Health IS Technology Blog

SEO and Blogging


Business person working at office desk wearing smart watch

The digital world is constantly changing, and so is SEO. The iPhone 7 is capable of taking photos nearly to the standard of Vogue. Artificial Intelligence is rapidly progressing through Alexa, Siri, and OK Google. The innovations of the tech world will likely never stop, and so the SEO methods for it must follow suit.

 

How Can Your SEO Methods Keep Up With Changing Trends?

According to recently tracked SEO trends, Google is on the fast path to a primarily mobile, less desktop oriented, world. Because of this, optimization for local searches will be increasingly key. For example your customers might use Google’s search engine to look up “best vegan restaurants in Tampa, FL”. That means you need to make sure to use location keywords throughout your copy, and remember to properly fill out your business listings on Google+. This also means accurate, concise, and consistent listing information is a must.

Google released their Artificial Intelligence (i.e. AI) algorithm, RankBrain in 2015, and in 2016 we saw it become one of the top factors impacting SEO. RankBrain uses machine learning to optimize search results. Much like IBM’s Watson, which was fed answers to riddles while competing on Jeopardy, RankBrain was taught contextual meaning.

“RankBrain is mainly used as a way to integrate searches that people submit to find pages that might not have the exact words that were searched for. It’s synonym smart, so if you searched for ‘sneakers’ it might understand that you also meant running shoes. It also gained some conceptual smarts to understand that there are pages about Apple the technology company versus Apple the fruit,” says SEO, Arpit Khurana, in a recent video on SEO Ranking Factors.

Hand touching search app on screen to optimize SEO methods

Google is on the fast path to a primarily mobile, less desktop, world.

Experts predict that in 2017 the volume of voice searches will increase. Some think this will equate to the desolation of typed searches, while others aren’t quite so pessimistic. So, this isn’t to say that as the number of voice searches increases you should ignore the data from traditional typed searches.

Still, you should keep in mind the type of content you are writing and whether or not it can be accessed much quicker through the use of a conversational search. In other words, can Alexa or Siri answer your customers online questions and then lead them to your web page? Does the information and explanations you offer on your page properly answer queries? For example, Siri may be able to answer “what does SEO stand for?” but it is unlikely she will be able to describe to you, in length, the changing SEO trends of the New Year and how you should adapt your content to keep up with them.

Another thing to keep in mind when considering voice searches is instant answers. Instant answer boxes appear at the very top of Google search engine results pages a.k.a. SERP’s. Today, the instant answer box is the end of the line for many searchers, if their question is answered properly.

“If you rank on the first page and you have the right content structure, Google may pull you into that instant answer box. And what we’ve seen from our research, suggests that being in that instant answer box is not a bad thing. In fact, it tends to increase click-through-rate and overall traffic for many, many publishers. It’s very likely people will be clicking through to learn more on that subject and then you have an opportunity to serve up ads or services. So, format things intelligently,” Rand Fishkin explains in a recording on SEO Tactics.

 

How to Begin the Blogging Process

In general, your SEO plan should be very similar to your plans from the years prior. No matter how revolutionary or riveting a post is, if it’s not properly planned out and executed, it will fall to the search engine wayside. To begin your blogging process, make sure you have all of the goals of your post in mind. Some things to consider when planning a post, include:

  • Who do you want to reach?
  • What do they want to know?
  • Why do you want to reach them?
  • What do you want them to know?
  • How are you going to grab their attention and hold it?

Take this chance to decide what targeted keywords you will be focusing on in your blog post. Don’t forget to keep secondary keywords in the back of your mind as well. This will help to keep your writing to reliable and concise. There are also tools like Google Analytics at your disposal that will help you to determine the best keywords to include in your content. Think of what questions people are asking and what keywords they’ll use to find the information you have regarding them. Sites like Answer the Public, may serve to help improve your keyword and content research.

 

Man frustrated by SEO hides under laptop

Proofread your work as many times as you can, and then do it again.

Do your research. Whether that involves researching the topic you’re writing about in order to acquire greater knowledge on that subject or to get a look at what your competitors are saying on the topic, and of course how they’re saying it. Once your planning and research are complete, you’ll want to focus on consolidating all of your information into one place. Transfer all notes and brainstorming insights into one document, and then begin to write. During the writing process it’s a good idea to keep SEO techniques in mind but your initial focus should be on saying what you have to say. Once you feel you’ve written as much as you can, then begin editing your work to fit SEO standards.

To ensure that your readers stay engaged with your content, try to add bullet lists, media (e.g. images, videos), sub-headers, and block quotes. Most readers will be perturbed by huge chunks of text. So, break up your information wherever you can.

While there are hundreds of odds and ends you need to consider when crafting SEO friendly content, there is nothing more important than creating quality, informative content. This means that your copy needs to be free of mistakes such as, typos or inaccuracies. Proofread your work as many times as you can, and then do it again. Ask your team to proofread it, too, and don’t skimp on the editing. Not only do errors affect your credibility as a source but they affect the ease with which a reader may be able to absorb and understand your content.

 

A Light at the End of the SEO Tunnel

The basics of SEO methods haven’t changed too drastically with the New Year. It’s important to realize, though, that the process can be very complex if you aren’t familiar with it. There is no shame in admitting that you need help; there are a multitude of SEO professionals available to assist and offer their knowledge for those who would like to request assistance in their digital endeavors.

 

 

Happy Computing!