The digital age has been nothing short of miraculous for businesses. In particular, it has allowed small businesses to advance at unprecedented rates and grow more significant than ever before.

One of the main reasons for this is that companies can now reach suppliers and customers (and vice versa) online, faster, and more efficiently. Another pertinent reason is the use of digital marketing methods.

Digital marketing comes in various shapes and sizes. It includes social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and so on. One of the most tried and tested methods of digital marketing is SEO. ‘SEO’ stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ i.e., the practice of making websites better optimized to show up higher in search results. The higher the sites rank, the more likely they are to get visited by customers. In this way, SEO helps drive sales.

SEO is far more complicated than many people think. While people know some of the leading SEO methods, there are many secrets to the trade that they aren’t aware of. Here are a few of them:

Voice Search Optimization

Have you ever been unable to use your phone when you wanted because your hands were full? Or have you tried to search a recipe while your hands were dirty? All of us face such situations and where we can’t interact with our phone physically. Phone manufacturers and software engineers are always coming up with fixes to that problem. These may include motion sensors to recognize hand gestures, face unlock technology to open a lock screen, etc.

Voice search is one of these ingenious revelations that is transforming the way the users interact with their phone and the internet as we speak. The usage of voice search is steadily increasing due to improved accuracy and the advent of the smart-speaker industry. As per Google, 20% of all searches are via voice. Thus, it only makes sense to hire SEO companies like WebFX, who are experts in voice search.

SEO for Voice search implies optimizing sites to how people speak, rather than how they type. For example, a person would be more likely to voice search “what’s the weather today?” than “weather today.” Query words such as ‘what, why, where, etc.’ should be added to the keywords and topics of the webpages to make it more suited to verbal prompts.

Mobile Optimization

Web design is an essential tool in impressing customers. A clean, efficient, and smooth web design makes your website more browsable and makes customers gravitate towards it. It also serves as a useful SEO tool.

A well-designed webpage helps you rank better on search engines. In 2019, mobile phones are the order of the day with a majority of web traffic and thus search engine queries, coming from them. Therefore, web design should be ‘mobile-friendly.’

One example of services, SEO companies offer, is the use of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) mark-up. This helps pages load faster and more smoothly on a smartphone and thus helps these pages rank higher. Other SEO strategies should also be centered on smartphones.

Content

The internet can be used for many things besides business. Social media, streaming services, and reading blogs are a few things that come to mind. Most of the non-commercial uses of the internet can be summed into one word-content.

The reason users browse the internet is mostly to do with content. This includes audio content (music and podcasts), reading content (blogs and articles), and video content (movies, TV shows, and other video content). Users will always gravitate towards sites that offer better content. Those who don’t can follow all other SEO practices, but it won’t be to much avail.

Websites must produce unique and original content. The aim of the content shouldn’t be advisement; rather, it should be something the audience would be interested in. No one wants to read long advisement, or a blog full of keywords without much sense. But a person looking to buy pants may be interested in the article about the ‘Fashion Trends of Pants in 2019.’ This content is then perfected by making it search engine optimized- the job of companies like Setalks.com.

Context

If you ask a layman about SEO, the first word you’ll hear in response is likely to be ‘keywords.’ Unfortunately, many businesses looking to employ the use of SEO also think the same. While keywords used to be an integral part of SEO, they were only the tip of a massive, complicated iceberg. Emphasis on the words ‘used to be.’

Back in the day, search engine algorithms merely scanned the web for the world entered in a query. If a site matched those, it got displayed in the results. Now, search engines not only rank results in terms of keyword matches but in terms of the context of what the user wanted to know. The use of Hummingbird, RankBrain, and other such context algorithms are making the search engine more accurate and keyword SEO, less effective by the day.

Don’t get me wrong; keyword usage is still practical. Just not as much as some people like to think it is. That is why, if the marketing agency you hired is hellbent on using keyword SEO aggressively, it needs to be replaced by one more in touch with the times.

Final thoughts

All businesses, small or large, have access to these services, unlike the other advertisement methods. This is because digital marketing is much more efficient and far more cost-effective than traditional means of promotion. SEO is a prime example of that.

However, businesses need to weed out those who offer shady SEO services actively. While these ‘Black Hat SEO’ services may produce a quick fix, your website could eventually get banned from the search engine altogether. Unless you want your business’ reputation to go down the drain, these methods are not the solution.

It’s essential to conduct a thorough background check on the digital marketing agency you hire. This includes reading through online reviews, reviews by word of mouth, conducting interviews, etc. You must be sure you are hiring the best possible candidate- after all, they will be handling the trajectory of your company for years to come.

Muhammad Abdullah

Muhammad Abdullah

Technology geek, movie enthusiast, and a blogger. An avid reader, writer, and amateur photographer.

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