People are scouring the Internet for various answers to everyday queries. For brands’ websites to be seen, their sites need to land on the first few pages or the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). This way, they can generate traffic to their websites and attract potential clients. To do this, they need to utilize the right search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, employ different algorithms to select which sites and shops land on the first few SERPs. These companies also continuously improve their algorithms. In 2018 alone, Google made 3,234 updates to its algorithm. As digital marketers and entrepreneurs, it is a must to be knowledgeable about search engine optimization (SEO) updates to attract the right people on their sites. Read on to find out 7 SEO updates you need to start working on:
Google BERT Update
Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is a significant Google update that was launched on October 21, 2019. Moreover, it is a considerable contribution to the field of natural language processing. Before the launch of BERT, a Transformer, which is a learning model, can only read texts from left to right or combined left to right and right to left. This process results in a limited understanding of search queries.
When BERT was introduced, Google can now understand search queries by looking at the context of a word concerning other words in the same sentence. It can also perceive the intent of questions. Thus, BERT allows for a deeper understanding of Google queries. As an outcome, it can deliver relevant, accurate, and user-focused results.
With this significant change in algorithm, digital marketers need to ensure that their sites’ contents are always relevant and of the highest quality. Updating their existing content is a great way to land on the first few SERPs, if not on the featured snippet. Aside from this approach, keywords optimization is also a helpful method. Utilize primary and secondary keywords and make sure that these words are aligned with your posts’ context.
Aside from words, web content is also composed of other files such as recordings, images, and videos. Proper usage and generation of these files is an incredible method to boost your SEO. Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) and Portable Network Graphics (PNG) are commonly used image file compression.
But, there is a rising image file type in the form of WebP. WebP is developed by Google to provide impressive lossless and lossy compression of images. With lossless compression, all data in the image remains after the image is uncompressed. In contrast, lossy compression reduces file size by removing redundant data. WebP lossless images are 26% smaller than their PNG counterparts, and WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than their JPEG equivalent.
WebP helps digital entrepreneurs post smaller but high-quality images on their sites. Since WebP image files are smaller, they permit faster loading of websites and applications. In this way, digital entrepreneurs can retain site visitors.
Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness (EAT)
Google gives emphasis to the EAT method for evaluating websites. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Google utilizes the EAT method because it wants only to present websites and pages that are trustworthy. Even content creators are evaluated using this method.
Your site will be placed at the top of SERPs if Google finds your site or you as an expert in your field. You need to demonstrate that your website stands out in terms of knowledge in a particular area. Google is always comparing different sites’ and authors’ expertise to display quality information on its SERPs.
Authority is also a crucial aspect of Google’s website evaluation. A specialist in a particular field must write your site’s contents. For instance, medical articles must be written by health care professionals to establish proper authority. In this way, site visitors will only be presented with pages that possess reliable information.
Lastly, Google wants to display web pages that can be trusted. One measure of Google’s trust is a backlink. Thus, the search engine will trust your website if other highly-trusted sites cite your pages. Your website should demonstrate expertise, authority, and trustworthiness for it to be displayed at the top of SERPs. If not, Google will choose other sites that exemplify such qualities.
Featured Snippet Optimization
Google introduced featured snippets for people on-the-go. A featured page is located at the top of a SERP because a search engine decides that it is the best answer to a query. It is also called the position zero, and it is the most coveted position of digital marketers. But, it is not enough to be on the featured snippet. Your content must be enticing enough to attract site visitors.
Two strategies can help you optimize your web pages for a featured snippet. First, it is crucial to increase your site’s organic ranking. Google chooses the featured piece from the top five pages in the search results. You can improve your site’s organic ranking by identifying target keywords and attracting high-quality links. Second, you must make it easy for Google to locate an answer for a query or multiple queries.
Although Google favors high-quality and relevant content, they are not the only qualities integral to SEO. Your website’s data must be structured in a way that Google understands. In effect, your site will have higher chances of landing on the first page of search results.
By organizing your site’s data, you can help search engines to discover how your site’s elements relate to one another. Structured data will also deliver rich results. These results are composed of contextualized keywords, images, and other visuals. Thus, visitors will be more compelled to visit your page.
Image Search Optimization
The number of people who use image search is increasing. With a click, people can identify and search for information about the items and establishments around them. Image search is helpful for directions, shopping, nutritional information, among other things. Thus, it is essential to prepare for this trend in SEO.
You can improve your image SEO by using descriptive file names and by writing alternative (alt) text for every image in your site. Additionally, the image must be from a reputable source. It is also essential to place the image at the top of your web page.
Impeccable User Experience
Lastly, it is not enough that only Google understands your content. It is more imperative that site visitors can easily navigate your website. When creating a website, digital marketers need to consider the overall experience of their visitors. In this way, they can retain visitors. A great overall experience includes fast site and page loading.
By knowing these SEO updates, you can improve your website’s rankings while imparting great experience to your site visitors.
Guest post courtesy of Ryan Gamilla