SEO Best Practices

Staying on Top of Google's Algorithms

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process as important for your business’s visibility as its best practices are opaque. The companies that operate the most popular search engines are constantly refining their algorithms so as to provide users the best results possible, and it’s in their best interests to keep their proverbial secret sauces, well, secret. That means that what works today may not work tomorrow, and it behooves savvy businesses to regularly reassess their SEO campaigns to ensure they’re effective for the current conditions.
For example, when StraightFire started in this business almost thirty years ago, a company might have named themselves AAA Plumbing to secure a top listing in the yellow pages. Now it’s so random. It’s like Google has the power to change the order of the alphabet every year or so.
With that challenge in mind, let’s look at a few things you can do to prepare yourself for the 2020 SEO landscape, and ensure that your business is getting the traffic you need to succeed in a tight consumer market.
Follow these tips, and you might just rank highest on page one.
Be Mobile Friendly and Mobile First
Mobile searches account for an increasing share of total search traffic (60% and rising!), which alone would necessitate an SEO strategy that took mobile users into consideration. Inspired by this growing trend, Google unveiled their Mobile-First Index Algorithm in 2019, effectively prioritizing the mobile version of a webpage when compiling its search results. With that in mind, 2020 is the year to greatly expand your mobile optimization strategy.
First, if you haven’t done so already, design a mobile-friendly version of your site. Make sure it’s secure, indexable, responsive, and has a clear organizational hierarchy. A site designed to be attractive when viewed on a smartphone will also decrease bounce rate, in turn improving search engine ranking in what we call a “virtuous cycle.”
Appear in Snippets
Google Snippets appear in Google search results as questions with pulldown answers. Per the company, content featured on these Snippets is chosen algorithmically based on its quality. Quality content that ranks high in SERPs (search engine results pages) has a higher chance of being featured in a snippet, which will in turn add clicks to the page, thereby boosting SEO — another virtuous cycle.
But how do you improve your chances of appearing in a snippet? By focusing on quality content that meaningfully responds to users’ questions. Determine which questions you want to answer, then research keywords associated with those questions, and include as much factual information as possible: names, dates, locations, etc. Be succinct and informative, and you stand a better chance at appearing in a snippet.
Prepare for Voice Search
If mobile-first results and snippets are the search trends of the present, voice search is the trend of the future. There were already 3.25 billion digital voice assistants in use in 2019, and Statista estimates that number will more than double by 2023. And while voice search is not yet as accurate as traditional text-based search, users like both its speed and convenience.
And here’s the good news for you: if you’ve already followed our advice on mobile search and snippets, you’re already a big step ahead of the competition when it comes to chasing this burgeoning SEO market. Smartphones are already a major source of voice searches, and ensuring a streamlined mobile design will reduce hang time and therefore bounce backs. Additionally, Google will use Snippets information to respond to voice searches, as they’re already posed in a Q&A format. As more and more searches come from users asking their digital assistants questions, you’ll be positioned to take advantage of their traffic.
Contact StraightFire Digital Marketing for Help
Are you looking to give your site’s SEO efforts a boost in 2020? If so, turn to the experts at StraightFire Digital Marketing for help. We are San Diego’s premiere digital marketing agency for a reason: we always put the client first, and we know how to get results. Let us show you why so many other businesses here in Southern California and across the nation have turned to us for assistance with their SEO campaigns and more. Call us at 619-272-6964 or request a quote online.

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