Methods a little more advanced that will involve both a well – oiled production of content and technical implementations on your site
If you are a Content Producer for internet, or have been working with Digital Marketing for some time, you should already be familiar with many basic notions when it comes to producing content or even developing a website.
Producing relevant content for your target audience, knowing how to select the ideal keywords for the subject and structuring a friendly and responsive environment to receive the user are some of the most common questions that we take into account when structuring an SEO strategy (Search Engine Optimization) efficient, and certainly will not cease to be the starting points for any work of Search Optimization.
However, the way we consume content in the digital environment constantly changes and the guru Google, in turn, accompanies and directly influences these changes. Knowing this, new SEO techniques emerge to help companies and Digital Marketing professionals to make their efforts more assertive and leverage the visibility of their brands in one of the most influential channels of purchase and behavior on the internet: the Google Search Page.
Today, we will look at some techniques that you may not know about (or at least are not putting into practice), but considered extremely effective by several specialists in the field of Organic Search Optimization.
These are some tips that are sure to influence both the work of Content Producers and Analysts, as well as that of more specific technical knowledge professionals, such as UX Programmers and / or Designers, but which promise to make all the difference to the brand’s authority on Google and, consequently, for your potential customers.
And don’t forget, at the end of this text, to establish a list of priorities for what to do in the short, medium and long term in this regard. Your brand, or customer, thanks!
So come on …
1. Reheat and optimize the content you already have
Have you ever stopped to evaluate which articles on your blog perform better? Which ones have more access? Which ones have the longest stay? If certain content produced by your brand, even after a certain period of time since publication, continues to receive visits and keeps users on your site for a long time, it is a great indicator that it is more relevant in relation to the others and, most likely , not perishable (the famous “evergreen”).
However, this does not mean that it cannot be better used, precisely because non-perishable subjects are rarely ceased to be sought, and users usually follow the evolution of trends and the arrival of new information. Among some very common pertinent “refreshs”, we can include:
- Create new paragraphs that bring new subtopics, deepening what is being said;
- Make new backlinks based on other recently published content with similar topics;
- Update any examples that have been given, as well as photos, prints and even new videos *;
- Optimize the structure to facilitate reading (hierarchy of information, breaking paragraphs, listing items, among others).
In case of inserting visual content, do not forget to include the Alt Texts, fundamental for ranking in Google Images.
BUT ATTENTION! If the URL of your content page changes, don’t forget to use Redirect 301. Otherwise, any backlinks to your article (internal or external) will become invalid (the famous “404 – Page not Found” error).
Redirect 301 is nothing more than an instruction created on the server to inform that a particular page has changed its address permanently, preventing previous references from being lost. If it is a blog text, it is also recommended to update the publication date.
2. Learn from Featured Snippets and use Skycraper
First, what are they?
Also known as “Google’s zero position”, Featured Snippet is already widely known by those who work with SEO or, at least, seek to implement techniques on a daily basis in the production of content for websites.
If you don’t know what it is, you must have seen it in some research you’ve done recently. This is the short answer to a specific question asked to Google, which may even be broken down into other frequently asked questions by other users.
It goes without saying that this is the dream of all professionals who aim to take their content to the top of research. Google only assigns these “summary boxes” to content considered by its algorithms as “the best answer” for a specific question. Pages that achieve this position naturally have accumulated more authority and credibility, consequently, more clicks.
However, reaching this level is quite challenging and requires a long time for the page to mature in the content category that it has proposed to act. So:
How to use a Featured Snippet as a starting point?
The answer is simple: benchmarking. Like any content to be produced, it is common to rely on secondary sources and, in the case of publications that are in Google’s Zero Position, they are absolute references both in the content itself and in the structure in which they are presented.
If your competitors, or even content channels relevant to your audience, are reaching that position with search terms you want to be found with, it is vital to analyze how they are producing their content. Stay tuned to:
- How (in specific terms) people are looking for subject X;
- How the texts of the Featured Snippets are structured / diagrammed;
- Which key terms are highlighted in titles (H1), subtitles (H2) and even in the middle of sentences and paragraphs;
- Within your segment, what is being used: images? Articles in list format? Common questions? Anticipate what your target audience wants to know and format the right way.
And, to go further: what is the competition failing to talk about? What could be included that makes a difference to your audience? Even if minimal. The technique of relying on content featured on Google and adding it even has a specific name …
Do you know what Skycraper is?
In practice, Skycraper is basically a set of initiatives to analyze content that is performing well (not Featured Snippets necessarily), improve them and create new author publications. Finally, still search for relevant partners on the web to generate backlinks to your website, preferably with the same level of authority as the backlinks present on your competitors’ website.
And, if you have a specific SEO tool (eg SEMrush, Majestic, Woorank, among others), this mission is even simpler, because, through this type of investment, you will be able to locate the source of the external references of your competitors’ sites, making it possible to find out what other portals they are using to generate authority for their site.
Thus, finding similar sites to contact and offer your content as a reference, generating external backlinks, makes the time optimized and increases the assertiveness of the effort. And yes, searching for backlinks directly and “manually” is something totally valid and extremely efficient.
HOWEVER, DON’T CONFUSE: based on content with good performance, and even on Featured Snippets, does not mean openness to plagiarism. Copying texts in full from another site with little or no modification is a liability for Google’s penalty. If you know a minimum of SEO, this needs to be taken seriously, and it costs nothing to remember.
3. Work content with Voice Searches in mind
We have already spoken briefly about the immediacy that users have when trying to solve problems on Google, and the growth of voice searches in recent years is a reflection of that.
According to data from Google itself, more than 50% of users already conduct searches and voice commands on their devices daily, a trend that has become a reality in the past two years here.
And that doesn’t come as a surprise, considering that searching by voice is up to 3x faster than typing.
The question is: can this trend be used to generate new SEO techniques? Several experts in the field say yes. However, more than ever, we must be aware of how exactly users are behaving when using this functionality.
Some common behaviors that have been enhanced with Voice Search:
- Search for terms in question format (Ex .: phrases that start with “how”, “where”, “how much”, “when” and “why”, inserted in the most diverse contexts imaginable);
- Growth of long-tail keywords, that is, long (consequently, specific) phrases that people play in the search engine;
- Phrases with informal terms and approaches;
- Exclusively searches for quick and / or local products and services (Ex .: “which pharmacy is closest to me”).
Focus on keywords with a “long tail” feature, even with informal language
Based on these premises, it is safe to say that raising keywords as specific as possible has never been more important than now. As we have already seen in Featured Snippets, working with language and text format in this way tends to solve people’s problems more quickly. Therefore, more relevant to Google’s criteria.
Currently, just over 40% of voice searches result in Featured Snippets.
This means that, in a way, we can say that creating content aimed at reaching Google’s Zero Position is also aimed at garnering traffic from voice searches, since they are searches of the same informational nature by the user.
Learn how to use Google My Business
Another direction given by different specialists, which makes perfect sense if we take item 4 on our list into account, is to use Google My Business.
It is through Google My Business that companies are able to provide and synthesize basic data such as location, opening hours, photos of the place and products, and even possible promotions.
Keeping such information up to date, including images of the location, considerably increases the company’s chances of being found on the Search Page and even on Google Maps.
4. Invest time in producing visual content
Before even putting into practice any new SEO technique, always keep in mind the two main attributes that search pages are based on to characterize relevance: volume of accesses and time spent on the page. That is, how many people are accessing your content and how much time they devote to consuming it.
However, a very common mistake is to pay attention only to the number of accesses when, in fact, the factor that determines the quality of your content is precisely the time that people pay attention to it.
It is essential to be aware of this, as this tip is directly linked to user retention, and it concerns all types of content complementary to the text that you can explore to keep their attention: images (photos or prints), infographics, videos, audios, GIFs, etc.
The basic premise to be followed to create content with ranking in mind is that people want to solve their doubts, or problems, as quickly as possible. Therefore, consuming information quickly and dynamically is part of our daily lives.
And it is precisely here that visual content becomes a powerful device, as it is more attractive and easy to assimilate.
According to Google data, 50% of visitors decide whether or not to stay on the page in approximately 8 seconds of browsing, so that the content has very little time to convince the user that he will present the answers he needs.
So start working on it now: what are you producing today that could be more easily understood visually? Too many numbers to show? Create infographics. Tutorials? Produce videos. Are you trying to explain something that people don’t know exactly what it is or how it is? Use images or prints (as is the case with this article).
HOWEVER, REMEMBER! The weight of the files you upload in your content can directly interfere with the page load time, and pages that take a long time to load are abandoned. Therefore, use light images. The vast majority of photos on blogs, for example, are not in high resolution.
And speaking of loading time, our next practice is a little more technical, but it is directly related to that …
5. Improve load times using CDN (Content Delivery Network)
This is a slightly more technical tip and will certainly involve working alongside a specific developer or technology professional, so if you already have someone of that profile on your team, you are already one step ahead.
First of all, it is important to remember that several factors influence the loading time of a page, among the main ones, the server on which it is hosted.
This is because, every time you access a certain page on the internet, it is from the server on which it is that the files are “pulled”. Several connections are made simultaneously so that all graphic elements on the page appear.
This means that, depending on the quality of the server, the number of elements and the weight of the files on the page, it tends to be “slower” or “slower”. And this is where CDN comes in as a great optimization option.
The CDN, or “Content Delivery Network” is the so-called Content Distribution Network, which is nothing more than a group of servers that allows different static contents to be stored and made available in a more agile and secure way, almost in a way instant.
Using the CDN, the site will be able to store more “common” files that do not change frequently, such as still images, files in CSS and JS, among other scripts.
There are several CDN options available for purchase on the market, some including famous servers, such as AWS ‘Cloudfront. Others also well known are:
- Google Cloud CDN
- GoCache (Brazilian option)
However, it is very important to be aware that there is little point in investing in a CDN if the files made available on your website do not follow good practices that impact loading time alone.
As already mentioned in the visual content tip, working with images with reduced dimensions, and even compressed, is vital to not contribute to a heavy environment. With that already optimized, move on to acquiring a CDN and assemble alongside a trusted programmer.
6. Know what Schema Markup is and implement it in your HTML
Going a little deeper now at the code level, it is also necessary to take into account that the structure of your site also has an absurd influence on the performance to be in the first positions of the SERPs.
As much as quality content makes all the difference to generate relevance, it is indisputable that the better organized information is, the better it tends to be found by Google’s algorithms. And we’re not talking here, in this case, about structure or text layout of articles, but about structuring the source code that makes up your site.
In summary, we can consider Schema Markup as a sequence of tags that helps Google to understand more quickly what can be found within the site. It materializes as yet another device of textual information aimed at increasing the CTR (Click-through Rate)
Very pertinent information that helps to leverage the number of accesses to the page, such as:
- Star ratings
- Average prices for a given product / service
- Payment options
- Opening hours
- Eventual promotions
All of this, in addition to making the call more attractive to the user, also helps Google’s algorithms to consider that page more “organized and complete in terms of information”, helping in ranking. And of course, depending on the type of page and content, the information selected may vary.
But the point is: sites with codes that differ by each type of content result in more complete descriptions, and the algorithms like that.
To implement such a tag structure, it is necessary to follow a step by step according to the needs of your brand, and Google itself can help you with that.
1. Get started by accessing the Google Structured Data Markup Wizard
2. Add and classify your tags and click on the “Create HTML” button
3. Download the codes or simply copy the parts marked in yellow by the tool, they are your already structured Schema Markup code.
4. Finally, “paste” the code into your website’s HTML.
Steps 3 and 4, as stated at the beginning of this last technique, will most likely require the assistance of a developer. This will save time and decrease the scope for errors in the code structure. So keep that in mind when implementing Schema Markup.
Finally, to verify that the code is working as it should, Google also provides a Structured Data Testing Tool , where you or the developer can check for errors, either by entering the page URL, or directly in the Code Snippet.
n the end, it can be said that Schema Markup is a technical implementation that follows the same principles that we have already seen in Featured Snippets and the information provided to Google My Business, as it seeks to synthesize information for the user.
However, it is a more difficult practice aimed mainly at impacting Google’s algorithms, which encourages this set of codes. Thus, making practice a decisive differential for ranking optimization.