Industry veteran and SEOphile Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable graced the Brandify Summit audience with his deep knowledge and insights on day 1 of the event. Schwartz took the audience down into the technical side of SEO, painting a picture of it's foundational elements and adding color by explaining recent updates and preparing for what is to come.
Overview of SEO
Types of SEO factors range from on page like content, site architecture, HTML, violation and penalty avoidance to off page SEO like trust, links and personalization. In terms of content, quality and the research behind the content makes all the difference on page. Schwartz notes that Value, matching, natural language, relevance (trends) and rich content like images and videos all help bolster strong on-page visibility.
While Schwartz gave a deep dive into the importance of crawlability and quality of content, the most relevant area that brand marketers continue to find themselves struggling with remains the mobile and accelerated mobile friendliness of online properties. If you aren’t aware of Google AMP and haven’t tried Google’s Mobile Friendly tool, you’re (in tech terms) lightyears behind,
Additionally, personalization locality, otherwise known as geo-awareness, is foundational to search success today. Being able to mark up and optimize content knowing the local area or the area someone is located in drives relevance and thus personalization, upranking your brand against that of others competing for the same queries.
Preparing for 2018
- Voice Search- This is no longer a distant concept that was often written of as underutilized. Voice search is the reality of the modern user’s mobile habits. By 2020, Comscore predicts that 50% of all search will be voice search.
- Position zero/featured snippets- To rank in "position zero," it is all organic but your content needs to be all about answering questions. Things like concise answers, short header tags, lists and optimized tools like SEMRush help push you to the top.
- Mobile- first index- We can expect that by early 2018, Google will crawl the web as it would on a mobile device. This is a major consideration to take into account equivalence of content and links between mobile and desktop websites.
- AMP/speed- Publishers or e-commerce web providers. The only way to satisfy this is to look into how to get AMP. Now, AMP may possibly be shown in position zero, Schwartz noted.
Google My Business
- Local Pack Rankings- Local rankings sould have full data, be verified, include business descriptions with details of categories and more. Think in terms of distance to the searcher in the query when optimizing this to be more convincing to Google.
- Google My Business- If ou include tten or more locations, you can create a spreadshit and upload your listings to get blk verified. Uploading changes in hours and other areas will easily pushed via the Google My Business API.
- Google Posts, Messaging & Q&A's- Google has strategically begun rolling out the new user-to-brand messaging feature for desktop, mobile browsers and the Google Search app for Android. Managers or business owners can use the feature, but at this point those with communication level privileges do not have access to the roll out. MORE
- Console Mass Listings Reviews- Carousel posts that you can seamlessly slide through expire after about a week or after an event.
SEO is still one of the most important and core ways to optimize your brand for location-based marketing. Schwartz underscored this, saying "All your metrics can directly be tied back if you are using SEO as part of your strategy."
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