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SEO and Content Shifts You Need to Master Right Now

June 7, 2017


Google has thrown a lot at marketers in just the last five years.All of these big changes — from rolling out major algorithm updates to shifting to mobile-first — have essentially had the same goal: to provide the best possible search experience to users.Google wants to show users the best content at the right time on the right device as quickly as possible.Some marketers have struggled to keep up with and adapt to these huge changes.Meanwhile, other brands are thriving.Why? Because they have learned to stay ahead of Google’s ever-evolving algorithms by focusing on content and quality.Smart marketers know that they must have similar goals to Google.That means providing content that resonates, engages and converts — wherever, whenever and however consumers discover it.

1.From SEO to ‘SEO and content convergence’
Just as content alone isn’t enough to guarantee SEO success, SEO alone isn’t enough to guarantee that people will find and engage with your content. Data is helping marketers understand consumer intent to create intelligent content that aligns with the customer journey to deliver a successful and memorable experience.Foster search, social and content synergy.In combination, organic search, social and content help brands achieve their goals and objectives.Creating high-quality content with SEO in mind from the beginning boosts search visibility. That great content can then be further amplified via social media, which creates demand you can later harvest via search.

2.From mobile to mobile-first
For years, Google told marketers about the coming shift to mobile first — and it finally arrived in2015, when mobile searches surpassed desktop.Today,optimizing for mobile search, devices and usability is no longer optional.It’s mandatory.Your brand must be mobile-ready if you want to capitalize on mobile micro-moments.Recognize that this is a mobile-first world.Brands that aren’t mobile-optimized see 68 percent less traffic, according to BrightEdge research (my company).This means that understanding mobile user behavior and intent is essential today. Make sure your mobile experience meets (but ideally exceeds) expectations, or you risk losing market share and revenue to the competition.

3.From local to hyperlocal
The hyperlocal opportunity has never been greater for marketers.Hyperlocal targeting lets you reach people based on their location.This is an excellent way for brands to capitalize on “near me” searches and “I-want-to-go” micromoments and become hyperrelevant and hypervaluable.Hyperlocal optimization = hyperimportant.Google’s personalized hyperlocal results give more visibility to smaller geographic locations.Optimize your Google My Business page, create localized content and landing pages, use local business Schema markup and monitor the performance of your local keyword rankings.

4.From text to voice
About 20 to 25 percent of mobile queries are voice searches, depending on who you believe at Google. Although it’s clearly far too soon to declare the death of text searches, voice search is an emerging area marketers need to pay attention to heading forward.Voice search will continue to rise as consumer adoption of virtual assistants (e.g., Siri, Alexa) increases.More voice searches, more answers.Voice search will bring different types of search results because the majority of voice searches are questions (who, what, where, when, why,how).Fortunately for marketers, these questions also reveal user intent.Identify high-intent keywords, and optimize content that answers these questions to ensure your brand will be found in the changing SERPs.

5.From data to machine learning
Google relies in part on machine learning, in the form of RankBrain, to make sense of the massiveamounts of data and deliver the best possible search results for users.As marketers, we, too, must turn to machine learning to understand the intent, interests and behavior of our audience so we can deliver and personalize content that they want.View data as a source of truth.Martech stacks are being built around data integrations and performance because we simply have too much data and not enough analysts or hours in the day to make sense of it all.To capitalize on demand, spot patterns and stay ahead of the competition,marketers need to go beyond the “what” of data to understand the “when” and “why” of analytics.

It might be tempting for stakeholders to view SEO and content marketing as cost centers rather than revenue centers.This would be a mistake.SEO and data are essential for a successful integrated digital strategy with a tangible ROI.By understanding the five points above and always measuring your results, you will be able to demonstrate that creating effective, engaging, intelligent content is the path to revenue and truly worth the investment.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.


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