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Modern SEO: What You Need to Compete in 2018

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Modern SEO offers a world of unlimited opportunities and marketers are just beginning to experience the magic of advanced search engine optimization. Today’s search environment is an exciting time for website owners and bloggers.

What does modern SEO include?

Mobile first indexing
Voice search
The Knowledge Graph
Speed and performance optimization
AMP
Technical SEO

In this presentation, we review shifts in SEO and we cover some of the top SEO trends. You’ll learn what you focus on to be successful in 2018.

Published in: Marketing

Modern SEO: What You Need to Compete in 2018

  1. 1. What You Need to Compete in 2018 MODERN SEO Rebecca Gill of Web Savvy Marketing
  2. 2. Modern SEO utilizes a building block approach to ranking in search. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved SEO TRENDS AND CHANGES o Mobile and responsive websites o SSL and HTTPS based websites o AMP usage o The Google Knowledge Graph o Voice search o Increased usage of topic based search and less emphasis on exact match phrases o Increased focus on the user experience o The looming presence of mobile first indexing
  4. 4. SEMANTIC SEARCH
  5. 5. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved WHAT IS SEMATIC SEARCH? Semantic search is defined as search for information based on the intent of the searcher and contextual meaning of the search terms. Instead of looking at just the term itself, Google attempts to interpret the user intent within the search and match this phrase to results based on content, trends, and prior activity. What this really means: Google just got a whole lot smarter!
  6. 6. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved WHAT IS SEMATIC SEARCH? o Semantic search isn’t new, but many people don’t understand it or it’s importance. o Understanding how it applies to search is critical for today’s SEO. o Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding a searcher’s intent and how this intent relates to the world around it. o Semantic search is not about synonyms alone. Google is much smarter than that and search results are much more rich. o Semantic search brings forth a vastly improved understanding of both the searcher’s intent and the content used in results.
  7. 7. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved SEMANTIC SEARCH FACTORS o Current trends (recent movie launch) o Location of search o Search intent (hot dog to eat vs. hot dog that needs shade) o Word variations (singular, plural) o Synonyms (small, tiny, minor, miniature) o Generalized and specialized (MGM Grand and accommodations) o Word groupings o Related words
  8. 8. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved CONFUSED GOOGLE o One word search o Google cannot gather user intent o Results are mixed between a person, food, and a dictionary result
  9. 9. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved SEMANTIC SEARCH: SMART GOOGLE ß Words like “taste” help Google understand this is about food. The word “cheapest” helps Google understand this is about computers. à
  10. 10. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved BACK TO CONFUSED o Two word search o Most results are for the food o Although the product dominates the page o Not a great search phrase for the user or the marketers writing matching content
  11. 11. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o You don’t need – or want – to create individual pages for each variation of a keyword phrase. o Write and optimize content with keyword variations in mind. o Augment your content for related phrases to help Google better understand intent and context: o Food: taste, color, freshness o Computer: cost, support, features, monitor, keyboard o Company: founders, stock prices, headquarters, store locations SEMANTIC SEARCH TAKEAWAYS
  12. 12. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o Think long and hard about possible keywords. o Think more about long-tail search phrases and less about one word searches. o Review Google search results for possible keyword phrases so you can see how Google interprets the user intent of a given phrase. o Write for the human reader. Consider search engines, but remember the human reader is driving the need for semantic search. SEMANTIC SEARCH TAKEAWAYS
  13. 13. KNOWLEDGE GRAPH
  14. 14. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved WHAT IS THE KNOWLEDGE GRAPH? o First introduced in 2012. o Since the release, it has diversified in data presented and greatly expanded in usage. o The Knowledge Graph is simply a huge collection of the people, places, and things. o What’s important is that Google uses the Knowledge Graph to understand how those people, places, and things are connected to one another. o Google then uses this technology to quickly provide the best possible answer to a user’s question.
  15. 15. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved KNOWLEDGE GRAPH EXAMPLES o Companies – like “Home Depot” o People – like “Nobel prize winners” or “Frank Lloyd Wright” o Sports teams – like the “Chicago Bulls” o Art – like the “Mona Lisa” o Buildings – like the “Eiffel Tower” o Movies – location and times o Recipes – like “baked salmon” o Music – like “country music” o Images – like “cute cats”
  16. 16. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved KNOWLEDGE GRAPH USAGE A recent study of 1.4 million queries, shows that 50 percent or more of users’ queries included a form of Knowledge Graph data: o Featured snippets o Rich answers o Direct answers o Or something similar
  17. 17. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved KNOWLEDGE PANEL o Introduced in 2012 o Also called Knowledge Cards o Two main types: Brand and Local o The data will look different between desktop and mobile o There are four main sources of information: o You: Information you’ve added on Google My Business o Your Website o Users: Information from people who use Google services o Third-party Sources: Information from other places online
  18. 18. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved BRANDEXAMPLE LOCALEXAMPLE
  19. 19. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved KNOWLEDGE BOX (ANSWER BOX) o Introduced in 2013 o Provides simple data as an answer o Does not provide a link to a specific website o Stone Temple Consulting’s graph shows significant year to year growth in usage o Not really possible to manipulate or control these results
  20. 20. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved KNOWLEDGE BOX EXAMPLES
  21. 21. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved FEATURED SNIPPETS o Introduced in 2014 o Known as position zero o Appears above organic results o Links to website or source data o About 30% of search results o Tend to use long-tail keywords o Does not require special coding o Does require great content o Constantly changing results
  22. 22. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved RANKING FOR FEATURED SNIPPETS o Write high quality, long form content o Have a paragraph description to summarize content that is 40-50 words long o Consider questions like what, why, how and write content to answer those questions o Write for humans and remember sematic search o Consider using lists and tables o Organize your content with correct headers (H1, H2, H3) so it’s easy for search engines to follow
  23. 23. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved RICH CARDS o Introduced in 2016, but didn’t roll out to worldwide users until 2017 o Supports content preview in search results o Links to website content o Site owners can influence what content appears in Rich Cards o Requires Structured Data and correct markup
  24. 24. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o The real estate for page one ranking just got a lot smaller if you are relying on old school SEO tactics. o The real estate for page one ranking just got a lot bigger if you are taking advantage of modern SEO tactics. o You can’t just write content and expect you’ll rank. o You have to understand how your website and content interacts with the world around you. o Ranking in organic search requires a blend of on-page SEO, off- page SEO, and a solid understanding of technical SEO. KNOWLEDGE GRAPH TAKEAWAYS
  25. 25. STRUCTURED DATA & SCHEMA
  26. 26. WHAT IS SCHEMA? o Schema.org is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond. o Schema.org provides a collection of shared “vocabularies” webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo! o Over 10 million sites use Schema.org to markup their web pages and email messages. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  27. 27. SCHEMA VOCABULARIES o Vocabularies are the heart of schema. o Vocabularies cover entities and relationships between entities and actions. o Schema.org vocabulary is segmented into two hierarchies: o Data – Boolean, date, number, text, time, etc. o Things – Review, events, podcast, recipe, book, music, comment, and actions. o The core schema vocabulary currently consists of: o 597 Types o 867 Properties o 114 Enumeration values Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  28. 28. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved WHAT IS STRUCTURED DATA? o Structured Data helps search engines see content like a human o Structured Data is not required for all Knowledge Panel results o Google does not guarantee that your structured data will show up in search results o If you are using WordPress, there are many plugins that can help create structured data for you and your website o You must include all the required properties for an object to be eligible for appearance in Google search with enhanced display o Google’s supported mark up includes JSON-LD, microdata, and RDFa
  29. 29. WITHOUT STRUCTURED DATA IN PLACE Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved Google Bot: ”Nice websites, but I don’t understand much about them or their content.”
  30. 30. WITH STRUCTURED DATA IN PLACE Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved Google Bot: ”I totally understand this content and I’ll rank this website well in search.” Place > Hotel Room Place > LocalBusiness > FoodEstablishment > BarOrPub Event > TheaterEvent
  31. 31. STRUCTURED DATA IN USE Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved Place > LocalBusiness > FoodEstablishment > BarOrPub
  32. 32. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o Again – you can’t just write content and expect it to rank in organic search. o You have to understand modern SEO techniques like structured data and know if/how this relates to your site and content. o If you compete against websites using structured data, then you’re going to have to dig in and become one with schema. o Yet you must be careful. What you don’t know can and will hurt you with Google. Poorly implemented schema will cause problems and it will bring forth stern warnings from Googe. SCHEMA TAKEAWAYS
  33. 33. VOICE SEARCH
  34. 34. WHAT IS VOICE SEARCH? o Voice search is driven by digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, Alexa, and Google Assistant o In 2016, Google stated voice search was already 20% of searches o 40% of adults now use voice search once per day according to Location World o Comscore estimates that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  35. 35. RANKING FOR VOICE SEARCH o Voice Search answers questions o Voice search uses long-tail keywords phrases o Voice search is conversational and uses Semantic Search o Voice search users data sources the Knowledge Panel, Featured Snippets, or Google My Business profiles o Voice search also uses Structured Data and Schema o Because voice search is often on mobile, websites have to be mobile ready and load quickly Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  36. 36. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o Again – you can’t just write content and expect it to rank in organic search. You know this now right? o Focus on the human visitor and write content that is presented in a conversational manner. o Keep Semantic Search in mind when you look for keywords and when you write content. o Get your whole house in order and make sure you have solid SEO on-page, off-page, and inside your code. VOICE SEARCH TAKEAWAYS
  37. 37. MOBILE FIRST INDEXING
  38. 38. WHAT IS MOBILE FIRST INDEXING? o Simply means that the mobile version of your website will become the starting point for what Google will include in the index and use for displaying in search results. o If no mobile site exists, Google will use the desktop version. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved MOZ illustration
  39. 39. PREPARING FOR MOBILE FIRST INDEXING o Make sure you have a mobile responsive website, which is Google’s preferred route. o If you are using mobile responsive design, don’t hide data on mobile. o If you are using a completely separate mobile site: o Make sure the content on the mobile website matches the content on the desktop version o Make sure Structured Data matches between websites o Make sure meta matches between sites o Verify both versions and upload both XML sitemaps in Google Search Console Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  40. 40. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o If you have a well coded, responsive website then you should be good to go. This change should not hurt you or your ranking. o If only have an outdated website that is desktop only, you need to upgrade your website to a mobile responsive code structure. o If you have separate websites for mobile and desktop, you need to make sure your mobile website has the content you want indexed and it includes enough content to make you relevant in search. o Don’t fear Google – not every change means the sky is falling. MOBILE FIRST INDEXING TAKEAWAYS
  41. 41. AMP
  42. 42. WHAT IS AMP? o AMP is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages o AMP is a Google project that is designed to help pages load instantly on mobile o AMP strips out “unnecessary” elements that would otherwise weigh down the page o “Unnecessary” is a relative term when talking about AMP usage o AMP isn’t for every website Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  43. 43. USING AMP o While configuring AMP was a scary endeavor when originally launched, it is not as intimidating today thanks to WordPress plugins. o These two plugins will do the majority of the work for implementing AMP on WordPress websites. o The question isn’t if you can implement AMP, it really is do you want and need to do so? Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  44. 44. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o Educate yourself about AMP before jumping in and/or updating your website or blog. o Only implement AMP if it will actually help your website ranking and human visitors. o When implementing AMP, make sure you do so on a staging website so you can see what is removed and what stays. o Don’t always jump on the latest SEO changes – sometimes you have to ride them out to see if they are necessary. AMP TAKEAWAYS
  45. 45. TECHNICAL SEO
  46. 46. OLD TECHNICAL SEO o Crawling and indexing o H1 headers o Meta titles and descriptions o SEO friendly URLs o Robot.txt files o XML sitemaps o Duplicate content o Code bloat o Speed and performance Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved
  47. 47. TODAY’S TECHNICAL SEO o Crawling and indexing o H1 headers o Meta titles and descriptions o SEO friendly URLs o Robot.txt files o XML sitemaps o Duplicate content o Code bloat o Speed and performance Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o Content silos o All subheader usage o Image optimization o Accessibility o Thin content o Breadcrumbs o Archive access o Internal linking o 301 redirections
  48. 48. TODAY’S TECHNICAL SEO…STILL GOING o Content length o Structured data o Social graph usage o Usability o Code validation o Cross browser testing o Broken internal links o Broken external links o Nofollow usage Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o Noindex usage o Mobile responsiveness o 404 errors o Broken images o SSL certificates o HTTPS usage/issues o AMP usage o Hreflang usage/issues o Redirect loops
  49. 49. TODAY’S TECHNICAL SEO…STILL GOING o Canonicalization o Frame usage o Flash usage o URL length o Orphaned pages o Doc types o Anchor text o Tabs and accordions Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o JavaScript usage o Security o Mobile only websites o Crawl rates and budgets o Tag Manager usage o Faceted navigation o Broken backlinks o Malware
  50. 50. WHAT TECHNICAL SEO MEANS TO YOU Technical SEO has shifted a lot in the last few years and it now reaches into the entire website design and development lifecycle: o Graphic design o Content planning o Architecture build out o Hosting selection o Theme coding Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o Data migration o Go-live audits o Post-live audits o On-going maintenance o Annual health checks
  51. 51. Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved o SEO is becoming more and more complex. o SEO isn’t a one-time event. o SEO isn’t something you can pass onto the intern and hope for the best. o Everyone needs to have a basic understanding of what technical SEO is and how it alters the website development process. o Developers need to truly understand what technical SEO is and how it alters their work before, during, and after launch. o Marketers need to understand the basics of technical SEO and only outsource work to those who also understand it. TECHNICAL SEO TAKEAWAYS
  52. 52. MODERN SEO IS HOLISTIC Copyright Web Savvy Marketing, All Rights Reserved Page One Rank Research Strategy & Planning Keyword Mapping High Quality Content On-Page Optimization Off-Page Optimization Technical SEO Reporting SEO is an ongoing journey. SEO spans the entire lifecycle of a website or blog. SEO requires an organizational/team approach. SEO can no longer belong to marketing alone.
  53. 53. Q&A
  54. 54. Twitter: @RebeccaGill Join me for a three day Technical SEO summit in March! This event is designed specifically for WordPress developers, implementers, and agencies. Summit Takeaways: Create WordPress websites that are backed by SEO best practices. Clear through the internet clutter to focus on what really matters in WordPress SEO. Quote and deliver best in class deliverables to your customers. Differentiate yourself from others in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Increased per project pricing, by providing a much-needed service. Offer options for long-term and recurring services. SEO friendly websites deliver ROI and create happier clients. Position your clients for success and long-term stainability with organic search. Register: diyseocourses.com/tech-seo/ Use promo code ModernSEO to save 25% now through Friday.

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