SEO can’t die?
May 29, 2019
SEO can’t die, can it? You might be surprised to hear us ask that question, but when you’ve been in marketing as long as we have you get to understand how quickly everything can change.
A good marketer knows that it’s important to watch each trend closely in order to try and predict what’s going to happen next.
In this article, we’re going to look at how SEO is currently evolving and help you stay ahead of the curve.
The Evolution of SEO
There was a time when good SEO meant little more than having a website that contained the right keywords. It was all about ensuring that your copy was in tune with the search entries that people were making. The idea was to avoid treating your website like a newspaper, magazine or brochure—to get away from the print mentality and recognise that digital works a little differently.
Well, we’ve all come a long way since then. The fact is that there are now hundreds of factors that affect SEO. As the internet has evolved and the technology we use to access it has changed, SEO has changed along with it. To get your website a top ranking now means getting to grips with some technical SEO.
Whilst Google is pushing the idea that having a clean site with amazing content should be enough, clever marketers appreciate that there will always be a way to impress the algorithms to improve ranking.
Page Loading Speed
This is an interesting factor. We all want fast service these days and our internet use is certainly no exception to the rule. This is particularly true of mobile internet use.
Google and Bing understand this demand and factor the loading speed of a page into their algorithms. They can use search engine spiders and user data to estimate how long a page takes to load. This gives them an understanding of what sort of user experience a page is likely to provide. Remember not to overcrowd your pages.
Isn’t it frustrating when you search for something and find a great article or webpage, only to discover that it’s actually years out of date? Or what about those surreal moments when you stumble upon a truly vintage webpage that looks like something from the late 1980s?
Google understand how fast everything moves and always try to keep the most recent content at the top of search results. The way it does this is by responding to how fresh the content is. This means new articles are a good thing, but, more subtly, updates can help too.
Within this, the quality and quantity of updates over time is also a factor. To just go in and make a quick change to a word here and a typo there will make the content seem more recent. However, changing whole sections and paragraphs is better; making frequent updates and additions to content over time is best.
Strategically Placed Keywords
In the intro, we reflected on simpler times—back when keywords were almost the only thing that mattered in SEO. This may have implied that they don’t matter today. Well, they do. Without question they are still crucial, it’s just that now they have to be more strategically deployed.
Google will look at factors such as “keyword prominence”. This, roughly speaking, comes down to how many times keywords are used within the first 100 words of an article or page. As well as headings, it will look at subheadings. This means that in your copy you should always make effective use of keywords in not only your H1 but also in your H2. H3. H4. Etc.
Keyword density is carefully monitored now as well. This means that you have to strike a balance between, on the one hand, populating your page with search terms, and, on the other hand, going overboard so it doesn’t register as an authentic and readable page of high quality.
Page reading level
Speaking of which, the reading level of a page is also a factor that Google considers. The problem at this stage is that it’s up for debate how best to play this. Content that is at an advanced level should rank more highly; however, copy at a more basic level will be more accessible and attract and hold more readers. The safest move here is to aim for an intermediate reading level.
Webpage design is a broad term that covers a lot, from the copy to the images and indeed the whole user experience. However, at its most essential, a well-designed web page is one that makes it easy for any user to interact with it.
You should try placing a contents section at the beginning of a long article or blog post. This isn’t rocket science, but it makes a definite difference to the reader and is picked up by Google. Similarly, use of bullet points and numbered lists to break down and organise long stretches of words is another simple technique that works well, both from the reader’s perspective and from Google’s.
Get in touch with us here at Creative Marketing Services for expert marketing solutions for 2019. You can call us on 0113 287 7973. And don’t forget to bookmark this blog for our regular digital marketing insights.