A question that I've fielded at two events I spoke at regionally was how companies should be dividing their marketing budget for maximum impact. There's no easy answer to this. It requires that companies fully comprehend the impact of their current marketing dollars, understanding how each channel impacts the other, and still have some funds for testing and innovation on strategies they have not adopted.
One focus of every marketing budget, though, should continue to be search engine traffic. Notice that I didn't say search engine optimization. The term is often affixed to infrastructure, back-end development, and link-building strategies that no longer have the impact they once did. In fact, if you have an SEO consultant working with your company and their focus is on those areas and not on visitor behavior, content strategies, multiple mediums, and other channels… you need to find a new organic search consultant.
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), the only constant is change. Although the surface-level experience of using Google’s core product feels static for consumers, savvy digital marketers know that the foundation never stops shifting. Whether because of changes in marketplace behavior or because of tweaks to the almighty algorithms, what makes a page rank well on search is continually in flux. MDG Advertising
In fact, earlier this year there was a 50% to 90% drop in organic search traffic after Google adjusted sites that were heavy on affiliate links and light on content! The top factors correlated to high Google rankings are:
- Number of website visits
- The time on site (or dwell time)
- The pages per session
- The bounce rate
In other words, Google is identifying whether your site is a quality resource where visitors wish to stay and use, or if it's a site that's more about baiting people with shallow content that lacks value for the visitor. Google wants to remain dominant in the organic search industry and to do so, it must rank websites that are high in quality, high in visitation, and high in retention. Your website should be a premium resource of information that targets your audience and keeps them coming back. Think of your site as a content library.
The trends that MDG Advertising clarifies and supports in their infographic include:
- Site quality is now more important than ever.
- In-depth, engaging content tends to rank higher.
- Smartphones have become the primary search device.
- Search is becoming much more localized.
- Traditional SEO is a baseline, not an advantage.
Taking these trends into consideration, how can you optimize your digital marketing for improved organic search? We're working with all of our contents on reducing the count of similar articles on their sites and writing more in-depth, complete articles for visitors to reference. We're utilizing graphics, audio, and video to help clarify the textual information that we're providing. And we're making sure it's all quickly accessible on mobile devices, too.
Here's the full infographic, Google Search in 2017: 5 SEO Trends to Watch: