One thing we can count on for this New Year of 2017 is that the world of SEO continues to change at lightning speed. It’s a day in and out reality for us digital marketers to be keeping up with customer usage and expectations, Google’s never ending algorithm updates, and any other of the daily seismic shifts in the world of digital marketing. Complacency will easily destroy your rankings, and rankings are oh so important when it comes to thriving or surviving in modern marketing.
Considering that 93% of online experiences begin with search, prioritizing the latest best practices in digital marketing and optimization will be critical to the success of any website.So this new year is as good as any to take a fresh look at the trends and developments that we have seen throughout the past year and see how they’ll play a part in dictating where we are heading next. Let’s get to them shall we?
Using a schema markup is increasingly advisable for advertisers with changes to Google and user trends.Schema lays out your site more clearly for search engines to understand its nature, and of course this helps to ensure that it is displayed correctly. Schema can also be particularly helpful when Google decides to display rich answers, as is the case with quick answers or a rich card.
Google has made known its preference to display answers that make it easier for users to find what they are looking for. Rich snippets are displayed for recipe and videos, AMP articles, local businesses, music, reviews, and TV & movies. Although this may change in the future, using the schema helps to ensure that your site is more likely to be identified and served up accordingly.
Then there’s Google directing more towards Quick Answers, jumping up from just over 22% in December 2014 to over 40% by the beginning of 2016 and having continued to increase incrementally over this past year. Schema improves the effectiveness of your snippet boxes.
Schema is these days tied very closely to RankBrain and artificial intelligence.This is to be expected, with this machine learning now standing as Google’s third most important ranking factor and pushing brands to make sure their sites are easy for the machine to interpret. Schema can help make this a reality. As artificial intelligence is likely to grow in the future, using schema now can keep your site prepared for whatever we’ll see in the way of advanced AI in the future. Which will almost certainly be considerable!
Hybridization and Getting to Know Google ETAs
As users become increasingly sophisticated online and the demands of digital marketing has professionals working in digital proximity like never before, it is the brands that mature with the flow of modern marketing and smartly separate their digital marketing departments that gain the early benefits.
Mobile users clicking on your PPC ads expect a user experience that’s consistent and continuing with what they had when they landed on your site organically. The answer becomes running hybrid campaigns, and professionals need to be know what they entail, how to run them, and where to best invest resources.
Ideas to consider as you begin strategizing:
- Host training sessions where you help members of different teams familiarize themselves with each other’s goals and strategies
- Create collaborative projects where members of different teams come together for common objectives
- Develop common documents between the different teams that define roles, expectations and shared understandings on brand tone and voice
- Changes to the layouts of your Google PPC ads
Google has been experimenting this past year with their standard text ads. Specifically, they have been increasing the number of characters allowed in some of the meta descriptions and titles. This is a big plus for those of you who now how to use that added space to share text that’s optimized for identifying your business and its nature.
More About Google ETAs
Some marketers continue to be challenged when it comes to taking advantage of this trend because they have not been rolled out to all websites, nor has Google announced that they are permanent. For the sites that do receive the extra space, however, there are great opportunities for including more keywords and more compelling descriptions to help attract people to the website.
To take advantage of the increased counts for Google ETA ads, you should consider:
- Continuing to use your main keyword at the beginning of your title and meta description in case you are restricted to the original character limits
- Using the extra space to expand your description, using keywords very selectively
- Meta descriptions that are less than 100 characters should be increased to avoid having your description being buried with the new longer limits
If there’s one umbrella this can all be tucked under, it’s the overseeing reality that you must always be reevaluating your digital marketing strategy and tactics. 4GoodHosting has digital marketing advice for all its web hosting clients, and has a wide network of digital marketing industry consulting professionals. All you need to do is ask.
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