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SEO Strategies from SEJ Summit 2016

Three tips that can potentially have the biggest impact on your SEO strategy.

In the wee hours of June 23, 2016, Geonetric’s Digital Marketing team loaded up on caffeine and made the four hour drive from Cedar Rapids to Chicago for Search Engine Journal’s (SEJ) Summit 2016.

As you probably garnered from the name, the conference covered all things SEO, but also provided a broader view of today’s digital marketing landscape. This year featured speakers from several leading names in the industry, and our Geo trio was especially excited to hear from two of their favorites: Google and Home Depot.

There was a myriad of great advice and information presented during the nine sessions, but for your convenience, we pared it down into three main points that could have the biggest potential impact on your current and future SEO strategy:

Speed Up Your Site

One of the most interesting statistics shared was that 40 percent of users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. If you’re curious about how your site matches up to benchmarks, check out yslow.org. This is a great resource for departments or individuals lacking dedicated help from their design or IT teams.

Also worth noting in the realm of speed is that last summer (2015) marked the first time mobile searches surpassed desktop. Simply put: if your site isn’t fast, easy to use and engaging on mobile platforms, it’s a detriment to your brand.

And while you’re paying attention to site speed and mobile users, now is a great time to get acquainted with the AMP Project, if you’re not already.

Tell Your Story

For a long time, SEO followed a linear approach to conversions – a search engine result page (SERP) led to a website, which (hopefully) led to a specific action being taken.

Today, it’s not that simple. Organic search space is disappearing and search assistants like Siri, Cortana and Alexa are reshaping the way we find information. You have to assume people are interacting with your brand multiple times on a variety of channels before they get to your main website (if they get there at all). It’s no longer enough to cross-market between off and online; every open channel you manage should be treated as a potential entry, exit and conversion point.

Instead of being overwhelmed, focus on what you can control: your story. Build a consistent identity across your digital channels by appealing to emotion over logic. Think of the famous quote from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The sentiment still rings true in the digital world.

Focus on Searcher Intent

To no one’s great surprise, user experience and page quality continue to be hot topics when it comes to improving SEO. After all: search engines want to send users to quality websites that have a track record of providing value.

Here are some things to keep in mind that help add value to your website:

  • Write strong, useful content that is valuable to the end-user.
  • Remove or repurpose content from pages with fewer visitors.
  • Create shareable content that provides value on its own.
  • Avoid copy or design choices that mislead the user.
  • Ensure pages have useful titles, descriptions and headings.

Remember: if you’re writing for the search engine, you’re doing it wrong.

Partner with Our Experts

If you’d like help with search engine optimization, Geonetric offers several SEO packages to help you improve your rankings and drive more people to your site content.

Cole Swanson

SEO Strategies from SEJ Summit 2016