In the everchanging world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketers feel a constant pull to get ahead of the competition.
Chasing that “high” though can often leave you frustrated and with little to show for your efforts.
While you can’t confidently predict the direction that SEO will go in the future, you can implement techniques that you know will work today. This is the key to online growth.
So which SEO techniques can give you the greatest return on investment?
We’ve focused on 3 SEO techniques with wide-reaching consequences. These changes focus on user experience which is always evergreen.
1. Improve Your Core Web Vitals
In May 2020, Google announced an algorithm update with one big change: Page experience.
Page experience is a set of signals set forth by Google as a way to more efficiently rank websites. A large part of that is Core Web Vitals, which highlight three important webpage metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The time it takes to load the main content of a page. Ideally, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): The time it takes from when a user first interacts with your site (e.g. clicks a link, taps on a button) to when the website responds. The FID should be 100 milliseconds or less.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The measure of how much a webpage unexpectedly shifts during time spent on the page. For the best user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tools available to help you track and improve your Core Web Vitals.
If you do one thing this year to improve your website for SEO, it should be this.
2. Aim for Featured Snippets
Featured Snippets are a Google search results page feature that provide short, direct answers to top-of-mind user questions. They may appear naturally in search results, or as part of the “People also ask” feature on SERPs.
So how do you get featured?
Google’s automated system scans top search results for snippet opportunities. So while you can’t control the content that Google chooses to feature, you can optimize your content to make it more likely to be chosen.
According to SEMRush, long-tail keywords are common in featured snippets. We’re talking 5+ and even 10+ word keywords!
SEMRush also found that incorporating questions into your own content will increase the odds of it being featured. In fact, 29% of keywords that triggered a featured snippet started with a question-based word.
Asking a rhetorical question that leads directly to an answer is a good place to start. Just make sure you’re reserving these questions for the long-tail keywords in your content for best odds.
3. Create New Content
Did you know that 7.5 million blog posts are published every single day?
If you don’t keep up, it’s easy to fall behind!
After all, blog post frequency is a ranking factor. The more you post, the greater odds of Google indexing your pages.
So focus on your content marketing efforts – specifically new blog post generation – to remain a valuable resource to your audience and to Google’s users.
New content also gives you an opportunity to optimize for SEO as it is today. That is, you know what is important in this moment, so use your content as an opportunity to hit all the marks.
The big things here are on-page SEO (e.g. page titles, markup, alt text) and long-tail keywords. Not sure where to start? Keyword research is always helpful.
Which of the above SEO techniques will you be implementing first? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!