Just when marketers begin to really understand Search Engine Optimization, it changes. Not a huge surprise as it is one of the leading tools in digital marketing, an ever changing apparatus.
Christine Birkner reports for Marketing News on the six new rules for SEO in 2016. Birkner sites the director of audience development at Moz, Cyrus Shepard, as he discusses the declining importance of simply getting a click on an ad. Shepard notes that advertisers are now able to track a viewer’s activity after a click, making the activity following the click more important than the click itself. Marketers must have a clear intention of what they desire from users to be able to track success more closely.
Next, is the diminishing importance of keywords for a SEO campaign. As Google’s technology improves, the ability to decipher between quality matches and flukes is becoming simpler. Today, instead of having to put a keyword multiple times within your ad/article/website, Google is able to better determine the relevance to a consumers’ search query. With that, search queries are typically (75%) between three and five words long which can help marketers know what to include in their content.
User experience is becoming more and more important as the amount of information in the digital world continues to expand. Original content is far better than re-used content. It’s as if the consumer is a self-centered teenager who believes the world revolves around them; the more marketers can make a user’s experience precise and tailored to their liking, the better.
In the same way that original content is superior, unique images are preferred by users as well.
Martin Laetsch (director of online marketing at Act-One Software Inc.) has discovered that there has been a significant difference in the size of articles that are successful as of late. Two or three years ago, a 300 word page was a pretty common length. Now, Laetsch is noticing the popularity of 1,200 to 1,500 words performing better in search.
Optimizing for mobile might be an obvious rule of SEO, but it is a very important one. With users consistently utilizing mobile devices, marketers are required to adjust.
Birkner quotes Shepard saying, “In the past, it [SEO] was about marketers trying to promote what they wanted people to see. Today it’s about delivering what people actually want to see…” SEO is fitting in with other forms of marketing by encompassing the attitude that it’s all about the audience. Laetsch puts it well when he says, “It doesn’t matter how high you rank if your target audience goes to your site and they’re not happy.”
While clicks are great, it’s what happens after the click that truly matters.