To help you expand your organic reach and visibility in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), we presented five major factors that impact search engine optimization in the first blog of our SEO series. In this blog, we examine three SEO tactics that often get overlooked but can have a major impact on your website and brand performance.
1. YouTube and Videos
Videos are oftentimes an overlooked type of content, yet they are one of the most consumed forms of content available today. People spend a ton of time watching videos, and data shows users often watch several videos during each session.
YouTube in particular is a valuable SEO resource. The site is the second-largest search engine in the world, and YouTube videos are favored heavily by Google, the number-one search engine. YouTube is also favored by millennials—a key target audience for many businesses.
While some companies and brands have started using videos as a means to market to their customers, there is still a lot of room to improve the process. When marketing teams create videos and post them to YouTube and their website, they often don’t consider how the videos can impact SEO. Just as you factor SEO elements into the textual content you create for your website, the same should be done for your videos. This includes optimizing page titles and meta descriptions.
It’s actually a good idea to conduct keyword research before producing videos so you can make sure there is an audience for the video topic. Use Google Trends to determine how a keyword topic is trending and to see what other variations you may want to use. Additionally, it is important that the title and description messaging align to the keyword phrases that attract people to watch the videos.
One of our clients produces multiple videos per month. When they develop an idea, they do keyword research and run YouTube and Google searches on the general topic terms. This helps them narrow down their topics so the videos run in a less crowded arena. This also gives them a better chance of attracting viewers while still remaining relevant to the audience.
Without a keyword strategy like this one applied to titles and descriptions, you will likely make it difficult for your audience to find your videos. But by syncing your videos with a keyword strategy, you increase the chances the videos will deliver maximum impact in driving traffic to your website and increasing brand visibility.
Video Tip … One of the biggest mistakes we see is that a company will produce a video and post it on YouTube, but not post it on the website or vice versa. Video content takes a bit of time to create, so why not use it in both places? Embedding videos on your website can increase user engagement while posting them on YouTube will reach a different audience and hopefully drive referral traffic to your site.
2. Click-Through Rates
Click through rates (CTR) are sometimes forgotten as a ranking factor. CTR is the act of a user clicking on your results from the SERPs, which ultimately means that they are finding your result is relevant to their needs. So it makes sense that Google considers CTR to be a ranking factor. Google wants to ensure the SERP is relevant to user queries, so what better way to do that than to see that they clicked on your search result over the other choices that they had?
We often see SEO strategies put great emphasis on page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and structured data mark-up. These are important SEO elements! They make up the SERP snippet that users see, which may cause them to click or not click on your search result.
But once users click on the SERP result, your job is not done; you must also make sure that the content they find when they land on the page is expected and is what they are looking for. If the page content does not match the page title, URL and meta description, then a user is likely to bounce off the page right away, which increases your bounce rate and increases the likelihood that you will not capture that user in the future.
Seeing which queries are driving clicks to your website and how users are then behaving once on your website will help you determine what is working and what isn’t. For example, you may see high impressions and high clicks to a landing page that also has an extremely high bounce rate. This could indicate that while the page title and meta description are captivating, they are not accurately describing the page contents. The page content may be great, well-written and informative—but if it isn’t what the user is looking for, then it doesn’t matter.
CTR Tip … Given that CTR is so important, why don’t more people test what is working and what isn’t? It is easy to conduct your own analysis using Google Search Console, where you can look at which website pages get a lot of impressions but very few clicks. Another tool, Google Analytics, will tell you which pages receive a lot of views but with very few sessions that turn into multiple-page views, purchases, or requests for more information. You may discover you are getting a lot of exposure through page views and impressions, but those pages are not inducing more clicks. You can then determine the reasons for the low click rates by conducting A/B testing.
3. Brand and Industry Monitoring
Brand and industry monitoring is perhaps one of the easiest and least used tactics in SEO. While you can do this by simply looking for reviews and what people say about both your brand and your industry, there are many tools that will make this job much easier.
These brand monitoring tools will likely be included in your SEO tool of choice. But you can also set-up Google Alerts to know when there are mentions of your brand or industry on the Internet.
By monitoring how people perceive your brand and talk about your industry, you can apply your learnings to your overall SEO strategy. This is particularly helpful for local SEO, where businesses with many locations try to rank high on Google searches pertaining to a particular geographic area.
Industry comments are particularly helpful for the insights they provide into what your customers are talking about. You can identify keyword phrases that relate to current themes and then work them into the content you generate.
Monitoring Tip … A process to add to your brand monitoring efforts is to respond immediately to both positive and negative reviews. In addition to fixing or strengthening relationships with reviewers, it’s a chance to get extra exposure for your brand—thus increasing your SEO. Checking for comments every day is critical because negative statements and reviews bump you down the Google search rankings while positive comments move you up.
Position Your SEO to Grab Attention
It may come as a surprise that while advising clients on how to elevate their Google search rankings, we find that most marketing teams do not tap into all of the valuable techniques described above. If you’re already using all three, you’re in rare company indeed.
If you only use one or two, or haven’t started using any of the techniques, the time to start is now. Even as you read this blog, many people are typing in searches that indicate they are potential customers for your products and services. Better make sure your SEO is well-positioned to grab their attention!
This is the second of a series on Search Engine Optimization. Visit the start of the series here. In our next blog, we cover how content is king in the world of SEO and what makes for a successful piece of content. In the meantime, if you need assistance in evaluating your SEO strategy or in developing a new strategy to drive more prospects to your website, contact R2integrated at www.r2integrated.com/contact.