Today’s consumers have an infinite thirst for knowledge and information.
In fact, the search engine giant Google, processes over 100 billion search terms every month, globally! Because of this, ranking on the first page of Google is a priority for many businesses as it receives 89% of all search traffic.
Understanding search engine optimisation (SEO), and how various industry advancements are impacting a brands search visibility, will have a great benefit of increasing web traffic and improving search engine rankings. So here is all you need to know about SEO!
Search engine optimisation has become an essential marketing strategy for any digitally-focused business. Previously the practice was heavily focused on keywords, however, Google’s changing algorithm and dynamic consumer behaviour have caused significant disruption to this once heavily relied upon SEO best practice. For example, instead of using a search engine such as Google, many consumers are relying on social media, voice assistants and YouTube videos as a source of information. Even more so, some researchers suggest that the expected 2018 launch of Amazon in Australia will further impact current search practices, with the prediction consumers will bypass Google all together for the service. Such behaviours have placed an emphasis on search engine optimisation to drive web traffic.
Ultimately, through SEO, brands are preventing a potentially abrupt decline in a business’ search prominence, which could in return have damaging commercial consequences. In fact, a recent study by Google themselves demonstrated that 68% of Australian smartphone users, regularly searched for product information on their device while shopping in-store. Further to the point, two out of three consumers said that this search activity further influenced their intent to purchase. It’s statistics like these that validate how crucial SEO is to a business and the potential outcomes that the brand’s visibility in search engines may have.
As the benefit of incorporating SEO is undeniable, it is imperative to understand Google’s ever-changing algorithm. This algorithm is responsible for ranking content in relation to consumer queries and can be used to inform SEO methods and techniques. Keywords are an important component of search engine optimisation in order to match content with consumer queries. In fact, 15% of Google’s algorithm is keyword focused. Despite this, the outdated practice of inserting as many keywords into written content is no longer an ideal method to improving search engine rankings. In fact, doing this can make the content difficult and unpleasant for the audience to read and is actually penalised by the search engine. Research suggests that a keyword density of more than 5% can be marked as spam by Google, therefore damaging search visibility. Furthermore, Google’s recent update also penalises content that they believe is too short in length, as it does not provide enough information and substance to the reader. With this in mind, Google’s algorithm ranks content that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
While Google’s dynamic algorithm has changed SEO practices in recent times, consumer behaviour has also had a significant effect. The popularity of mobile devices and their voice-activated capabilities have substantially transformed the way consumers search. Recent studies show that 94% of Australian smartphone users look for information on their phones, and are particularly after localised results. Additionally, the nature of smartphones and voice-activated search enables consumers to be impulsive and allows them to research and purchase items in an immediate fashion. This highlights the demand for quick and instantaneous answers and such behaviour means that companies that aren’t optimising their sites for voice or mobile will be difficult to find online.
With such changes in recent times, there are many considerations that need to be made in order to ensure optimal visibility on search engines. It is crucial to understand that there is no guaranteed method, or quick fix to ensure a top ranking on google. However, the understanding of industry advancements and consumer behaviours can help rationalise SEO practices and inform the best methods for a business to utilise.
First of all, Google’s expectation for quality, trustworthy and authoritative content ensures that consumers are accessing relevant and valuable information based on their searches. While keywords may also be essential to ensure relevancy for the consumer, it should be kept to a minimum. Not only will this help with rankings, but also improve the consumer experience by making the content more engaging and easier to follow. Sites should also be optimised for mobile and their increasingly local searches. Having a ‘Google My Business’ listing is one of the ways that sites can be locally optimised. This industry change also highlights the common misconception that SEO is a set and forget practice. Search rankings need to constantly be monitored and optimised to improve a business’s search prominence and maintain top ranking positions.
At RGC Advertising, we understand that effective digital marketing is the product of unique and creative ideas, quality relationships and perseverance. Our Sydney based search engine optimisation agency is committed to achieving the best results possible for our clients. To find out more, please contact Richard on (02) 8883 2988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org