SEO is ever-evolving. The way people search, and the way that business get in front of their consumers is not like it was five years ago–or even like it was 1 year ago! We have seen more and more change as technology and search engines continues to advance. To help you stay visible, here are a few tips to adapting to how your customers are searching.
- Location, location, location. Google has made physical location one of their most important ranking factors. This means that someone a block away searching for the same thing may have totally different results. This means that first and foremost, you should optimize your site with content that focuses directly on the community you are in. We know that you would love to pull people to your practice from that neighborhood a few miles down the road–but know that gets harder the further you get away from your office. Be sure to include all areas you want to serve, but focus on local.
- Websites aren’t the end all anymore. If you have done a Google search lately (let’s be honest, you have), you have probably seen a snippet at the top of the page with some high-level information, a maps section below that, a business listing on the side, and possibly more. This is all outside of the actual website results below. Search engines are trying to give customers the information they need without ever having to go to a website. Looking for your dentist’s phone number or hours of operation? All of that is already on the side of the page in the Google My Business. So what does this mean for you? Make sure your business information is correct across your website and your Google My Business listing is up to date. This gives you the best chance to be found outside of your website.
- Voice search. As Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and other players have come into the home voice space, people are using these more and more to search. Would you rather take out your phone or computer and search for your dentist’s phone number or would you rather ask a little circle speaker and have the answer read to you? People are starting to rely more on that latter. As voice search becomes more prominent and people start speaking more casually in searches, content must be made to fit. Think conversational and how a voice search may answer you back. This one is still in the early stages but something to keep an eye on.
As you can see, as technology gets more advanced, so does the way people search. It is no longer a simple keyword match that brings up your site on a search engine. People are able to get all the information they need before ever getting to your website and just ask a question without every pulling out a device. As we continue to optimize websites for these changes, we will have more changes in the near future.
—Naomi Newell, Lead SEO Specialist, Sesame Communications