Search engine optimization (SEO) used to be about one thing and one thing only: written content. Today, all that has changed. Yes, written content continues to be important, but people search in different things as well. Because so much internet traffic is now conducted through mobile devices, it will perhaps come as no surprise that a lot of search is done through voice.
When people optimize their website, they use the Google keyword planner to see how much a keyboard is used and how often it is used. However, when people use Voice search, they say things in very different ways. This is one of the key reasons why you must spend time listening to your customers so that you find out the words they use to talk about you, to talk to you, and to ask you questions. Suddenly, therefore, you have to think about conversations, and this includes long tail keywords.
Another very important modern SEO factor is local search and this is again linked to voice search. Google says that 80% of people now use a search engine if they want to find something locally. Yet, there are still lots of business who are not listed on local directories. This is a huge missed opportunity. You need to make sure that you are on City Search, Merchant Circle, and Yelp, for starters. Also, don’t forget about Google My Business, which is a huge directory. It is also 100% free to use and could work wonders for your overall optimization.
Furthermore, by optimizing for local searchers, you can use data markup that is locally structure. This allows you to add a link to your site that gives people more info about your reviews, your services, your products, and so on. Today, just 31% of websites have a structured markup. This means that you have an opportunity here to make your site stand out. The Google spiders will find it far easier to figure your site out, which is why the search engine now offers a Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure you have done things properly.
Link Building Still Counts
There are three key things that Google looks at to rank you:
- Rank brain.
- Link shares.
This has been the same for years and it is unlikely that it will ever change. Anyone who tells you that link sharing is no longer relevant doesn’t know what they are talking about. What has changes is that quality is now more important than quantity. In fact, the newest Google update clearly says that quality links are the top SEO factor that they take into consideration. Hence, go through your website and determine what your links are like. Check each and every single one of them to make sure they are high quality and that they direct to functioning, relevant websites. If they don’t, then take them out. Better to have a few good ones than lots of terrible ones.