Search engine optimization and marketing are ever evolving as Google makes constant changes to its search algorithm and advertising platforms. Here are three changes that B2B companies and marketers should be aware of to maintain top search positions and continue to drive website traffic in 2016.
- Google Right-Hand Side Ads
(Source: Search Engine Watch)
In February of this year, Google removed the PPC ads from the right-hand side of search results pages. There are now only the four paid results on the top of the page. The remaining ads will cost more. B2B marketers should rethink their PPC strategy. According to Sam Silverwood-Cope (CMO at Pi Datametrics), “A good strategy would be to push organic and take a lower PPC position. With the right tracking tool, alerts can be used on organic positions to react accordingly for the bidding. This blended search approach will be won by the most competent, well equipped digital teams.” There are many factors that impact organic search rankings but great content is certainly half the battle.
- Click-Through-Rates Become a Vote of Relevance
(Source: The Content Marketing Institute)
Search engines are getting smarter about how they rank and select which results are shown for searches. In the future according to the Content Marketing Institute, “Smart search engines will be able to tell if your content is getting more clicks than results that appear above it on the search engine results page (SERP) – and may reward your content with a boost in its ranking.” B2B marketers should start optimizing content to elicit more clicks. Searchers will be more likely to click on content that has a title and description that are closely related to what they are searching for. A description of the company under the search result signals that the source is reputable. Website domains that are recognized by the searcher are more likely to be clicked. The key to keeping up with this future search trend is relevancy.
- Engagement Becomes a Factor
It won’t be enough to get click volume on content to secure top search positions. Engagement will soon be an important factor. If Google sees that users click on your result but bounce off quickly, your ranking won’t stick. When a user clicks on a search result and spends time on that site, it’s an indication to Google that the result is valuable and relevant. There are many factors that impact user engagement. Great content is king. Offering up additional content the user may be interested in is a way to keep them exploring the site longer. On-page SEO basics become more important, from ensuring that your site works on all browsers and platforms to confirming that the site loads quickly.
As B2B brands continue to dedicate increasingly more of their marketing efforts towards creating great content, it is important to stay on top of search trends because search is one of the best ways to get found and connect with customers who are looking for solutions and information.