Today's internet users are changing the way they search the web and as a result, search engines are constantly evolving to adapt to this change. This has had a significant impact on how searchers find content and how content is being ranked, which affects business' overall SEO performance. Gone are the days when measuring your SEO success was solely based on keeping track of keyword rankings. With so many factors that now come into play to achieve SEO success, it’s time to rethink your content marketing and social media strategy to keep pace with the ever-changing search landscape. You’ll need to consider how you can restructure your content so that it appears in prime search locations.
Take a look at some of the ways search engines are changing along with searchers. We will address several key considerations to take into account on how to improve your content marketing strategy to keep up with this changing landscape.
Mobile Search is Dominating the Web
It is predicted that mobile is going to become the dominant device for search in 2019. Many users are now conducting mobile searches more than searches on any other device (e.g. tablets and desktops).
Key considerations: In order for your content to rank highly and achieve SEO success, you must ensure that the content on your website is fully optimized for mobile. How do users absorb mobile content? Mobile friendliness is key. Google now expects webpages to load in under 3 seconds. Improve your website load times by compressing images on your webpage and make sure that your content is easily digestible. Huffington Post is a prime example of a company who has nailed their mobile web experience.
Their content is easily scannable, digestible, and ideal for on-the-go mobile users. When you compare both the mobile and desktop versions, Huffington Post’s mobile site is optimized to fit a smaller screen and also has fewer words on the homepage. As a result, readers are able to easily skim the webpage for content.
Voice Search is Changing the Way People Search the Web
According to Forbes, 50% of search queries will be from voice by 2020. Voice search is dramatically changing the way people search the web. This has been made possible with the help of voice assistants such as Google Home, Alexa, and Siri. As a result, search engines like Google are placing a greater emphasis on voice search optimization.
Key considerations: With voice search on the rise, the way content is being ranked is also changing. How will this affect your overall content marketing and social media as ranking factors? Instead of using short and snappy keywords to optimize your content, try to make better use of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords involve specific keyword phrases. To effectively adapt to voice search, try writing the way you speak in order for your content to rank better. For example, when users type a search query on Google, they’ll usually type “Toronto weather.” However, when users conduct a voice search, they’ll typically say, “What’s the weather in Toronto?” Since voice search and SEO pick up on users’ natural speech patterns, keep in mind to use a more conversational tone in your content and social media marketing strategy to help boost and improve your search rankings.
Drive Greater Traffic with Featured Snippets
Google is increasingly showing featured snippets at the top of search results. Content that ranks within Google’s featured snippet section often drives higher traffic for the given search query. In order to embrace the changing landscape of search, it’s crucial to understand why you need to care about On-SERP SEO. For example, when you search up “top phones 2019,” this is the featured snippet on the SERP (search engine results page) that shows up for the query:
The featured snippet appears above the #1 search result. How do you achieve this?
Key considerations: Develop a shortlist of specific questions that you can answer and rank for. If your content can rank on the first page for one of the shortlisted search query questions, look into optimizing the rest of the content on your webpage to specifically address that question.
Help More Pages Rank with the Topic Cluster Model
Because people are submitting more detailed and conversational search queries through to get information faster, search engines are getting better at providing the exact answers that searchers are looking for. Pillar content and topic clusters are becoming more popular as a way for marketers to organize their content to ensure their content ranks higher. What is pillar content? According to Hubspot, pillar content or topic clusters help more pages rank to give searchers better answers for their queries. This is known as the topic cluster model.
Key considerations: When planning your content marketing strategy, choose a few broad topics you want to rank for. After you’ve chosen the topics, create content (e.g. blog posts) for each of the specific keywords that make up the broader topic. This will result in broader search engine authority because you can then connect specific topics to each other via hyperlinks, linking your content to help more pages on your site rank on Google.
As we continue to move away from traditional search trends, how you approach your content marketing strategy is more important than ever before. Remember to be social with your content and keep in touch with current SEO trends and how the search landscape continues to evolve. As overrated as this phrase may be, it still rings true: "Content is King."