Posted on Leave a comment

4 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Got a Remote Job in SEO


Ever since I started college, I knew I wanted to work remotely. I hated the idea of having to work in an office; it felt restricting and, well, boring.

This became especially clear when I started my first job: a cubicle farm position at a failing software company. I was supposed to be a marketing coordinator, but there was never any work to do. I savored the two hours I was alone in the mornings. Sure, I never had to work hard, but being chained to a desk and surrounded by people was hell for an introvert.

Just a year later, I (along with my entire team) were laid off due to a merger. I swore I was never going back to an office job again.

By some stroke of luck, the kind folks at LSG took me in. I knew virtually nothing about SEO, but I had taken a college course on it once and I was pretty good at focusing when I was by myself. And God, I was willing to do anything to work remotely!

This year will mark two years working at Local SEO Guide. Although it’s not what I had originally intended to do, I can’t tell you how happy I feel that this is the way things turned out. My remote job in SEO is freeing and fulfilling. I don’t feel trapped anymore, and it lets me be part of a team without having to drive to work or sacrifice my introverted nature. The job definitely came with its share of surprises, and I wanted to share some things I wish I had known at the beginning.

Leave Your Degree at the Door

All of my coworkers come from vastly different backgrounds. We have an ex-political scientist, a phone sales guy, a bridal shop co-owner, a bicycle mechanic, a landscaper, and a retail employee in our ranks. Very few of my coworkers had a background in SEO before joining us, and even fewer of us originally aspired to become SEOs. But here we are, working with Fortune 500’s and helping huge companies get even huger. Our pasts don’t matter; only the results that we’re able to bring.

Even if you think you know SEO, every company does it differently. What one company says is right is going to be completely backwards to another. In a sense, this makes learning SEO easier for someone who originally knows nothing; they aren’t going to be stuck in their old ways.

Obviously, going to college for SOMETHING helps, but it’s not always necessary. Your attitude and ability to stick to your word is far more important. As a result, SEO can be a great job for people going through a major career change.

Of course, this is completely dependent on the company. There are, I’m sure, plenty of companies that require all of their employees to come from marketing backgrounds!

SEO Isn’t Cool (And That’s Okay)

No one is going to know what SEO is when you tell them what you do. Your friends are not going to think it’s cool. 

For the sake of not making us all look stupid, please don’t call yourself a ninja, or a guru, or whatever other stupid title you think is going to make your job sound more interesting than it is. You are not in a band. You are not the owner of a store that sells tiny hats for dogs. You are a person that helps people’s websites “go up on Google”. And that is nothing to be ashamed of! 

I feel like American culture bases our identities too much on what we do to make a living. When you meet someone at a party, one of the first things they’re going to ask to get to know you is, “What do you do?”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want people to think of me as “an SEO”. I want them to think of me as someone fun to be around, that enjoys learning 3D modeling and watching true crime documentaries.

Of course I could’ve pursued a cool job in 3D modeling if I’d worked for it, but honestly? I don’t want to. If you work doing what you love, what you love becomes work. And I like my hobbies.

Forget the 9-5

This is completely dependent on the company, but at my job it doesn’t necessarily matter how long you work. What matters is that you got the job(s) done like you said you would. Accountability and the ability to be someone that the team can rely on is crucial in a work from home job, especially in a work from home agency job.

If you come from a cubicle farm job (like I did) or a retail environment (like one of my coworkers did), this can be a very bizarre change. In an ultra-corporate or hourly environment, you’re expected to “serve your time”. This is also known as the “if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean” mentality or the “time-based” work style. It doesn’t matter what you get done, because you’re just gonna have to keep going. My job in SEO isn’t like that–it’s “task based”. If I get my work done early, I can go do whatever I want. I’m still expected to be available, but I’m not expected to engage in “busywork”.

Personally, I absolutely adore this work style. I feel like it encourages hard work and finding shortcuts and ways to do things faster. Ever heard the quote “Always choose a lazy man to do a hard job, because a lazy man will find an easy way to do it”? It’s true. And the same lazy person will sit for eight hours at an eight hour job because they’re rewarded for serving their time, not working hard. 

Of course, a task-based work style can have its disadvantages. It can be hard to break the habit of striving for eight hours of work, and it’s surprisingly easy to miss deadlines when you work this way. Missing deadlines is a huge no-no at an agency job, so working in a time-based style can ironically result in having to work longer hours to make up for it. (Personally, I think more companies should switch to the task-based style!)

Time Management is #1

What you know about SEO doesn’t matter if you have poor time management skills. I firmly believe that time management is the number one skill for succeeding in a remote and/or task-based environment. 

At a remote job, especially, no one is there watching over your shoulder to make sure you get your work done. Sure, this is a blessing–no one likes to be micromanaged–but it also means you have to kick your own ass if you procrastinate for too long. It’s a double-edged sword. This makes it a great job for people with self-motivated, goal-driven personalities, but a poor fit for people who tend to be easily distracted and disorganized.

Conclusion

If you’re considering a job in SEO (or working remotely in general) I hope you found this article helpful. I know a new job can cause a lot of anxiety, especially when you’re entering a new type of work or have never worked remotely before. 

SEO and working remotely aren’t for everyone; it takes a lot of self-discipline to be able to do successfully. But for the people that are built for it, it’s a pretty awesome job.

Posted on Leave a comment

Advancing the Next Generation of Women Leaders – Watermark Conference Takeaways


Advancing the Next Generation of Women Leaders

“To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together.” This African proverb quoted by Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, couldn’t have rung truer for the 6500 women listening to her keynote address at the Watermark Conference for Women held on February 12, 2020, in San Jose, CA. She called on us to build a sisterhood that is persistent and passionate if we truly wanted to accelerate our quest for gender parity and advance the next generation of women leaders. The exceptional executive that she is, she had a clear and concise plan for how we could leverage “the power of us,” with ample examples of policies that she implemented successfully at Pepsi – 1) Eliminate all forms of bias 2) Make workplaces more family-friendly and 3) Build a return ramp to work. Unless we do so, the percentage of women in leadership positions, despite modest gains, will continue to remain as abysmal as it is today, she implored.

The Watermark Conference for Women was packed with rousing calls to action from senior executives like Indra Nooyi and management gurus like Seth Godin. There was real talk from successful entrepreneurs like Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, co-founders and co-CEOs of theSkimm, who shared lessons they learned while building their company. There were multiple breakout sessions that ranged from teaching you how to build your personal brand, to wielding the power of language, to board readiness. Among this head-spinning array of sessions and workshops, my favorite speaker of the day was Megan Rapinoe, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team star and one of the foremost gender equity advocates of our times!

Megan came across as someone who is well aware of her star power and fully embraces leveraging it for a cause she passionately believes in. She admitted that the fight for pay parity initially concerned only her soccer team. But as the popularity of the sport soared last year in the US in the run-up to the World Cup, she realized that they represented a cause much larger than their team. Megan wowed the audience with not just her conviction behind what she stood for, but also the clarity with which she spoke about her personal journey to become the face of many social justice movements, which included public tiffs with the President of the United States! I heard many folks in the room later comment on how Megan Rapinoe is their new hero. Mine too, I gleefully replied. 

I really enjoyed the luncheon keynote with Megan Rapinoe.  She’s very inspiring and I love how confident she is in what she stands for.” -Amber Christensen, Software Engineer and Co-President of GoDaddy Fitness in Technology 

The breakout sessions allowed the conference attendees to customize their day so they could focus on topics they care about the most – be it workplace equity, personal finance, entrepreneurship, health or work/life balance. As a mom of two little kids, I knew I wanted to attend the session on ‘Raising Successful People’ by renowned educator, Esther Wojcicki. Her secret to raising three uber-successful children, including two tech CEOs and a medical professor, is encapsulated in the mantra T.R.I.C.K., which stands for Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, Kindness. Her standing-room-only audience nodded along when she said that we all want to be treated this way – be it our children, our spouse or our colleagues.

Between the keynotes and breakout sessions, conference attendees buzzed around the Exhibit Hall, where companies showcased their latest offerings and tried to woo the smart women who are always thinking of their next career move. At the GoDaddy booth, we showcased our newest Websites + Marketing offerings, which make creating websites a breeze, and had a wildly popular photo booth for headshots! As if that was not enough, the conference also organized Small Business Roundtables, where our very own Laura Messerschmitt, VP of Customer Experience, demo-ed our latest W+M product.  

“Most women who I spoke with at the conference were GoDaddy customers. Many had questions about building a site and it’s clear that the perception that a website is difficult to create was pervasive, even though most of the women I met were very happy GoDaddy customers.” -Laura Messerschmitt, VP of Customer Experience, GoDaddy

Team photo at the GoDaddy booth

From inspiring keynotes, to resume review workshops, to forging new connections, there is something for all emerging and senior women executives at The Watermark Conference for Women. For those who cannot attend the annual conference in person, live streaming is an option too. At a minimum, I would recommend checking out the conference website and subscribing to their newsletter to serve as a useful resource for you on your own journey of personal and professional development.  

“Attending the Watermark conference was an enriching experience both as an attendee and a GoDaddy Marketer. Our brand showed up positively and the high engagement at the booth was a testament to the fact that we are making a positive impact in the life of our customers. As an attendee, I was really inspired to be in the company of amazing women who are paving their own way and working to create a better tomorrow for our future generations.” – Smita Wadhawan, Senior Director, Marketing, GoDaddy

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Fantastic Digging Roguelike ‘Doug Dug’ Updated with Full Screen Support – TouchArcade


You know, I hate being sort of shallow, but I’ll admit that I don’t like playing games that aren’t optimized for Apple’s full screen “notch” devices. I appreciate that older apps will still run at all, but even when they do they’re in an awkward letterbox where the surrounding borders aren’t touch-friendly, and depending on the game that can make things darn near unplayable. And even if games are perfectly playable letterboxed, they just feel… off. So even though it’s a minor thing in the grand scheme of things, it’s for all of those reasons that I get overly excited when older games are updated with full screen support, especially when they’re one of my very favorite games in the world like Doug Dug (Free) from Electric Toy Company. Doug Dug is a simple game about digging into the ground, collecting as much treasure as you can, and avoiding being crushed by falling debris and all manner of dangerous enemies.

You might be asking “There are a bajillion similar digging games out there, what makes this one so special?” Well, this is a case of the game having a certain je ne sais quoi, as they say. I think what I love most about Doug Dug is how it’s the perfect embodiment of risk vs reward. You have a natural desire to go after every single treasure you see, and it’s often that greedy mentality that will lead you into a situation where the roof literally caves in on you. There’s a lot of random elements too, so even if you do try to play as conservatively as possible, you never know when an enemy might just come out of nowhere and kill you, or you might accidentally get trapped next to a box of dynamite and blow yourself up, or the ground beneath you might give way and you fall all the way down to your death. There are just SO many variables that each game is filled with excitement, and especially for those moments when you somehow evade the deadly situations you come across. Like most traditional roguelikes, this game has the power to absolutely screw you over out of nowhere, but also some seriously thrilling and memorable moments where you narrowly escape being screwed over out of nowhere.

Like I alluded to, Doug Dug is one of those games that’s a bit hard to understand why it’s so special until you actually put in a little time and learn its many nuances. It’s designed to be played with just one thumb and for years now it’s been one of my go-to games for when I have a little time to kill and don’t want to have to think too hard about what to play. The only problem is that I often find myself playing for far longer than I originally intended because of the strong “one more try” allure of Doug Dug. Our own Shaun Musgrave reviewed the game in depth when it originally released back in 2014 so I’d definitely suggest giving that a read as well. Doug Dug is free to try out in a limited fashion with a single 99¢ IAP to unlock the full game, and no other IAP or free to play shenanigans mucking up the experience. I am SO happy to see Doug Dug get proper full screen support and this has instantly reignited my love for this game, so I’d advise everyone who is reading this to check out the free trial to see what this somewhat hidden gem is all about.

Posted on Leave a comment

Local Search FAQs Answered! #LocalSEOChat Recap


As if we haven’t given ourselves enough to do this year already (did someone say monthly webinars?!) on Tuesday, February 18, we took to Twitter to host our first #LocalSEOChat of the year.

Using questions we didn’t quite get around to in last week’s Local Search Clinic with Greg Gifford, we invited the local search community, including some of the industry’s most knowledgeable figures, to solve your frequently asked questions surrounding local SEO.

In just one hour, local SEOs united to solve each other’s queries, ranging from how to gain prominence as a service-area business to tackling shared locations on GMB, as well as first steps for agencies, mobile page speed, and motivating engagement through GMB.

If you missed out on the excitement, you can catch some of the top questions and answers below, along with some useful resources:

Recap

Q1. Do service areas on GMB profiles have any effect on local SEO and visibility in those areas? – Adam

Q2. If someone is a practitioner with three locations and three GMB profiles, should their office hours only show when they’re actually in the office? – Nathan

Q3. What are the first five things agencies should do for new clients? – Tim

Q4. What are the best practices on GMB for home-based companies that don’t want to show their address online? – Ron

Q5. How important is mobile page speed when you’re trying to make the first page of SERPs on mobile? – Wes

Q6. I see offers for press release distribution with GMB embeds. Can this be helpful or is this practice dangerous? – Dennis

Q7. What’s the best way to get social media badges to show on GMB? – Emily

Q8. What tips do you have for motivating more engagement with GMB listings? – Gyi

Q9. Do keywords in reviews help with map rankings? – Jara

Q10. How much do activity and social signals from Facebook, Twitter, etc. affect local rankings? – Chris

Q11. What kinds of videos do you suggest adding to GMB? – Joseph

Q12. What could be the reason for local ranking flip-flopping (e.g. going from #2 to #23 multiple times)? –Henya

Q13. What the heck is going on with local rankings?! – Everyone

Resources

Thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday and participated so keenly in #LocalSEOChat! Why not keep the discussion going in the comments below? Or, alternatively, join our local SEO networking list on Twitter to connect with other local SEOs.




Posted on Leave a comment

Creating holiday-themed landing pages


It’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays. If you are planning to offer website visitors seasonally-themed promotions or just want to add a festive landing page, now is the time to start.

The goal of a holiday landing page for your organization or business website is typically to convert. This is even more important for ecommerce sites. To boost your conversions, start with a focus for a holiday landing page that aligns with popular search terms for the season that fit the context of what you do. Use that page to help drive conversions that match your goals.

Not sure how to turn that idea into a great landing page for the holidays? We at Design Shack have a few tips to help you get started and make the most of the upcoming season.

1. Put emphasis on what’s new or special

 Goal-oriented landing pages make it easy to put emphasis on a holiday theme. This might include a special offer on a product or service or content that’s created just for the winter season. Don’t give users too many things to think about when it comes to a landing page. It should help direct traffic toward one specific item or action. Think about the design as a choice between this, your goal conversion, or that, abandoning the page. This will help focus visitors and provide insight into whether your concept is working  through clicked buttons, forms, or goal conversions or not, which leads to bounces.

Furthermore, a holiday-themed landing page should focus on something with a seasonal feel. For ecommerce websites, that’s typically a special offer or coupon. For other websites, that might include signing up for an email list or interacting with content that has a holiday theme, such as reading a story or getting information about an event. Create a sense of urgency for this timely item. Consider design elements such as animation, countdown (i.e. Just 4 Shopping Days Left!), or limited time for an offer or content.

2. Use holiday-themed imagery

From snowflakes to jolly Santas, the right images can put website visitors in the holiday mood. Just don’t go overboard. Using holiday-themed imagery is a great tool when used well. Try one of these options:

  • Photos with holiday themes as part of the scene
  • Animated snowflakes or holiday icons
  • Holiday themed background image
  • People dressed for winter or even wearing trendy ugly holiday sweaters
  • Bows or presents; consider adding one to your logo

3. Use holiday language and colors

This one is almost a no-brainer: Use holiday language and colors on your landing page. But again, don’t go overboard. Try a few red or green accents. Silver, gold, and blue offer a more subtle palette as well. Use holiday-themed messaging in the headline to connect the visuals of the landing page to the content. It’s appropriate to sprinkle in a few other holiday phrases here and there, but too many puns or ho-ho-hos will turn off users in a hurry. Practice that line between seasonally delightful and over-the-top annoying. Stay away from the latter unless that is more of your brand personality and intent.

4. Connect navigation and relevant content

 When creating a landing page for the holidays, build it inside your website theme or shell to maintain overall branding. Furthermore, this will link the landing page to the rest of the website, should visitors want more or different information.  Consider that not everyone will be enamored by a holiday theme. Try to maintain your normal website header and navigation as well as your footer. This can help establish a sense of place online for more loyal visitors and new users.

Now here’s the caveat that comes with this tip, since you might find it in contrast to the first tip. Not all landing pages benefit from additional header and footer links or options. It’s worth testing your landing page content to see if this style of landing page works best for you. It’s often preferred for ecommerce, whereas a landing page with only one click element is preferred when asking users to sign up for something such as an email or beta invite.

5. Link social media and ads 

Landing page design is more than incorporating a page into your website framework and marketing plan. You must figure out how you will drive traffic to that page so people actually see it. This is as important as creating the page itself. Use social media and ads to link other online platforms and drive visitors to your holiday-themed page. Use the same techniques from the page design in other campaigns to establish a visual connection and carry the theme. Holiday language or content teasers make great ads that link to themed landing pages. And don’t forget to optimize it all for social sharing with buttons or links on the landing page itself so that fans and followers can share it for you!

Speeding up your landing page

A landing page can be a great marketing tool for several reasons. It can be a direct way to connect visitors to a particular goal. In addition to visual and content design, a solid landing page is fast, secure, and reliable. Whether you are creating a landing page within your domain or using a subdomain, these technical concerns can be just as important as marketing. Learn more about high-performance hosting for WordPress, WooCommerce, and more.

This was the fourth installment of our Black Friday series. Eager for more tips on optimizing your ecommerce performance? Stay tuned for more posts just like this one featuring industry experts and some of our technical partners. Learn how to improve your website design, conversions, online marketing, and more.  

Posted on Leave a comment

F1® Mobile Racing | Charles Leclerc vs Marcus Ericsson in Duel Mode


Christmas time. A time to come together with those closest to you, and share wonderful experiences together. Right?

Orrrr, it’s a time to play all your cool new games with your mates for hours on end. When it comes to Sauber F1® Team’s 2018 driver line-up of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson, they side-stepped the turkey and tedious Christmas cracker jokes to get their hands on F1®  Mobile Racing!

We took a trip to the Sauber HQ in Switzerland to introduce two of motorsport’s finest to our latest handheld, free-to-play racer, available now on Apple and Android devices. It didn’t take long for them to learn the ropes and dive into a couple of races, all whilst offering their feedback…

“The graphics are very impressive, and the tracks are done very well also,” said Leclerc, whilst Ericsson was equally complimentary. “It’s very nice. The tracks are done so well. It’s really cool that you can customise things, and I think that adds a lot to the game.” Charles and Marcus jumped into Duel mode, in which players race against each other in fast-paced events to win rewards and progress through the game. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – with single-player options, a deep R&D system and customisation features never seen before in the series. Your F1®, your way.

We’ve had an absolute blast paying a visit to F1® teams and talent over the past few months, who enjoyed taking F1® Mobile Racing for a spin. As well as Charles and Marcus, we also visited Red Bull Racing earlier this year to give Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly some time with the game. They couldn’t wipe the grins off of their faces when playing the game, and we hope the millions of players who’ve downloaded it feel the same way!

F1® Mobile Racing is a live and ever-evolving racing experience, with new content and features added regularly. Just earlier this week, Update 2 added a festive feel to the game, with some wintry livery options, as well as new circuits, more R&D cards, and further gameplay improvements. So much more is already in the pipeline for 2019, including content from the new season, so watch this space. 😉

Community Manager for Codemasters, primarily working on GRID and F1 Mobile Racing! Keen enthusiast of corners, kerbs and key lime pie.



Posted on Leave a comment

The Rise of Multi-CMS in the Enterprise


As consumers evolve in the ways they interact with new technology, building engaging, dynamic digital experiences has never been more important for businesses of all sizes. 

Today’s digital consumers expect the digital experiences they interact with to be fast and engaging, and in this new digital paradigm, speed and agility are necessary to meet market trends head-on.

While some large, enterprise-level organizations continue to struggle with this new, faster model, a growing number of organizations are changing the way they work, and no longer rely on a single content management system (CMS) to power their digital experiences.

Using more than one CMS has a number of benefits, and as businesses increasingly invest in their online presence and the digital experiences they provide to audiences, this trend is expanding at an increasingly high rate.

To find out more about the adoption of multi-CMS use in the enterprise, WP Engine commissioned a new study, from independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne, to follow up on a similar survey from 2017, which asks key decision-makers from enterprises in the U.S. and the UK about their use of multiple CMSs, which ones they trust, and primary use cases, particularly around headless technology. 

The results, which you can read more about here, may surprise you (hint: WordPress adoption is surging).

To find out more, join Vanson Bourne Senior Research Manager, Charlie Wood and WP Engine VP of Product Marketing and Events, Monica Cravotta on February 26 as they discuss industry trends around CMS usage, headless technology, and what enterprises are using different CMSs for.

Experience Level:  Intermediate to Advanced

Duration: 45 minutes (including Q&A)

Register now for this informative webinar, in which you’ll learn:

  • Which CMS leads all others in primary and secondary usage
  • What CMSs are being used most often with headless technology
  • Why headless usage is growing in the enterprise
  • Case study: hear how Samsung used headless technology on WordPress to quickly build a powerful News app and get it to market on their smartphones  

For more information about the use of WordPress in the enterprise, check out this ebook, which offers a deep-dive on open source digital experience platforms (DXPs), and the way large-scale businesses are using these systems today to fuel consistent, engaging brand experiences across their digital touchpoints. 

Posted on Leave a comment

We may see one or two new games from Supercell this year : MobileGaming


On a recent post, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen talked about the Supercell Games in brief while highlighting the past decade and what’s there for the future.

In 2019, Supercell has already invested in 3 external companies, it will be interesting to see what we will be able to see this year. Ilkka has mentioned,

Lots of exciting new games in the works, and with some luck our teams will decide to release one or two of them to beta later this year

So what are your expectations? Feel free to share your thoughts.

You can read the full story here.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Improve Your Content & SEO Strategy in 2020


Creating content with the end goal of ranking higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs) has evolved from merely stuffing keywords into articles to today’s more prevalent theme of evergreen content. And while there are still plenty of experts who believe there is a place for leveraging keywords to improve rankings, Google’s continually evolving algorithm now tends to favor content that’s relevant and valuable to end-users.

Here are 10 trends that can elevate your SEO content strategy for 2020.

Trend #1 Optimize for BERT

Google refers to it as its most important update in five years. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers is a neural network-based technique for natural language processing pre-training. What this essentially means is that BERT can be used to help Google better understand the context of words in search queries.

What does this mean for SEO content professionals?

Primarily, it means taking action on Google’s increased focus on optimizing search results based on user intent as opposed to merely keyword matching content. Content developers need to focus on customer intent to understand where they fit on that path. And by providing the best answers for questions on that path, they have a better chance of more reliably capturing and converting customers.

For marketers, this means having a deeper understanding of how users talk about their issues and needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey. This includes going beyond the purchase and touching on things like support, opportunities to advocate, and community building.

Trend #2 Optimize for Voice Search

It’s estimated that half of all searches
will be done through voice, with users performing at least 30 percent of all
searches without using a screen.

Since voice searches tend to be longer than typed searches, you need to identify and use keywords that people use in actual conversations – these are typically seven to nine words, and often contain a question. Content writers, as well as those tasked with on-page SEO work, need to keep this in mind.

Additionally, studies have shown that the average Google voice search is written at a ninth-grade level. This means writers need to keep sentences short. They also need to use easy-to-understand words and get straight to the point.

Trend #3 Use
Featured Snippets

To the uninitiated, a featured snippet is a summary of an answer to a user’s query displayed on top of Google search results. This snippet is extracted from a webpage and is shown to include the page’s title and URL.

What is a featured snippet?

As pointed out by Inkwell Editorial, a simple way to incorporate these into your content is by using something like a “You will learn in this post” section at the beginning of a post and/or a “We have covered in this post” section at the bottom. This is also where you can incorporate responses to Google’s “People also ask” and “Searches related to…” sections.

Related featured snippet searches

It’s important to note that when you perform a test search for keywords and phrases, when you use it in your posts, it doesn’t have to be an exact match. So from the examples above, you can include in your “In this post, we will answer the following questions:”

  • The benefits of a featured snippet to SEO
  • How to include rich snippets into your content

Trend #4 Mobile Optimization

Google’s mobile-first index ranks pages based on their versions designed for mobile devices. This means that even if you offer a seamless experience on your website’s desktop version, but it’s comparatively buggy on a smartphone, there’s a good chance your SEO rankings will take a hit.

This means that not only do you need to optimize for mobile, but you also need to ensure that it’s responsive – meaning it works well regardless of screen size or device type. The good thing is that there are plenty of WordPress themes and plugins developed with responsive design in mind. But just to make sure everything’s working, don’t forget to perform comprehensive tests on multiple devices.

Trend #5 Write for Local Search

With mobile searches often performed on-the-go, about a third of all mobile Google searches are related to location. So when a user in Calabasas types in “dry cleaning near me,” they’re most likely looking for something much closer than, say, Santa Monica. Here’s how to go about it:

While Google can generally pick up on where
the user is, if they don’t type in a city, the result might not be as close as
they desire. So when writing for local search, make sure to include in the copy
your business’ city location, the cities surrounding it, and perhaps even a zip
code.

So a good blog post might be “High and Dry: The Best Dry Cleaners in Calabasas, CA.” Additionally, include a line in the post that mentions a major city close to your business like: “Get your fix of High and Dry unparalleled rates in the Los Angeles County.”

Trend #6 Brand Your Content

There are a couple of reasons why branding your content is essential. First, Google uses online brand mentions in its search algorithm. Second, your brand ultimately helps foster trust. The more customers (or your audience) trust you, the more they’d be willing to not only do business with you but share your content and talk about you.

Trend #7 UX & Technical SEO

Again, while the emphasis on user experience isn’t exactly groundbreaking to focus on, it will take on even greater significance in 2020. This means that stronger consideration must be placed on the overall experience – from the initial interaction in SERPs and the landing page experience to the experience when users leave sites. With regard to the latter, this includes things like remarketing, drip campaigns, and personalization for returning users.

When it comes to technical SEO, at the base
level, this means an emphasis on site and page speed, particularly with the
emergence of Chrome’s “slow warning badges” and speed reports in the Google Search
Console. Additionally, experts expect a further shift into more JavaScript
frameworks use, PWAs, and the need for SEO task automation for
bigger websites.   

Trend #8 Link Building = Brand Building

This signals an evolution of link building
toward becoming more brand-focused. This means a heightened responsibility
placed on SEO professionals to build links and media placements that drive
traffic and push branding, as opposed to the more traditional approach of
building links that just help with search rankings.

Essentially, this means building a brand that people trust and want to do business with using elements of link building. As alluded to earlier, as customers become smarter, they expect more when it comes to marketing. The more trust your brand elicits, the more they’ll be willing to share your content, talk about you, and buy your products.

Trend #9 Zero Click Search

First off, a zero-click search refers to how users can get an answer without clicking on a website. For example, when you want to find out what the current exchange rate is, you can get an answer without clicking on a website.

So how does this help you exactly if users don’t need to click on your link? Basically, the type of content no-click searches return is usually what’s considered top-level content. For example, if you had a paywall on your site where users need to pay to read content, top-level content would be the content used to lure users in. Conversely, high-level content is reserved for paying users. This is where the meat of the content can be found, more detailed, long-form content that answers questions more comprehensively.

Again, this comes back to trust. When you
consistently provide zero-click search results, you’re able to establish
credibility.

Trend #10 Semantic Search Intent Optimization

As alluded to earlier, Google has strayed away from using the actual string of words that are being typed in the search box, instead of looking at the query context and analyzing possible search intent. Take a look at the example below from Smart Insights:

Smart Insights

Basically on the fly, Google was able to
surmise that:

  • The user lost their cat, but may be interested in pet and animal control centers, and not just cat facilities.
  • The cat may have gone missing in the town of Halfmoon, but it also provides answers found in nearby towns – Clifton Park and Rensselaer.
  • Google even suggests posting or searching on Craigslist just in case someone already found the cat.

As you can see, Google has become quite
adept at understanding searcher intent. This means that traditional content
creation focused on a single keyword string won’t work as they used to.

Final words

SEO is a constantly evolving game where the job is never quite done. But if you take the above-mentioned trends as you go about your SEO efforts for 2020, you’re putting your brand in a good position to succeed.

About the Author: Naida Alabata is a digital marketer and the editorial-in-chief of Startup Credo. She’s also an entrepreneur who loves to share her expertise and insights on digital marketing, social media, business, SEO, web design and more.



Posted on Leave a comment

Keeping an SEO Checklist Can Help You Stay on Target



Keeping an SEO Checklist Can Help You Stay on Target

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a popular topic, and for good reason. We all use search engines every day to help us find websites relevant to our searches. Naturally, if you have a website, you will want it to show up in those search results. SEO can help you make sure, at the very least, that your site (through code or content) will do no harm to your chances of ranking. But the job of creating good content, which is one of the most important ranking factors, is your main task.

Continue reading Keeping an SEO Checklist Can Help You Stay on Target at InMotion Hosting Blog.