Updated July 30, 2020, 12:16 pm
However, you may feel about it, Google remains the most popular search engine, covering over 90% of the search market worldwide. For this reason, you cannot afford to ignore any opportunities to improve your Google ranking.
Ensuring that your site is properly optimized for Google is your best bet for top performance, but knowing what that entails may not always be clear. Optimization is an ongoing process, sometimes involving small tweaks and other times requiring bigger changes.
In 2019, SEO experts were confronted with the launch of Google’s BERT algorithm, which left them looking for the best means of optimization. Now, with the integration of BERT into the algorithm for ranking and featured snippets, search has put much more emphasis on user intent. Good SEO will need to truly understand what the audience is looking for.
Beyond developing a better understanding of user intent, SEO will need to focus on optimizing for multiple results, including voice search and featured snippets.
Here are some ways to be sure that your site is optimized for Google:
Local search, as the name implies, involves searching for goods and services nearby. This type of search is very common on mobile, with 90% of smartphones being used for local searches. This means that your site should be completely mobile friendly to take advantage of the anticipated $14 trillion in local sales that mobile devices will help influence.
Optimizing for local search involves building backlinks from local sites that are both relevant and of high authority. You can also increase your visibility using Google My Business Listings.
When creating content, remember to make use of keywords that focus on location. Keywords such as “near me” or “close by” are popular and should be used to your benefit, and you should be sure that your address and phone number are up to date and visible.
Snippets can be a potent tool for your site. Even if you are not in the #1 spot on the SERPs, you can gain visibility through snippets, which come from results other than the first place 70% of the time. By being featured in a snippet, you’ll gain 8.6% of all SERP clicks.
Content chosen for snippets typically answers questions that begin with who, what, where, and why, so include this type of question in a subheading and again in the answer. Use them to create how-to guides or step-by-step instructions.
Optimize your organic results by choosing your keywords, then finding semantically-connected phrases to go along with them. Be sure to use the keywords and connected phrases in the proper context, and focus on ranking for both the keywords and multiple related phrases.
With 3.5 billion searches being conducted every day, you have many opportunities to connect to your audience organically by anticipating their search terms.
Voice search has been the focus of many articles in the past year or so, and with good reason. By the end of this year, it is expected that up to 50% of all searches will be conducted through voice search, and as much as 30% of web-browsing sessions will occur without a screen.
Local Search, detailed above, makes up 22% of voice searches, and 58% of consumers will use voice search when seeking local businesses.
Voice search draws its responses from featured snippets more than 40% of the time, giving you another reason to focus on them. Q&A answers perform well here.
If you are not familiar with Google Lens, it allows you to focus on something with your smartphone’s camera, and then ask Google Assistant to give you information on whatever it is. You will be provided with an answer, but also with other suggestions relating to the object.
If the benefit of this is not immediately apparent, consider this: by optimizing your website’s images for Google Lens, Google will be able to match your name and products to images taken by consumers. This not only increases your visibility but can lead customers directly to your page to purchase the product.
Optimizing your site for Google never ends, as Google is always evolving, but following the tips above will help you in your ongoing SEO efforts.
About Marwick Marketing
Marwick Marketing is a leading digital marketing agency in Canada. Work directly with an SEO consultant or Google Adwords consultant and hire us for google ads management to improve your online visibility or reduce the Google ads cost against your competitor.