotations posted on video for the hearing impaired.
Currently, websites get additional ranking for SERP features that are inclusive for more users. So including them on your website is just one more way SEO services in Charleston can help with your overall ranking campaign.
Inclusion and Diversion in Charleston SEO Services
There is a new metric being introduced into the accessibility field, which is language inclusivity. Being more socially and politically inclusive with your content is gaining traction and is something to keep in mind with your content. When writing, be careful of using gender-specific labels like “gentlemen,” “ladies,” and “sir.” Instead, use inclusive labels like “friends,” “everyone,” etc.
Conversational Voice Search
Google’s new BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) was added in 2019 and was an update targeting the relationship between search intent and words. It aided Google with searches that were voice assisted by giving more credence to conversational speech. There is a continual move to semantic search with AI over simply keyword matching. AI technology will only grow. New algorithms will support result and query processing by using:
- Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which is a new language processing tool slated to be 1000 times better than BERT. It can analyze images, videos, and 75 languages by answering complex search questions
- Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), which has human-like modeling for speech
Google is targeting algorithms that evolve to be more like how we actually communicate with one another by using increased intuitiveness and communication skills. They will aid in targeted long-tail keywords when using speech recognition for searches. In 2017, only about 15% of searches used long-tail keywords.
EAT (Expertise, Authority, & Trust)
EAT is not a new concept; it came from the update to Google’s algorithms in August 2018. The theory of EAT has its origins in Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEGs), which are used to rate SERPs’ page quality. In a nutshell, EAT is a score of how well a website provides value to a visitor. The best way to enhance your EAT is:
- Back up your content with facts and statistics
- Give author bios
- Get great reviews
- Provide backlinks from credible sources
- Give ways to get in touch
Despite all the different ways that Google has changed the rules and factored in other things for SEO, organic traffic is still one of the major ways that customers find businesses, which is why SEO is critical to help your potential clients find you. When you factor in all of these different ways to enhance your SEO rankings, it might seem a bit overwhelming. The good news?
You don’t have to worry about your SEO if you find an SEO services company in Charleston, SC like Fu Dog Media to take the guesswork out of it. If you hire us to be your SEO expert, you can sit back and focus on the bigger picture: your bottom line. Contact us today to get started.