Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Businesses must have a digital presence, or they'll be left in the past. They need to be on social media platforms (specifically the ones that their ideal audience is on too), and most importantly, they need a website - but not just any website, a highly discoverable website. Websites are highly discoverable when they have great SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. What is search engine optimization? SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by making sure that the website appears high on the list of results on a search engine like Google. If you want to learn more about that, check out our past post: What is SEO? (and how to make your socials boost your rankings). Now let's look at the trends that are changing how we all need to approach SEO on our websites.
1. Voice Search
Have you ever used the words "Hey Siri?", "Alexa?", or "Hey Google?" to quickly figure out which actor was in that one thing? Yeah - us too. Voice search is becoming a commonplace way users approach search engines. Google shared that 27% of the global population used voice search on their phones, and according to Voicebot.AI, over 1/3 of American consumers own a smart speaker. So how should this affect your SEO? Someone asking a question out loud is very different than someone opening their laptop and heading to the Google search bar. Most of us speak more casually than we type, and often when speaking we fill in the grammatically correct words we wouldn't include in a Google search. As you add content to your website, consider if you're answering questions that someone would speak aloud when they're quickly trying to discover an answer. What's more? Google reported that from 2015 - 2017, there was a 500% growth of voice searchers using the phrase "near me".
2. Geo - Targeting
As the phrase "near me" pops up more and more, you need to make sure your website is ready to cash in on those location specific searches. If your business is brick and mortar, you must have geo tagging as part of your SEO strategy. Your location should be accurately listed on your site's home page, contact page, and in your site's meta-descriptions. You should also be sure that any ads you run on search engines and social media are geo-targeted to consumers searching in your same area. If your shop is located in Dallas, showing up in the search results for a consumer in Pittsburgh is useless to you.
If your business is fully online (like Media A La Carte), you still shouldn't count out geo-targeting for your SEO. While you don't need to target your ads towards specific zip codes like brick and mortar businesses, you should still include the location of your business on your website's home page and descriptions. That will help your business gain traction with searches in your area, even if location isn't a factor in allowing you to do business together.
3. Consistent, Quality Content
Alright, alright, so this one isn't a new trend, but it is well worth the reminder when it comes to SEO. There is massive spending power online, and you need to be creating quality content, consistently to attract that spending power to your business. Digital Commerce 360 recently shared some wild stats:
"Consumers spent $791.70 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 32.4% year over year, according to U.S. Department of Commerce figures. That’s the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades. It’s also more than double the 15.1% jump in 2019."
We know that a large part of this jump was due to the pandemic forcing every aspect of daily life to go digital. But ya know what else we know? Old habits die hard. After the last year and half, we've all been conditioned to hop online to search for a product before hopping in the car to go to a store. While those high ecommerce growth numbers may not grow at that same rate, they're certainly not going to drop in a hurry.
What's the easiest way to make sure there is new content on your site that will answer searcher's queries? You need to start a blog. The majority of our SEO traffic comes from Google searches that land on our blog posts, which then convert into sales. Writing a blog with your audience's questions in mind is essential for staying ahead in the SEO rat race.
If the world of SEO feels like too much to dive into for your business, we're only one click away.