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30 Jun 2017
Does SEO Really Make A Difference?

Does SEO Really Make A Difference?

As the second half of 2017 approaches, it’s time to examine the digital marketing landscape for the rest of the year, and the trends you should pay attention to. SEO never stops evolving, and staying ahead is crucial to marketing success.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is making a big impact on bottom lines, and will continue to do so in the future. In fact, influencer marketing has an estimated ROI of $6.50 for every dollar spent.

Other notable influencer marketing stats to note are . . .

  • 71 percent of consumers purchase products and services recommended on social media
  • 57 percent of beauty and fashion brands turn to influencers to enhance market strength
  • 51 percent of marketers say videos have the best ROI
  • 37 percent of all ad budgets are devoted to digital marketing, totaling more than $70 billion

If you have a product or service you want to get in front of your target audience, influencers are essential. Why? Influencers have a built-in following your brand can capitalize on.

For instance, let’s say you launched a new fitness app and want to make the most of your ad budget. Billboards? Magazine ad space? The traditional options still have their place, but ask yourself when you’re browsing magazines. Probably not often.

Your audience works the same way. They want product recommendations, but only from people they trust. That’s where influencers come in. People now trust their favorite blogger or social media advocate. It’s like word of mouth, only digital.

It is, however, important to ensure the influencers you choose are relevant to your niche, product, service, and brand message. In the case of a new fitness app, you’re targeting fitness-related social media and blogs.

That being said, there are a handful of fantastic influencer platforms you can utilize to get your influencer marketing campaign started. FameBit, TapInfluence, and Gryffin Media are all excellent. Boost your SEO by tapping into a digital marketing strategy that produces the content and clicks Google wants to see.

AI Chatbots

If you’ve been on Facebook Messenger lately, you’ve probably encountered, and even conversed, with a chatbot. Branded bots are, and will continue to, play a role in SEO and digital marketing.

SEOs are beginning to take notice of AI chatbots in several ways. One being that bots are refining user experiences, which in turn leads to more pageviews and conversions. These are metrics every SEO loves to see increase.

Through machine learning and neural networking, chatbots are becoming more artificially intelligent than ever before. Facebook Messenger is leading the way in chatbots with nearly every business and brand using the Messenger platform to connect with consumers in a more meaningful way.

These branded bots can help your customers troubleshoot issues via bot helmed customer support chats. Chatbots are also savvy sales representatives, helping consumers find exactly what they want or need, and even processing payments.

What can AI chatbots do for you right now?

  • You can request an Uber while making plans with friends in a messenger app
  • You can get news updates from CNN
  • You can get stock and business updates via The Wall Street Journal
  • You can get fast and accurate fashion tips from H&M
  • You can make flight, car, and hotel reservations from Kayak
  • You can do all your banking with Eno, the banking bot from Citi

So where does SEO come into play? Analytics! Chatbots not only store valuable data and information to become more intelligent over time, but they also store data and information to develop fast and accurate analytical data for businesses and brands.

SEOs can take the analytics from their bot counterparts and use them to develop optimization techniques to further traffic, increase ranking, and develop pages based on the questions their audience is asking.

Does SEO Really Make A Difference?

Voice Search Optimization

If you’re looking to the future of SEO, look no further than voice search optimization. It’s been evolving in the tech industry with the likes of Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Voice search is continuing to grow, and SEOs are jumping on board.

In fact, Behshad Behzadi, Google’s director of all things conversational search noted that speech recognition is presently at an 8 percent error rate.

As speech recognition continues to advance, search terms and important keywords will need to change. Instead of users typing “New York weather,” they’ll use question-based spoken queries like, “What is the weather like today in New York?”

Other voice search changes to jot down are . . .

  • Location context
  • Previously searched keywords
  • App usage
  • Information tailored to users

If you’re on the fence about whether or not voice based SEO matters, think about how you’ll optimize your keywords, website, products, services, and business for voice search. When it comes to the growth and success of your business in the future, think voice, not text.

Does SEO Really Make A Difference?

The Mobile Era and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Mobile use is at an all-time high, and search engines like Google are taking notice. In fact, mobile digital media usage time has reached 51 percent per day, passing desktop usage at 42 percent.

The mobile era is upon us, and it’s cultivating a new way to approach SEO. There are several businesses and brands already seeing more mobile traffic than desktop pageviews.

Google reported that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the US and Japan.”

This emphasizes a mobile first user experience. There are even rumors that Google rewards rankings to sites with an exceptional mobile user experience.

Developing a mobile responsive site is already an essential element of any businesses optimization effort. It appears that a mobile first user experience is mandatory.

Beyond responsive design, there’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Google is potentially giving sites priority when it comes to AMP. Market leaders have found that pages using AMP coding seem to take special positions in the SERPs.

What does this mean for businesses and the future of SEO? It’s Google’s way of telling us that mobile ready, AMP accelerated sites are the future.

Google Featured Snippets

When someone has a problem, they most likely “Google it.” Google knows this, and has consistently worked to improve their search experience.

Google Featured Snippets are a fantastic way to surpass all your competitors by taking “position zero.” What’s position zero? It’s the box that appears at the top of the SERPs when someone Googles an easily answerable question.

Capturing a Featured Snippet is often achieved through a schema markup, allowing businesses and brands to get that coveted top spot. The markup essentially helps search engines get a clearer idea of your content, which allows your site to appear at position zero.

For instance, if you Google search, “How to optimize my blog,” you’ll get a Google Featured Snippet showcasing a site offering a few key steps.

These snippable pieces of content are becoming Google’s next “big thing” in accessibility. In fact, they’ve doubled in frequency in the past three years. The visibility offers big benefits for businesses and brands that optimize for snippets.

Optimizing for snippets is similar to optimizing for voice search. You’ll want to answer questions that your target audience will ask.

The future of SEO is bright, and optimization makes a big difference. The nature of optimization is also perpetually changing, and businesses and brands would do well to capitalize on the trends mentioned here. Investing in SEO can change your digital marketing for the better.

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Search engine marketing expert with 15 years of experience in the industry, working with small mom and pop shops as well as large corporate websites. I have experience with all aspects of inbound marketing, including SEO, Link Building, Social Shares, Usability, Conversions, PPC, Email Marketing, and more.