“How do we get to the top of Google” is an almost unanswerable question in 2019, but that’s for good reason.
No matter how skilled you are at search engine optimisation (SEO), there’s simply no one-size-fits-all answer to that perennial question. There are so many factors that contribute to rankings, and the industry within which you work will also have a significant bearing on where you’re likely to appear on Google.
However, there are a few things you can do as a Northampton business to retain high rankings on the world’s most important search engine.
1. Grab a featured snippet
If you’ve used Google today, you’ve probably come across something called a ‘featured snippet’. This is where Google publishes a short excerpt from a website which answers the question asked by the searcher.
Gaining a position as a featured snippet isn’t easy, and there’s no guaranteed way to grab a spot. However, you can put your website at the front of the queue by creating content that answers frequently asked questions in your industry.
For instance, try creating a blog post that begins by asking and answering a common question, and repeat the question/answer sequence throughout the post.
Featured snippets will probably continue to plan an important role this year and beyond due to the ease with which they satisfy a searcher’s request for information.
If you’re unsure what questions to focus your content on, type some keywords into Google and check the ‘Searches related to’ section at the bottom to get an idea of common queries.
2. Use long tail keywords for voice search
Research suggests that 50% of all internet searches will be voice searches by 2020, and that has big implications for SEO.
We search for stuff very differently when we speak to our smartphones or smart speakers. For instance, if you fancy a curry tonight, you’d probably type something like “best Indian takeaway Northampton”. But what if you pick up your phone and talk to Siri instead? The same search may be spoken as “where should we get a curry from tonight in Northampton?”.
Voice search is far more natural than its traditionally-typed counterpart, and that means long tail keywords are more important than ever when creating content and working on your website’s SEO.
Anticipating questions people might ask and using tools such as Answer The Public will help you identify common search phrases that people are far more likely to say these days than type.
3. Remember that links aren’t dead
Link building is still an important part of SEO this year.
Gaining high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites remains one of the best ways to increase the value of your own site in the eyes of Google.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy, and requires a decent amount of SEO expertise to get right. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of that out there if you’re willing to invest in this vital part of digital marketing.
4. Focus on content
Content is king. It always has been (bar the early days of keyword-stuffing, mind), and probably always will be.
Google loves the technical aspects of SEO, but it can’t come good on its own promises without great content from the websites it lists.
What’s more, Google is becoming increasingly smart when it comes to identifying the best, most unique and engaging content. And that means you can’t skimp on this element if you want to get serious about SEO; original, well-written and relevant content is something that needs to be consistently added to your website if you want to stand a chance of appearing on page one of Google.
We’ve spent many years helping Northampton businesses achieve and maintain high rankings on Google, and the tips above are the result of a constant eye on the latest SEO trends.
Stay tuned to this blog for more vital SEO insight and tips (we’ve only skimmed the surface above).