SEO

The end goal of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is profitable leads without paying for Ads. When Google trusts your site and ranks it at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), you will get more clicks and those clicks should result in leads.

But the SEO landscape is always changing. What worked only one year ago doesn’t necessarily work today, and what works today may not work tomorrow. As Google makes updates to its algorithms, the way we need to optimize our websites and content must change along with it.

So, is SEO still important, and what works in 2022 and beyond?

Making sure your website matches the searcher’s intent

Google have stated that their mission includes ensuring any person searching on Google gets the right information at the right time in the format that’s most useful to their query[1].

From a search perspective Google’s primary client is not the plumber trying to improve her rank (except when that plumber is paying for Ads – but that’s a different article that you can read right here), or the chartered accountant looking for more clients. Their primary client is, for example, the person searching for ear buds on their mobile phone.

By looking at a range of clues, Google decides whether the searcher is trying to find a specific brand of ear buds, doing some research on the technology involved, or wanting to purchase ear buds at an online store.

So, the SERPs could include a range of leading ear bud brands, Wikipedia or other informational pages, or websites that will allow them to purchase ear buds online.

So, what does your webpage offer and for whom? What action do you want them to take on your page?

Customer persona infographic

The job of SEO is to help Google understand very clearly who you intend to help, where and how, so that they can deliver the most accurate results to the searcher. SEO makes sure the right people discover your page and are compelled to visit.

Just using the right keywords doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to ensure that all of the clues that Google are checking lead to the right conclusion and serve your website to the people you want to engage with you.

Keeping searchers engaged on your website

When Google includes your website in the SERPs, they then measure what happens to every searcher who clicks through to your site.

If Google gets the impression that searchers successfully found what they are looking for then they will keep presenting your website in the SERPs. If Google see a low level of engagement with your site, such as people dropping off within seconds, they will downgrade it and look for a better match elsewhere.

This is tricky, because Google cannot always tell if the searcher dropped off because they found the answer they wanted quickly, or if they decided they wouldn’t find the answer at all.

However, Google will also notice if searchers keep coming back to your site, how many pages they engage with, and how long they stay.

User engagement factors infographic

 

So, the goal of searcher engagement is to create a positive user experience (UX) that encourages searchers to stay on your site and explore it further.

This is where SEO is critical.

To encourage searchers to click through to your website, your content must be compelling and interesting. Your headlines should be attention grabbing, and your descriptions should be clear and concise.

Your website should be optimised with the user in mind, including an easy-to-use interface and a clean, simple design. The results they are looking for should be discovered quickly and easily and be presented in a format that they will enjoy and engage with.

Your content should be well-written, informative, as well as easy to read and understand. The overall user experience on your website should be positive, with no dead ends or frustrating experiences.

But that’s just the beginning. If you want users to keep returning you need to keep adding relevant and engaging material. Make it easy for them to purchase, to make repeat purchases, and to increase their spend over time.

Creating an excellent mobile device experience

As of May 2022, 58.26% of all web traffic came through mobile phones.[2] Accordingly, for many years now, Google have been making search result decisions based only on the mobile version of your website.

Therefore, the mobile version of your website needs to be as good, if not better, than your desktop version. This varies between industries, so make sure you make any changes based on accurate data (ask your SEO).

The role of SEO is to consider the user experience when designing your website for mobile devices. This includes making sure that buttons and links are large enough to be easily clicked on, and that your content is easy to read on a small screen.

Mobile friendly websites

 

Also, make sure your website is responsive and adapts to the different screen sizes of mobile devices. This means that your website will look good and be easy to use, no matter what device someone is using to access it.

Optimize your images for mobile screens and present information in short paragraphs, bullet points, and headlines that are easy to scan.

Become the authority in your sector

Google is constantly looking for webpage that provide the most relevant information to the most common search queries, in the most helpful and trustworthy way.

Gone are the days when lots of little articles on plumbing will continue to rank highly. If 100 plumbers all write generic articles on how to fix a dripping tap, Google is left to choose a site at random.

In 2022 and beyond SEO includes making sure that your website includes high-quality content that is relevant to your sector. You need to add unique and original content that is more comprehensive and valuable than your competitor’s.

This way, Google will see you as the most trustworthy and relevant expert in your field and present you at the top of the SERPs.

 

By implementing SEO correctly, you will continue to dominate SERPS, attract organic traffic, and gain more and more profitable leads.

 

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[1] https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/ accessed 25/7/2022

[2] https://www.oberlo.co.nz/statistics/mobile-internet-traffic accessed 25/7/2022