The most important, yet most challenging aspect of SEO is that it’s forever changing. Google updates their algorithm every single day. Because of the constant changes, there’s only so much you will ever know. There are things that will never change, and those are the things you should focus on.
Trying to keep track of all the little changes is pointless. I say, don’t bother. All you need to know, is the major changes and trends. The new techniques people are using, so that you can stay ahead of the competition. Close to 80% of all webmasters will never get their site pages to the first page of the search engines. You don’t want to be in this group, so it’s important that you learn as much as possible about the algorithms, so that you can get to the first page and stay there.
In this article we will be going over 5 very important SEO techniques that you should be aware of, and thus implement into your website.
1.Tailor for Google Passage Ranking
The Passage Ranking was implemented into Google’s search engine in October 2020, which allows for individual paragraphs of pages to be ranked within the search engines. So, why should this even be a factor? Essentially, it means, Google is able to pull content from an article on your website, to cover a question answered by the web searcher.
This feature also means that you’re content can rank for a specific term, that your article has not been optimised for. For example, if you were to write an article on a specific network, tool, metrics or strategy used in social media marketing. He search engines may opt to rank your content on social media marketing even though your content doesn’t have the keyword in it. Google is now smart enough to make the connection and feature your content on a broad range of topic areas.
2.Focus on Featured Snippets
Featured snippets is a feature that hasn’t been around for too long, yet should already be a part of anyone’s SEO strategy. Featured snippets essentially appear in position zero, or, at the top of the SERPS page, in a box, with your title and part of your content.
Featured snippets is a benefit bestowed upon, only the very best content as determined by Google. Which is why it’s recommended that you tailor your content towards getting it. Things to consider to achieve it, are:
- Long-Tail Keywords: Google likes to prioritise longer keywords for its featured snippets. Less than 5% of all snippets featured a single word keyword. This contrasted with 17% making up more than 5 words, and 50%+ making up more than 10 words.
- Use Questions: When creating content, you always want to do it with user intent in mind. When end users search on anything, oftentimes they do so in the form of questions. So when constructing your content, you want to ask these same questions. By doing so, it increases your chances of earning that featured snippet spot.
SEMrush carried out research on these snippets and found that words like “can”, “do” and “why” tend to be the most common words used, and are most likely to get you that spot.
- Format Correctly: Featured snippets come in four different types, these are: lists, tables, paragraphs and videos. When putting together your content, these are the things you must have in mind. You should have a purpose for your featured snippet. Google wants the ability to clearly and quickly display answers to their users. So make sure everything is clear and concise.
This doesn’t mean longer paragraphs are out of the question, but you should have your content formatted in such a way that your longer paragraphs feature further down the page, and are thus, less likely to be used for the snippet.
3.Utilise Long-Tail Keyword Phrases
Google is constantly, growing, expanding and becoming more advanced, with every new algorithm update release. Google announced that their search engine is able to determine subtopics from within keywords. So, for example, if a user was to search for “home exercise equipment”, Google is smart enough to know that “premium picks”, “budget equipment”, “exercise courses” and “open spaces” are all relevant to the search term.
So, what does this mean when looking at SEO? Essentially it means there is much more competition for shorter keyword terms. For this reason, you should look more at long tail keywords, as they have less competition and in turn should mean, more chance of you featuring right at the top of the SERPS.
4.Create New Original Content
This should go without saying, but the reality is, so many marketers get hung up on the on-page SEO, and neglect to focus much of their attention on one of the most important aspects of search, which is high quality content. Close to 4.4 million new blog posts are published every single day and so, it’s very easy to fall behind, if you neglect to focus on the areas that really count.
Another good thing about creating new content is that you can optimise it for all the best practices of SEO, as at that time. That means having correct content headers, titles, image alt-text, subheadings, and keywords.
Additionally, end users tend to see new content as more valuable than older content. When users are searching for an answer to a query, oftentimes they will look at the date of the post. If they feel your post is too outdated, they may skip over it, and look for something more recent.
Freshness is an actual ranking factor. The more new content your website creates, the more Google and the other major search engines will visit your site to index these new pages. This in turn leads to faster ranking content.
5.Update Your Old Content
Despite all the time you’re likely to spend creating new content on your site, you should never neglect the content you already have. This is a very important SEO technique nowadays. If you only ever publish new content, it’s possible for your site to fall off. There are always opportunities for you to leverage off, and since you spent so much time crafting these older posts, you do not want to miss out.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to refresh your older content is to carry out a link audit. This entails, locating and removing or fixing outdated or broken links. This in turn should help improve the user experience of your site, and prevent your content from being side-lined due to having too many broken links in it.
You should also consider updating your internal link structure. As you create new content, you want to link to these older pages, where applicable. This tells the search engines that there is a link between all the various pages of your site. This leads to pages being indexed faster, and thus, ranking faster within the search engines.