We are a creative integrated marketing consultancy specialising in 4 business areas: Business Services, Financial Services, Automotive Aftermarket and Recruitment Advertising. These blogs tell of some of our experiences working in these business areas.
14 August 2013
Everyone knows that search technology is evolving at an astonishing pace. Last year, Google launched 65 updates to its algorithm in just two months. We can expect the pace will not slacken, but for those marketers and clients who are not developers and tech people how do you keep up and ensure your web footprint doesn’t get lost or drop away from sight?
Here are four things to focus on:
1. Quality is the new SEO
Search engines already make judgement calls on whether web content is “good” or not. And the search technology employed is increasingly sophisticated to the point where it determines the value of web content. Google is dominant in this field and for most of us, provides a litmus test as to what differentiates a great website from a mediocre one, with sites that don’t tick the boxes slipping down the search results.
How do you differentiate your website and remain in-touch with search technology and its impact on your website? The answer is with good content that is key-word tested, regularly updated and formulated within a workable grid for structure, creation and subject that search technology recognises today.
Organisations can accommodate the grid and meet the required standards via dedicated in-house resources or by outsourcing and ensuring a pool of dedicated contributors write to brief.
2. Don’t ignore social
Social is going to increasingly impact your rankings. In 2013, we will see a greater balance between the weight of factual and social search influences. Search engines already consume massive amounts of data about its users’ social presence, geography, preferences and friends for example.
Facebook has constructed an interconnected graph of over 1 billion human interrelationships, likes and preferences. LinkedIn already joins up and pushes what the platform believes are relevant or useful connections and content. Privacy issues aside, consumers require more than facts served to them: they seek opinions and the experience of other people. So you should think about how you, and search technology, will correlate your content and plan for this.
3. Mobile-friendly is a prerequisite
In the b2b email marketing we are executing at AEPadvertising.com, we are already seeing that around 20% of the viewers who engage do so from handheld devices. Consequently, content that does not conform to the requirements of mobile devices will lose a growing percentage of search traffic. Search engines are looking for the same elements in a mobile site that they do for a standard website (keywords, title tags, links and quality content) but mobile query strings are on average 25% shorter than desktop searches. With limited visual space and condensed search tactics, you therefore need to include research, development, optimisation and content structure that is especially focused on the mobile experience.
Typically Smartphone users expect websites to load in less than five seconds. Large images and flash animations that don’t render make for a worthless online experience.
4. Try to cater for The Knowledge Graph
In 2013, we expect Google to attempt to answer more complex questions directly in the SERPs with the Google Knowledge Graph. Essentially, this means that Google will attempt to answer your question or search criteria rather than just serve up potentially useful results.
It is estimated that Google already has a collection of over 10 billion facts and hundreds of millions of results that, to greater or lesser degree, answer searches. Brand managers who try to cater for related, potentially useful information, will be more successful at embracing the way search technology is evolving.
Content that serves its purpose used to be the Holy Grail. Going forward, content that serves its purpose beyond a purchase or sale, by enabling a user to solve a problem, will be an increasingly important factor in determining who succeeds in search and social and who falls from ranking results.
Chris Abraham leads www.AEPadvertising.com, an integrated creative marketing agency that helps clients build brands, develop relationships, enhance customer value and get results.