SEO is a regular task but there are many key practices that optimization professionals miss. Also, in the Post Covid-19 market conditions, SEO practice has also changed a lot. Old ways to gain traffic through optimization are not going to work now. Therefore, Designhill conducted an online session with SEO experts sharing their experience on how to best explore SEO optimization for your website to have a consistent flow of traffic. Have a look!
In the Post-Covid 19 situation, the SEO professionals are finding it hard to cope up with the new challenges. They are coming up with new tricks and guidelines to drive traffic toward websites. So, it is overall about how to keep the basics of SEO in place and make strategic optimization changes to ensure traffic inflow.
To discuss the new optimization strategies, Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, conducted a session with the SEO experts. The topic was: How To Build And Optimize SEO For Your Website To Get Traffic.
- How to make the content rank on google search?
- How to discover the high relevance keywords that people are actually using to find you & your competitors?
- Identifying best opportunities to drive the most traffic to your website
- How you can use your blog content to build a stronger base?
- How to double your click-through rates by optimizing your snippet?
- Analyze relevant SERP features to provide a more user-friendly experience
- Google BERT (Bidirectional, Encoder, Representation, Transformers) update & how does it impact your SEO?
- Content Strategies, Link Building—Customer-Centric Strategies for 2021
Know Your Experts:
Barry Schwartz specializes in customized online technology that helps decrease costs while increasing sales. He is the CEO & President of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm. RustyBrick sells custom web software including advanced e-commerce, custom content management systems, social networking sites, CRM applications, custom web-based business software, iPhone applications, and much more.
Liraz Postan is a renowned SEO and Content Expert with a rich experience of over 13 years. She is the Founder & CEO of Liraz Postan LTD. She is an International SEO speaker at global conferences: from SMX, SEMrush online offline and online events to BrightonSEO and more.
Liraz led SEO and content strategies from B2C to B2B, from Gaming to business niches. Her last role was SEO and Content Director at Outbrain, where she led all content marketing strategy, editorial calendar, and smart 2B2 SEO strategies.
Mark Traphagen is the VP of Product Marketing and Training at SEO Clarity. He speaks at major conferences such as SMX, State of Search, Pubcon, and many more. He has conducted webinars with numerous industry leaders and writes regularly for the top sites in our industry, including monthly columns for Search Engine Journal and Marketing Land.
In this blog, we’ve shared the video of the session and transcript in the form of Q/A where you’ll be learning everything about how to build and optimize your website to get more traffic.
Transcript (Q/A): Here Is What The Experts Have To Say On How To Optimize SEO For Your Website
Designhill: How to discover the high-relevance keywords that people are using to find your business’s services and your competitors?
Know what your audience wants
Liraz Postan: We can automate this process, of course, using SEO clarity or some SEO platforms that we have today. But to begin with, I would go and find out what the audience is looking for exactly. I can talk to users, tell the support team, talk with the help to know what the audience needs. The support sales team can help me. They can help know what keywords competitors are looking at.
All these kinds of things should be incorporated in this nice list for us to expand it to long-tail and short-tail stories. It is also to ensure that we target the right language that people use to convert users into our product. I am personally using it to automate all this process after talking to the various teams. I am using other platforms to automate this process and to make this process even easier for me.
Then, I will take out the questions and long tails that can easily have a quick win for this like it has low competition, but most of the time. Let us say this is my two cents about keyword research.
Start with keyword research
Mark Traphagen: I represent an SEO software tool and so we see a huge scale across 1000s of sites of all sizes. What we see more and more is that you have to select the fundamental keyword research. That is where you start learning.
But Google now has advanced AI-based tools, machine-learning-based tools, or national natural language processing. These have helped Google to better understand at scale. Now Google understands the way that entities work together. Google knows the way that com words that people use that mean the same things or have some audience similarity. It is getting more and more complex, and a little bit difficult at scale, it is getting harder to figure that out. If you are just doing it based on brainstorming or a simple basic keyword tool.
Know your high audience similarities
Enterprise-based tools are probably going to be too expensive for most people in the audience. But we know we do this at a huge scale for some of the largest companies in the world. These companies are using machine learning processing to back engineer and find out where the audience similarities are. They want to find out where people use terms that you might never come up with in your basic keyword research.
Google is seeing high overlap, high audience similarity, high intense similarity to the main keywords you research. How do you do that? If you are starting I think a good way is to take the time for your main keywords and the main topics for ranking. Then spend some time investigating the top ranking sites.
Do these searches on Google. Look at the content, examine it, see what’s in there? What are they? What else? Are they talking about, or are they using? What are some areas that they are covering or their completeness in that you are that, that maybe you are not doing? It is a way of going beyond simple tools.
Listen to customers and answer them
Barry Schwartz: One thing is you always look at what your customers are saying. Maybe people are calling you to look at your call logs and know how people are referencing your products. What questions are they asking your support team? Try to answer those questions on your website, using, maybe FAQs or whatever it might be.
Looking at your analytics, the people also ask bots in the Google search results. They gave some amazing answers so far. But when people call you, that means your customers, your prospects are calling you. How are they referencing your actual product? What kind of questions are they asking that you can write into blog posts or articles on your website to rank for?
Designhill: What are some lesser-known SEO tips and ways that can help businesses to take advantage of the Google map pack and get a high ranking when searched locally?
Have your Google Business account
Barry Schwartz: The first thing you want to do is to claim your Google My Business account. Go to google.com/business, to claim your account. Then make sure to keep updating it, meaning add Google posts, images, and any services you are offering. They can give you services or products. You see a lot of local businesses being able to sell directly off of their Google My Business profile, which is great.
Also, if you are a restaurant or type of service, you could have takeout, appointment, delivery options, and curbside pickup. Nowadays, especially during COVID. And make sure you have the q&a feature in the Google My Business profile on the search side. Fill out those questions and answers like people are asking questions. Make sure to read what they are saying.
Another keyword research idea is like what customers are saying about you can get a lot of great information from those. But you answer those questions not like your disgruntled customer and answer them on your behalf because that can lead to pretty bad things. But remaining tabs that people often do not look at is to utilize everything within Google My Business to the full extent. Use everything possible, fill it out completely, and you should benefit greatly from it. Any insights into it?
Local businesses benefit from this tool
Liraz Postan: I have a client in us that is doing Botox, like a medical spa. And she is getting most of her business via Google My Business that we just launched two months ago. I think a lot of local businesses are missing it. And it is a waste as a free tool. It is something that you can use and incorporate. Make sure that you use the reviews and also send your happy clients and everything like a link to directly review your professional service.
Also, we are updating coupons, their specific offers per month. It is working great. She is also doing a direct booking as you can also book an appointment directly via Google My Business. It is like an amazing experience for everyone. And yeah, I think like the majority of the business that we’re doing today is like, via Google My Business, it is another asset for her. And it is just rapidly growing her competitors and everybody is noticing it, and it is a competitive advantage that we need to take a look at.
Designhill: Why should any business focus more on relevance value and trust as key link-building metrics?
Mark Traphagen: The question has to deal with linking naturally, I call it organically, as opposed to going out and link building. Link building is the practice of going out and soliciting. Or, it is trying to actively find requests sites to link to you, or incentivize them in some way to link to you. When we talk about linking organically, we mean attracting links like producing things that people want to link to. I think there are just two fundamental components to that.
Have link-worthy content
The first is probably obvious, but it is still underdone by most people. And that’s simply having link-worthy content. That means producing unique content on your site that fulfills a need. It answers a question and shares something very interesting that nobody else is talking about. Also, it becomes an authoritative source. It will depend on your vertical and what you are doing.
You have access to unique data, publish some study, answer a question, and have the best reviews. Then, that is something that people might want to link to. That is because people want to have a source that they cite, and say this is that.
Promote your organic content
The other factor for organic linking is that people can not link to what they do not know about. You have to invest in promoting your content in different ways. That can be done by paid ads, by building up an email newsletter, or by your social media efforts.
For me, I think one of the best promotional ways is by building relationships within your industry or related industries. You should build relationships with other very active people.
That allows them to get to know you to see your content and want to recommend it and refer to it. Whatever way that comes, you can not just build it and then, they will come. So, you have to promote it, they have to get it out there, where it is seen. People are talking about it and then want to link to it.
Put original images on your website
Liraz Postan: There is another strategy. If you are generating original photos, images, you can place them on your website. People link organic to original images. They can also appear on Google Search images. Google image search service, sorry. There is a lot of room for you to get original. You can get unique backlinks just by creating valuable and original content.
Your content must be insightful for the user so that they link back and give you a source back to the original image. One of my clients is a lawyer. And we always like to make sure that we are simplifying the content. Usually, law firm content is in a long format. We try if it is a process article, so we try to incorporate it like an infographic for processes. One, two, this is the process timeline, how do you get your immigration visa or something like that.
Useful content helps get links
That can also be appearing on Google image search, and people are linking to it organically. You can do that effortlessly as it is just like a design. That is a super quick win for us. Just try and think out of the box. What will make people link back to you? What kind of sources can you give them? Is it data? Is it images? Is it info? Is it a certain map directory of older kinds of mini services in a specific location that you can just link to it? Just think out of the box specifically for your business.
Barry Schwartz: What you guys are doing in the chat box here right now. It is like guys take a screenshot and post it on Twitter and share it. That is you have to tell people to do stuff. You can pay them to do that. It is against the guidelines as Mark said. But back in the old days like 20 years ago, there was no such thing as not asking people to link to you. You were allowed to give people gifts or pay for linking to you.
But then Google came up with the No-follow. It was a way to reduce comment spam in blogs. People were abusing comments, dams, and blogs to kind of build links in a very spammy way. But then people started expanding the Nofollow attribute also for people who are doing link building that may be against their guidelines.
Focus on the content side
Google’s guidelines around link building have gone from do not spam. People are asked to not pay for links, not to give people gifts, and such links do not work. And people were on the wrong way after they gave you a link.
You just have to be careful and just focus on the content side. Promote that content, but never directly ask people to link to you. That is because Google might dig, and then you never know who is looking for natural, great content that’s unique. That’s awesome. People will want to link anyway, so you’ll be fine.
Designhill: What are the key elements which determine a potential linking partner site quality?
Barry Schwartz: I think the question itself would be a dangerous one to ask. I mean you do not want to have a partner when it comes to potential link partners. That sounds like you have some type of link scheme going on between different partners. and so forth. Maybe, you are looking for a relevant site that you want links from. Or, maybe you want to ask the person who writes there, hey, look, on my site, I have great content.
Build network and relationships
You want to build those networks, your relationships with people in the industry. How do you find those people in the industry that have a good reputation? You just read their content. Look who ranks well for those keywords that you are trying to rank for and see what content they are writing. And then write content on your website that maybe they find worthy, every day.
I am pretty well known in the SEO space for writing about SEO. And every day, I come out with a list of close to 50 articles that people write, not that I write. I write around 10 articles a day. But there are other people in the industry, and I probably linked to about 50 articles per day in my newsletter, and I published it on my website.
I am looking for great content constantly. And experts or authorities are looking for that content too and you kind of have to make those relationships. Networking with those people, understanding who they are, and finding them but I wouldn’t necessarily call them a partner that can get you in trouble.
Assess the quality of linking sites
Mark Traphagen: Bill Slutsky is an expert on Google patents and looking at a patent about how they might assess a site that’s linking to you. I think it is a good opportunity. You want to be very careful about having link-building partners. But the assessment of the sites that are linking to you and their quality is important. That is because ultimately, that’s something that Google assesses.
But the bottom line is the things that you might expect. It is its authority and relevance that matters. Does the content that’s linking to you was written by a human author? Is there some expertise behind it? What’s the overall quality of the site that it is coming from? Google’s getting better at assessing those things. You need to be paying some attention to who’s linking to you. Ensure that you get lines from quality sites and not from spam.
Liraz Postan: We can call a website, like a link partner or something like that. If we’re building an article for the sake of link building, it can be a wonderful piece on how the wonderful publisher-publisher can drive so much traffic and so much conversion to you without any link. What are you looking at? What is the end goal here? If you are looking to just grab the link. Maybe it is not a good strategy for you.
Look for a credible publisher site
I would go and aim for a site, a publisher site that can target my audience, and I can write a useful article for them. That article can be exposed or more of an opinion or more of thought leadership there. I would go and seek for that. If I can get a branded link there, just for the sake of it, that’s fine. That is for credit, for the content that I created with so much hard work.
But to create an exact anchor text link and an exact guest post in a spammy website that only made it to host the SEO posts there. I think Google is way smarter than that. Google is discounting those links anyway. You ended up paying for these links, and basically, it doesn’t give you anything. This is my go-to strategy for this. I tried to focus on quality versus quantity and all these kinds of spammy blogs PBN sites that are only there, just to host your guest blog there.
Designhill: Is there any recommended tool for a website?
So many tools available
Liraz Postan: I think my day-to-day tool is SEMrush for sure. But I am a tool freak, using so many tools. But the main tool is your eyes and sometimes we keep forgetting it. I do meet a lot of SEOs that are just looking at the tool and they do not see anything else. They do not manually check the site. And it is something that we keep forgetting. I am using the Screaming Frog, SEMrush, and Rank Rancher
But I now believe that content is king. There are so many tools that I am just automating my work as an agency. I need to be more efficient with my time. This is the main thing that I am doing with it, using my eyes and my understanding of SEO is the best tool that we can get. And I think it is something that a lot of SEOs keep forgetting about.
Lots of tools are there, but they cannot give you the knowledge. It is just like a machine. Do not only count on automation and SEO tools. Use your eyes to navigate to experience the site as a user.
You can use the free tools Google allows you to use like Search Console, Google PageSpeed, and Insights. Use these analytics. For instance, I use Search Console as it is so much approved, improved in the last year two years ago. I think it is, if I am looking at the first day in the morning, I am looking at my, how do I rank and also on the Search Console statistics? For me, it is better than analytics today.
Mark Traphagen: I am going to mention the tool SEO. It is primarily an enterprise-level tool. But it might be out of the range of a lot of the audience here. Anybody responsible for SEO on a much larger site can use this tool to an incredible scale. You need an all-in-one tool that brings everything together in one place. One source of truth for your SEO, I invite you to certainly check out SEO clarity.
But there is another tool that we provide and is easily accessible. It is a Chrome extension called Spark Content Optimizer. You can install that in your Chrome browser, it is free, and it gives you a lot of insights on any page on the web. It doesn’t matter if it is your page or competitors’ page, you can get a lot of insights for free right out of that little tool. There are several useful free tools.
Designhill: Should we add keywords with a business name on GBM, or only a natural name should be used?
Barry Schwartz: Use just a natural name. Do not stuff keywords and do not spam the internet.
Mark Traphagen: I am not in local SEO. But what Barry has said about keywords certainly sounds like good advice to me based on everything else. We know what Google’s looking at these days.
Designhill: Where should beginners start their ventures in SEO?
Learn keyword research
Mark Traphagen: Many believe that keyword research is dead because Google doesn’t just look at keywords anymore. And it is true to a certain level. But it is not just about having the right words on the page or the individual words. It is now about doing basic keyword research and investing yourself in learning to do that.
There is a lot of great free content out there on how to get started in keyword research. Because it starts to make you aware of what your audience is talking about and what they are looking for. Also, do not depend on your brainstorming, you are going to always have blind spots in this. Get just one good area to get started and educate yourself on.
No one perfect way to do SEO
Liraz Postan: Beginners can start by reading some blogs and seeing some visual content. You can learn from so many webinars and educational content these days. There is no one truth to SEO. Instead, there are a lot of strategies to tackle SEO. You just need to know what things to avoid and how Google has changed. What things can hurt your site? But there’s no one truth that I can say this is the way to do SEO, there’s none.
Create your call strategy and see what your strengths are. A lot of SEO that is good with on-page SEO, there is a lot of SEO that is good with the technical side of SEO. choose the best way for you to do or to focus on specific things and SEO and start learning it deeply. There are other tactics that you can learn. There’s so much online content there today.
Barry Schwartz: Beginners can start with Google SEO Guide. Then, Moz has a good guide. There are tons of great SEO guides. There are lots of books out there if you want to buy a book. Lena comes out with learning seo.io, which has pretty much all of the resources that we probably will forget to mention. There are tons of them. If you want to learn SEO, and you want to find what works for you, go to all layers learning seo.io. And you’ll probably find tons of different resources there to learn.
Designhill: What are some of the latest Google algorithm updates for SEO in 2021?
Google Core Updates
Barry Schwartz: A lot of people are talking about the page experience update. It was just launched on June 15. I think on June 2, Google released the June 2021 core update, which a lot of SEOs feel. There’s going to be another core update in July. Usually, Google does core updates every three to several months. But Google said they are releasing a June core update and the July core update because things were 100% ready to release everything at once.
Between that, Google launched the June core update that was released on June 2 through June 12. On June 15, Google said they were starting to release their Google page experience update. They have been talking about it since a year and a half ago.
The game is time to prepare and make your sites fast. Make sure they do not jump all over the place. Make them HTTPS. I mean, there’s a bunch of things called core vitals LCP find calls that are more dramatically TLS. And the core of vitals is someone new. They are about a year and a half old. It is measurements where Google says, is your website fast and good in terms of the pain experience?
Access tons of Google reports
Google has tons of reports on that you can go to the PageSpeed tool, different Chrome extensions, and Google Search Console. You can check how well you are doing with the page experience update as well. They have a bunch of reports in there.
Updates have no impact on site ranking
Generally, these types of pre-announced updates are announced in a year or months. But those updates have very little impact on a site’s ranking. There are many updates such as HTTPS update, mobile-friendly update, and mobile interstitials update.
But all these updates from Google generally are not about relevancy and ranking the most relevant content. Instead, they are a way of encouraging webmasters and site owners to improve their websites. That helps the web, in general, become better for Google searches or the web as being so generally it works.
But these updates freak out SEOs as they panic to create different plans to sell to their clients. A lot of big companies freak out and say we got to make our site experience, make it mobile-friendly, do these curved vitals. But while they do not hurt, you are not going to see a big ranking boost. It is like tiebreakers, small little weights that are assigned to it. Do it but you will not see a huge change with it. Do not expect big updates in terms of your rankings with the page experience update.
Core updates and vitals are different
The page experience updating just started rolling out last week on June 15. It will go through the end of August. They will have a type of core update during that time. I hate that Google core calls these Google core updates when we have the core of vitals.
People do not confuse Google core with Vitals. They are completely different. Core updates kind of have a massive impact on people’s sites. You can see traffic dropped 90% overnight, whereas these paid experience updates will probably have very little impact if anything on your website.
Updates are not big ranking factors
Mark Traphagen: Google doesn’t put heavy weight on these updates as ranking factors. But there may be a situation where somebody puts in a query. You put two pages of content highly relevant to the query, and it is good quality content. Still, the page experience of the site may differ from that of other sites. Meaning that a site loads better and is easier and secure to use for the user, and is mobile-friendly. In that case, Google says that we might probably give the bump to that page experience-friendly site. Bump means they are going to move up one position, up above that other one.
There is not going to be a huge spike or drop in your rankings or your traffic because of the page experience update. But you are building quality content, have got a quality, well-structured site, getting quality links, investing in promoting a page experiences make sense. It is going to create a better experience for your users. That’s always a good thing.
Do those little good things to your site
Because ultimately, once you get users to your site through SEO, you want to keep them there. You want to have them have a good experience so that they engage with you. Then, they will ultimately buy your product or service. Google encourages us to do a lot of things even if they do not have major effects on ranking. They are just good things to do for the business of your site.
But then also for just getting that slight advantage, it is going to maybe bring you a little bit more traffic to rank better. So, for a few queries here and there might be a valuable thing to do. Summing up, what I am saying is that it is not a must-do. It is not that we got to put everything else on hold and get our core vitals right. But it is still a good thing to do. If you have the time and ability to do it.
Liraz Postan: I hate the fact that people are waking up for user experience, let us say signals, just when Google says they have to do it. let us say take you back to mobile. If you do not have a responsive site, we’re going to delete your search or something like that. Or, or so people are waking up saying business owners, your website is slow, you have a bad experience, you are not serving any mobile experience. And now, you have this huge update. You are starting to shake your business more dramatically. I think we shouldn’t do it.
Make your site mobile-responsive
I think we should invest more so that our site is mobile responsive and fast-loading. Some business owners go crazy when there are certain updates. We should always serve the best experience to our users. It is like an extra flank. John Mueller said that if you implement a Href Lang on your site, and you are serving all the rest, like in a bad experience, lousy content, nothing there. You will be ranking more like you will be ranking more naturally on international SEO strategy and everything. No, it is just like you just implemented the nature of flying.
The same for going for covert volatiles. You may have 100-100 scores for a mobile and desktop. But if you do not have good content and while there are many popups and ads on your site, you do not serve any query satisfaction to your users. Then, you won’t get those rankings.
Think of users all the time
So first, think of the users. What the user is looking to find on your website? Is it valuable information? Does this solve their query? And the rest will come up to that. But we do not need to wait for a Google update just to invest in user experience.
Designhill: What is mobile-first indexing that Google has recently introduced?
Mark Traphagen: Mobile-first indexing just fits in the same category of the core of vitals or the page experience update. Most people building a website and to get traffic and good customer experience on it, now are invested in a mobile-friendly site. It has shifted from something that was like a hot topic a few years ago to something like Google’s moving toward mobile-friendly, do we need to do it now? Should we do it next year? Is it just to be done as basic?
Mobile-first is a basic practice
Stop thinking about this in terms of SEO or ranking. It is simply the undeniable fact that the vast majority of the world is using the web and mobile devices. And that’s only growing. So, why would you not want to have them have a good experience on your site? I don’t even think about this in terms of SEO factor anymore, or a moment like that. I think about it in terms of just like, good, basic practice. Any site that wants to be used by people and attractive to people?
Barry Schwartz: Mobile-first indexing is not new. Google’s been pushing it and announced it in March of 2018. It is taking Google forever to switch over to mobile-first. And mobile-first, indexing is not something that we do. It is something that’s Google doing. Google has a mobile-friendly update, which was older than that, I think 2016, which is something that we do to make our sites mobile-friendly.
Mobile-First Indexing is around what Google’s doing. Google’s indexing the web, using their Googlebot their spiders crawling the web, from a mobile-first perspective. They will crawl the web like a phone. We will look at it as opposed to what a desktop browser would look at it as. And that’s what’s called mobile-first indexing.
Mobile-first indexing is essential
Most sites have already been moved over to mobile-first indexing. They were supposed to be 100% mobile-first indexing complete by I think, a month ago. But that deadline was pushed off. And it was originally supposed to be September 2020. Because of COVID, they said they pushed off march of 2021. And even today, they are still not 100% mobile-first indexing the web.
There are a bunch of sites supposedly that are just still so slow and something weird that only could be desktop indexing. Not sure why. But either way, again, there’s no ranking benefit or reduction because Google’s doing mobile-first indexing is more of how Google operates. Versus mobile-friendly update, which is about making sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Liraz Postan: There was a huge brand that asked me while I was walking and everything that I needed to connect my device. And basically, I had to log in. And they said the experience was mobile. They sent me the link to my mobile and I had to expand, everything was super not friendly. It is a huge brand, They are not even taking care of their mobile presence and not even SEO. From a brand perspective, you need to invest your user experience in the best way also to preserve your brand identity. Think of your user vs user.
Designhill: How SEO works for non-textual content like for new businesses who have just started?
Liraz Postan: For some niches maybe this can work. Let us say, I am a photographer, I do not have a lot of things that I can write about in terms of my work. But if I am trying to compete with other search terms, I would need to write about some kind of a guide or things. For instance, what are the photoshoot headshots, best practices, or things like that?
Textual content is a must for ranking
I never see a site that can rank without any textual content. You do need to write something because your user is seeking something. But, let us say, I can incorporate videos and I can have the transcript of those videos. I can use images and infographics. But I also need to make sure that I am writing something, inside that kind of infographics and images. This page will make sense. It will have something to say for users that are not interested in reading, but just watching a video right now.
So, we all need to see what is the niche? What am I trying to rank for? Are my competitors using non-contextual content? That’s fine, I can outsmart them in different ways. But I hardly see this happening.
Mark Traphagen: Google is still largely a text-based engine. Yes, they, we have begun to see some evidence of them being able to understand an image on itself or be able to process words within a video. They are picking out key moments in a video on YouTube, or something like that. But still, by and large, Google is analyzing text on the web. You have got to get the text on there.
When I was at Stone Temple with Eric Ganga, we did a lot of tests with clients with e-commerce sites. You just even add a little bit of content onto a product page or improve the description. Its amazing result is in terms of traffic that comes from organic search, Google’s hungry for text.
Put content on a new site right away
The advice here is that if you have got a new site, start building some content as soon as you can. And if you are starting fresh, Google doesn’t know you from Adam. Start into calls from the beginning, even if it means you are not going to have a ton of content turned out. Do not just turn out content for content’s sake, but invest in. Starting by writing a few good pages that answer the user’s query. Do something better than the other things you see in the top 10 on the search results page. You have to move to that content production as soon as you can.
Embed your images on a web page
Barry Schwartz: Google will not rank your images in the search unless they are embedded on a web page. Just keep that in mind. You may just have an image in a file somewhere, like, on a server with no way for Google to reference it. Then, Google’s not going to show it up in image search. They need landing pages. Everything including videos needs some landing page with content for that reason.
Mark Traphagen: It is possible to rank for images. But you have to ask what’s the value of that? For instance, I rank for an image, and somebody clicks through that image to come to the page. But the page has nothing but the image. 99% of the time, I think, when people do that, they look for an image they can use somewhere else. They want to download the image and go. There’s no value to your site.
If the image search leads them to a page having content on it, telling and selling them something, then there’s value. Then, you can rank for images. But we have to question, what’s the point? What is the person going to get what, where am I going to get value if the person clicks through on that image?
Designhill: What is the UX SEO framework?
Mark Traphagen: I do not know what UX SEO means. We have a specific meaning for SEO clarity. And that’s very much because we always like to talk in terms of not search engine optimization, but search, experience optimization. The simplest way to say that is that it takes into account everything we have just talked about in the last hour.
No one magic trick works in SEO
I think people, especially those beginning at SEO are looking for that magic bullet. They are looking for that one thing to get me ranked and get me traffic. And they are always looking for that next trick or next thing. But, it is the sites that are successful.
Such sites build a long-term business and value with a holistic view. They are putting everything from the quality of the content to the quality of the site together. Is the site friendly for users? Is it usable? Is it mobile-friendly? Is it secure, especially if it is an e-commerce site? And Google tells you that the site is not secure. These are all simple things. But I think that’s what we’re talking about.
Think in terms of the user
SEO is about fundamentally and simply getting people to come to your site through search. But it matters so much what happens to them when they get there. And Google is incentivizing a lot of things we talked about. I call that Google behavior modification when they put out like, they start promoting mobile-friendliness. They start promoting PageSpeed, all these different things, that they are trying to incentivize us to create a better experience for their users, because they know it matters when people click a Google search result.
And they get a horrible page, or they get a bad experience, psychologically, it reflects on Google. And maybe they are going to trust Google a little bit less. That’s why Google cares about these things. We should care about them. Because we want people coming back to our site. We want other people linking to it, to experience that. I think that’s what I would think about in terms of the user experience, mindset. Coming to it, more holistically, and thinking in terms of the user. And a lot of that is the same stuff that Google’s looking for these days. You are going to end up doing better in SEO as well.
Liraz Postan: Imagine that you need to write, I do not know if you have a writer that needs to write in your niches like long-format content. Or, most of the time you need to create three keywords articles on your site. There are a lot of sites that do it. But they have served as a horrible experience. It is like a bulk of tags, no headings, no subheadings, everything is just text. Is it nice for me to digest that, as a user? No.
A better way is to let us put a table of contents, break it down, maybe use expandable divs, or create some images inside of a video. You may make this content long format, but nicely done. I can read it as a user, because we’re investing so much effort in creating content there. And what as a user we get is useless content. A user skips your site and goes to your competitor’s site because it serves as a better user experience.
Ensure that your posts are structured
This is the kind of thing that we can also use in terms of SEO, and talking to your design team. Make sure that your posts have a proper structure. And also, as an SEO, it is our role to optimize the content and reach this content. Make sure it is structured.
Create a comparison table that summarizes things at the beginning. That helps you also format attacks to win some featured snippets. It also serves as a user experience where people are digesting your content, unless it is useless. If you are creating so much valuable content, no one is reading it, because you are not serving it.
Barry Schwartz: Yeah, maybe it is a little bit different than what the person is asking about UX SEO. Maybe it is more about trying to get Google to understand the sections of your website. It may be about what you deem to be the most important sections of your website. Maybe it is a way of the user saying it is a user-generated content site that I do not need.
User experience matters to Google
Google wants to understand your website based on user experience, navigation, and layout of your whole site architecture. That’s how Google understands what your site is about. For instance, if you start writing tons of articles But then the next day, you start writing about bicycles, and people do not know what you are talking about. So, you want to make sure your user experience and navigation support that structure. And you also want to make sure that your user experience is something that people can fully understand and navigate through.
Longer page content rewarded
Finally, in terms of the page itself, Google has been rewarding longer page content with nice h1 blocks, h2 blocks. They do not have to be honest or twos, but just a way for people to consume the content. Google takes that information. Because they know people do not want to read it. They do not want to spend time on a huge page reading everything.
But Google takes a snippet of that content, sticks it up at the top of the search results, and calls it a featured snippet. And they know nobody’s going to click on it. They just summarize what people want, which is a one to three-line answer to their query.
At the same time, Google doesn’t want to rank short content. But, generally, the longer pieces of content are ranked. In the future, Google may say, all right, searchers do not want to read the longer-form content. They just want to read the short blurb of that content. It is kind of funny, but I just wanted to point that out.
Designhill: Should businesses like packaging work on mobile experience since they get their 95% of traffic from desktop?
It is about the brand and not sales
Liraz Postan: When we are at work, we tend to purchase or do things related to our work via our desktop. But I can also be exposed to a company by its content and surfing on LinkedIn during my night time. I can see an article that interests me. So, if I will not be served the mobile experience, I will not purchase this the next day.
I can also have a lead like a contact via my mobile that’s perfectly fine. Even though the majority of business, the leads, and sales are from desktops, we should serve mobile experience. If I am not serving any mobile experience, then I do not know my user. It looks like an untrusted brand, none other than an authority that I can work with.
If they are not taking care of their mobile side, maybe they will not take care of my business, I didn’t know that’s something that can always think of the whole experience for the user. You can be exposed to this brand from every device and screen size. It is like a PR, an article, a product that they may be launching anywhere. So, it is not just about sales and, and leads.
Designhill: How often should you refresh your keywords for optimization?
Research keywords to notice the change
Mark Traphagen: I do not know what refreshing keywords for optimization means. But I think the question is about how often you need to do new keyword research. The simple answer is to do that constantly because things can be changing. The real answer, though, is that it is going to depend on how fast things move in the industry that you are in. For instance, there can be things that you write about or content is relatively stable and doesn’t change much over time.
But I think it is always good to dip your finger into the research from time to time. That is because too many people depend on brainstorming for their topics and their keywords. You can always be blindsided by that. We always see some amazing trends. New ways of thinking about something or talking about something or new aspects of a topic emerge. You might not even know about those.
The simplest way is to take your main keywords, your main topics and go right into Google, search them. You can take snapshots of that first page of Google periodically to look at how it is changing. Those can be clues over time. If the results on that page are changing significantly, it can tell you about Google’s learning more about what people were looking for.
So, pay heed to these suggestions that the experts made when you need to optimize your SEO for better results. You will surely have much improved results when it comes to driving traffic to your website.
Along with following what the experts have advised, make sure that your visual identities such as your logo, business card, brochure, website, etc are impressive. They should be well-designed to express your brand value and identity.
Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, can help you come up with unique logos, etc designs for your brand. Just start by launching your design contest with your brief for the designers at this marketplace. You can get your winning design in a few days only to impress your target audience. So, get started.
When building and optimizing your SEO for website traffic, make sure that your content is link-worthy. It should be unique and useful to the visitors. The link publisher site must also be dependable. Your content should be based on your keyword research. Also, your website must be mobile-friendly. Use Google reports to update your optimization efforts.