Tell me if you’ve heard this one, Google is king. Okay, yes, it’s a given as the search engine controls over 90 percent of the industry’s market share. Bing comes in second place at a tiny 2.5 percent sliver. As Google sits atop the internet throne, millions of companies come to play in the king’s court through search engine optimization (SEO).
We all want to rank on that coveted first results page. To do so, we need to impress the king. As 2019 winds down, and 2020 approaches, what can you do with your website in order to land within the good graces of Google?
As a leader in online marketing, we figured we’d put out a list of SEO tactics that can help your site climb through the Google search results this coming year.
People Ask Google Questions, Answer Them
As we all know, keyword stuffing used to be the overnight success method to rising in Google searches. However, those days are well behind us. Google’s current algorithm is becoming more and more zeroed in on the content that covers your pages.
Dave thinks his car tire is leaking air. He pulls out his iPhone and Googles, “How to tell if my car tire is leaking air?”
Now let’s say you run a local auto mechanic shop in town that specializes in tire repair. Your website has a service page titled “Tire Leaks,” and instead of being too call-to-action (CTA) heavy, that page needs to answer Dave’s question. How can the consumer self-identify a tire leak? Provide that information, and then include your CTA, ya filthy animal.
The content you are filling your site with needs to hit three key points, that in return, Google will reward with higher SEO rankings.
- Relevant Information
- In-depth Analysis
- Query Answering
With the upswing of voice search in the past few years (thanks Alexa), people are looking for immediate, satisfying answers. Don’t beat around the bush, Google doesn’t appreciate it.
Hire Someone Who Can Handle the Intense Tech
SEO can be complex. The technical side is arguably more important than anything you create for your website. If your site is unable to be indexed by Google, then good luck gaining any online traffic.
The technical side is jumping higher each year. Soon, websites are going to need to exist outside a laptop or mobile device, as progressive web apps (PWAs) become more popular.
Build a Lean Mean Machine
Googlebot crawls all webpages published, and as it examines your sitemap, old, low-quality or irrelevant pages can harm your SEO relationship with Google. While some sites do need hundreds of pages, the vast majority of businesses and organizations don’t need a large sum of pages.
Therefore, it is smart to identify pages that are not generating positive traffic to your site. Such as:
- Duplicate Content
- Old Blogs and Press Statements
- Low Desired Product Pages
Maintaining a site that is filled with timely and high-quality content is something that gets Googlebot’s spidy senses tingling in a good way.
Time to Board the Social Media Train
It seems like every year social media is playing a bigger role in society. While the platforms of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and more are proven havens for helping drive sale figures, but can social media help SEO rankings?
Bing says yes, as social likes and shares directly influence the corresponding companies ranking. However, Google states that social media does not play a factor in SEO rankings.
Not so fast, Google. A lot of research has shown otherwise.
This is because social media platforms are information-sharing services. When people talk about your company/organization of Facebook, their tagging or linking generates buzz and traffic around your site, and we all know how important backlinking is to any SEO strategy.
If the saying that “there is no such thing as bad publicity,” is true, then positive social media mentions must be doing wonders for SEO rankings, even if Google denies a direct relation.
Some tips we recommend to help optimize your social media accounts for SEO production includes:
- Including website links on your social media accounts
- Producing regular and engaging content on your platform choices
- Use keyword research as hashtags
- Include social media sharing buttons for webpages
Beat the Black Friday Crowd
Have you ever shopped on Black Friday? First, let’s take a moment of silence for the nightmares that you still suffer from due to that one Black Friday in 2011. Yikes.
Okay, moving on. Shopping during an event like that is similar to SEO ranking with Google. Page one of a Google search has space for roughly 10 web links. Can you imagine fighting over that space for a single keyword or phrase that thousands of other websites are competing for?
Yeah, good luck grabbing the new 72-inch 4K Sony television.
This is why in SEO it is important to beat the crowd. Think outside the box, and attempt to reach the glorified page one for Google in arenas that are not so heavily clustered with intense keyword competition.
If you show up late to the SEO party, you’re probably not getting inside.
That’s one reason we decided to write about Google’s best SEO practices in preparation for 2020. We are not fighting to get into the 2019 party, but instead, we’re throwing the welcoming party for 2020.