By Gabrielle Diepenbrock, Account Coordinator
Search engines - whether it be Google, Yahoo, or even Bing (yes, some people do use Bing) - are getting smarter. And companies need to update their SEO guidelines in order to keep up. As 2016 approaches, The American Marketing Association (AMA) has come up with some rules that companies should follow in order to leverage the content they create for the upcoming year:
Focus on visitor’s post-click activity
Search Engines are not just looking at how many initial clicks a site gets anymore. Now they are looking at what visitors do once they get to the site. Are visitors engaging or interacting with the content? One way to improve SEO is to focus on what visitors can do once they get to the site. Can they click on certain blurbs to expand information? Can they share the content easily? Can they play videos or podcasts?
Keywords aren’t as big as they used to be
Rather than having to repeat keyword phrases verbatim over and over again throughout a site in order for a search engine to pick it up, search engines are now able to ‘think’ about other words that would be associated with certain keywords and phrases. So, for example, rather than having to continually repeat on a restaurant review website “best places to eat” you can spice it up with phrases like “great dining experiences” or “top gourmet,” etc.
While this has been a rule many have already followed, it still stands. Original and fresh content that is catered to a specific target audience increases SEO. And when you do curate content from other sites, make sure to give the source credit and add your own thoughts and opinions to it as well. Making what you post ‘your own’ is extremely important.
The longer the content, the better
Data has been showing that, on average, longer articles are getting higher SEO – as well as gaining higher traffic and higher amounts of shares. According to AMA, longer articles are those with approximately 1,200-1,500 words compared to shorter articles with about 300 words. Of course, if you do have longer articles, make sure you break it up with subheads, bullet points, graphics, etc. so that it is not overwhelming for the visitor.
Make your website mobile friendly
More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to do searches, so make sure your content is searchable on these devices.
Unique images are a plus
It is helpful to add unique images to your content versus a standard stock image. Of course, using a stock image to make a point is better than using no image at all. But if you have original pictures, take advantage of them!
To see the AMA’s article about new SEO guidelines, go here: https://www.ama.org/publications/MarketingNews/Pages/seo-rules-2016.aspx