SEO Rankings Are Still King

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Mike Paffman, CEO, Virgo PR

Nothing delivers more visitors to a brand’s website than high SEO rankings. This was never more important than during the pandemic as millions of consumers flocked to search engines looking for products and information. In the new normal, SEO will continue to be important as many consumers are expected to retain their dependence on digital platforms to browse and shop, and Public Relations helps a lot with SEO.

Another Twist

What’s slightly different this time around is that many consumers will be searching and purchasing on their mobile devices. More than 60% of consumer search traffic in the U.S. alone is being performed on digital devices, according to Statista. Differences between the earlier favored laptop and mobile devices make it even more important for marketers to adapt quickly to the changing marketplace. Navigation and loading times will be especially important to assess and adapt to for mobile user success.

Google Priorities

Top search engine, Google, already recognized the popularity of mobile devices. It adapted last year by displaying the mobile version of brand websites instead of the desktop ones. While keywords remain important, Google also penalizes brands that use the same words too frequently in what’s called “keyword stuffing.”  Be sure to employ keywords where they’re most important like title, subheads, and meta information. Otherwise, its algorithm may punish brands for overuse. 

Getting into Google’s answer box can reap additional rewards. These highlighted boxes stand out from and above the regular array of headers and accompanying paragraphs that usually appear in search results. There’s no magic formula or trick to getting an answer box but the following tips can be helpful.

Getting An Answer Box

Find out what consumers are commonly asking about the brand’s keywords, products or services. Look at “Also Try” at the bottom of the Google search page for other ideas. Craft helpful articles with clear content of 50 words of less that address each popular question while using lists and subheads. Give out sufficient information that encourages visitors to then follow through and visit the brand’s website. There’s still no guarantee that Google will create an answer box but doing so improves your chances. 

May of this year is also the target date for Google to debut its core web vitals algorithm. It’s intended to measure how easy it is for consumers to use and interact with brand websites. Marketers who haven’t yet acquired and used some of the tools Google has available to prepare for this need to jump on it right away.

Other Tips

There are a host of other tips that can help improve SEO rankings. Some, like improving the loading speed on website landing pages, relaunching old content, content partnerships, and using sitelinks were covered in previous articles. Other things that can help include getting the brand’s site into featured snippets, identifying and targeting new keywords, and getting backlinks from content curators. 

Google is a vital player in the world of SEO. As such, it’s important for marketers to get as good an understanding of Google Analytics and to leverage its potential as much as possible. By properly applying it and using a program that integrates with it, marketers can also see what browsers visitors are using and the most popular mobile devices being used. Which social media platforms consumers are coming from and competitor traffic data are also available and accessible through Google Analytics.