Owning over 67% of the global search engine market share, Google is inarguably the largest search engine in the world.
For years the search giant has been working on preventing the rise of the low-quality content sites to make sure that users are receiving the most trustful and relevant information.
As if ranking well organically wasn’t difficult enough – the latest Google updates will push content marketers to create higher quality texts, but also to adopt Google’s rules more diligently if they want their sites to be relevant and to rank well.
So how do you outsmart the Google to make sure your content is being seen?
1. Boost Content Visibility in Knowledge Graph
With the introduction of the Knowledge Graph, the quality of the content becomes apparent. The graph can easily recognize the different search queries and their meanings. This means Google understands the goal of a certain search query and instantly gives the in-depth answers to specific questions.
What you should do:
The Knowledge Graph gathers information from authoritative sources like Wikipedia to maintain the accuracy and reliability of data. Try to get listed on Wikipedia and Wikidata.org, as this will increase your online identity immensely. All you have to do is follow the guidelines of Wikipedia and Wikidata. Here is how Walmart looks like in Knowledge Graph:
Implement the Schema Markup, as this helps search engines better understand your page content and show more information about products, organizations, places, events, and even recipes in an organized way.
It’s also important to customize your social media profiles and the logo with the use of schema.org. Once you are done with the schema markup, you can use Google’s Structured Data testing tool to make sure that the coding element on the web page is valid.
Optimize your Google My Business page and your Google + profile. Do you know that 73% of online activities are related to local content?
If you want to differentiate your local business from others, you should provide complete and accurate information about your business. Here’s how Lavent Law appears in the Knowledge Graph where it reveals its location, phone number, working hours, images and the site link.
Make sure you are regularly updating your social media profiles. Google checks whether you are actively using your page, and shows information from your social profiles in the Knowledge Graph. Also, Google+ has sway with Google Knowledge Graph, so submit your recent posts and other information to Google+.
Proactively get more mentions from influential bloggers, as this can enhance your brand recognition that results in more traffic. The more mentions you get, the more chances are that your brand will be considered by Google Knowledge Graph.
Pay attention to Knowledge Graph optimization. That includes having a complete meta description, keywords, titles, calls-to-action, colors, layout and content.
Write content for humans – they are the ones who are making the search queries in Google(until cats learn how to type!). Make sure that your keywords naturally fit in the titles, URL, image names and descriptions, introduction, meta description, etc.
2. Optimize your content for Google’s featured snippets
A featured snippet is another accelerated evolution that’s worth special attention from content marketers. Did you know that Google displays featured snippets for 13% of search queries? That’s a lot!
What you should do:
A number of the featured snippets are triggered by long-tail keywords. So the more words you use that match the user’s search query, the more chances you have to get into featured snippet spot. You can simplify this process by using the keyword research tool from SE Ranking to find the most high-performing keyword phrases that can trigger a featured result.
Ask your users and customers what kind of questions they ask and what they search. You can use MyBlogU to put a question and collect people’s thoughts.
The “People also ask” section is another easy way to get insights about the search queries related to your topic.
Use Quora and Twitter to monitor any questions on the web.
While researching featured snippets, I’ve figured out that Google prefers the following things.
As featured snippets show up informational-intent searches, you should develop a great content based on users’ questions. These questions can contain words like “what is”, “why”, “how to”, etc.
Google loves displaying an answer in one paragraph. So try to keep no more than 40 to 50 words with a long-tail keyword included. Also, give in-depth answers with numbered lists, steps, tables, charts, bullet points. Google likes well-structured, factual and well-organized content.
Create content in FAQ style. For example, you can develop a separate FAQ page like SlideModel which improves the chances of earning a featured snippet spot. Just make sure that you include all relevant questions, and provide complete answers.
Create how-to posts on your site.
Discover and monitor featured snippets for your website and your competitors. SE Ranking helps you find out whether you are included in the featured snippets:
3. Dominate your content in Google’s Local Results
As you know, Google has made changes in SERP results based on where the search takes place. Therefore, it becomes more important to rank well on the local search, since Google pays close attention to personalization and relevance of the results.
Websites that include location names in an URL can rank higher in the local SERP. So if you want to catch potential customers for your local business, you should do the best to be listed in the local searches. Here are some things you can do:
- Optimize your Google My Business page. Add a full information about your business (address, phone number, business hours, images, primary category, website link).
- Optimize your web pages with the local keywords (title tags, meta description, h2-h4 tags, alt tags on images, breadcrumbs, etc.).
- Make sure that your website is mobile friendly as more and more people use mobile devices for local search.
- Get listed in the quality local directories like Yelp, etc.
- Get more reviews from your customers. As you know, Google Reviews is a ranking factor for the local pack.
It is very important to create high quality and unique content on a local subject matter on each page. Here are some ways to do this:
- Share local case studies and success stories to prove your product’s effectiveness.
- Find local guest bloggers to post a local spin about your online business.
- Cover local news and events.
- Provide reviews from your customers or employees with pictures and quotes on why they love your online business.
- Add a list of local clients that use your products.
For example, Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC created a separate web page with location-based content for multiple cities where they offer criminal defense. The law firm adds the location’s address, phone number, the lawyer’s photo and reviews on each page.
4. Create and include video content
Video content has taken the rank as the most preferred content type among content marketers. According to Cisco, 80% of all internet traffic will come from the video content by 2020.
The Latest Google’s Update proved just how valuable videos are for rankings, and how they will continue its rise in popularity.
Google shows two types of video results: featured videos and video thumbnails. The first type has a huge screenshot with a link to YouTube, and the title of the video and the name of the YouTube channel.
The second type looks smaller and contains a detailed description. The videos don’t come only from YouTube, but other original sources.
If you want to get your video content featured on Google, here are a few things you should consider:
- Create quality video and decide where you want to host your video (YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc.)
- Implement the schema markup when uploading your video content.
- Optimize your videos to get found in search (keywords, titles, meta description, custom thumbnails, calls-to-action, a clear message, etc.).
5. Tailor mobile-ready content
Google reported that there is a significant shift in user behavior after the rise of mobile-first indexing. This means more and more people are turning to their mobile devices to find information, whether it’s booking a flight or shopping online.
In other words, the demand for the mobile-ready content becomes crucial. Social media channels like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat do their best to integrate new technologies for mobile surfing. For example, content on these platforms are more mobile-friendly and provide users with interesting mobile experiences like augmented reality.
With the demand of social content on mobile devices, you’ll want to create more content in different formats (images, videos, live videos, etc.) and have the ability to switch from one content to another.
When Creating mobile-friendly content, consider the following tips:
- Optimize your text for mobile devices. Create shorter headlines (up to 6 words).
- Include the summary and body of your posts.
- Make short paragraphs, white space, and styling (italics, bold).
- Optimize your images (use compression and responsive resizing tools).
- Optimize your videos (make readable text).
- Go with responsive design.
- Adopt accelerated mobile pages.
6. Build effective topic clusters
Topic clusters are considered to be the future of content marketing and require a great amount of planning and execution. In a nutshell, they’re a group of interlinked web pages that are based on one pillar page concentrated around a broad topic and linked to more topic-related narrowly-focused pages.
The advantage of the topic clusters is that you help search engines better understand semantically-related concepts and provide users with trustworthy search results. It also helps you better organize your site architecture. Moreover, if one of these web pages ranks well, the overall topic increases its rankings and gets more traffic and conversions.
Here’s how R-Wipe&Clean utilizes topic clusters on their website. The Data Recovery guide is a great example of this. It summarizes the main topic and covers a collection of basic pages a user should have on the website.
In the end, it provides a list of internal links related to narrowly-focused subtopics that help readers answer their questions. Each of these subtopics is interconnected to one another.
Wrapping it up
With the latest Google’s updates, content marketers should be focused more than ever on user experience, and always aim to create high-quality content.
These are just a few tactics and tips that can help you build trust and long-term relationships with your target audience.
By creating relevant and engaging content, you can help boost your website’s search engine ranking and increase visibility online.