Search engine optimization (SEO) has changed a lot since its humble beginnings. It’s a method of gaining free organic traffic from natural search results on prominent search engines like Google, who dominates the search market, Bing, and Yahoo. The primary search results along with local listings and videos appear on the search engines ranked according to what the engine deems most relevant to its audience.
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SEO has so many more uses than it started with and it hasn’t yet reached its full potential. Whether it’s connecting family members who are scattered about the globe or helping large corporations market their products and services, search engine optimization can be used for an impressive number of tasks and we haven’t discovered all of them just yet.
As for SEO in 2019, it’s an exciting time with artificial intelligence (AI), enhanced customer experience, and advanced tracking capabilities to name just a few of its uses.
SEO Focus Areas
Customers are searching for far more than text descriptions of products or services in today’s market. They are locating local businesses, looking up their hours of operation, looking for views of its interior and exterior, asking how the service is, what the wait times are like, and more.
With so many users around the globe accessing the internet from so many devices, wise marketers are learning to identify and focus on a target audience most likely to buy what they are selling. They are making use of every touchpoint they can to make meaningful connections with these consumers.
Gone are the days of the linear sales funnels. In 2019, search is a communication channel that works both ways and helps lead a brand’s understanding of how to meet the needs of its customers, its market, and inspiring trust. With the rise of voice search, AI and many AI-powered features, there are several areas for marketers to focus on in 2019.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
The use of AI and machine learning has accelerated greatly over the last few years and is very much a part of our everyday lives in ways we’ve likely never stopped to consider. With the sheer volume of data produced by consumer interactions alone, it’s a good thing we have AI to parse and format information for the use of marketers. With AI, patterns of consumer behavior can be identified in real-time, providing insights that can give companies a competitive edge and allow them to provide top-notch service for their customers. So many tedious, repetitive tasks can be automated thanks to such technology, saving businesses vast amounts of time and money.
Audiences and Personas
Personas can be incredibly useful in your online marketing campaigns. They can assist you in creating the right content, identifying keywords for your target audience, and in building links. They provide a template you can work from when creating, optimizing, distributing, and promoting content that will form a connection with those you feel are most likely to buy. Focusing your efforts around your target audience and user personas isn’t a new idea. But with the increasing complexity of the consumer journey, their use is of vital importance to many marketers who want to boost their search engine optimization efforts.
Crafting the Customer’s Journey
With user personas fleshed out, you have a great starting point to use in tracking the journeys of your consumers and discovering ways to personalize their experience with your company. What are your customers looking for? What do they want? What are their media preferences so you can decide best how to make a connection with them? At what point in their experience would personalization be the helpful and attention-getting? In studying your customers in some detail, you may be able to create an irresistible user experience (UX) that will draw in new customers and bring your current ones back for more.
It’s a Team Effort
Unless yours is a sole proprietorship, you have a team running your business. As a team, it’s important to work together for a better collective effort. When it comes to marketing and search engine optimization, not all team members will have the same level of understanding. Some may not understand it at all. Team members will have differing ideas on what marketing tactics work best. It’s all okay. What’s vital to remember is that all team members work towards a common goal: improved business performance and results. For organic search, your marketing efforts’ progress isn’t always going to be viewed by everyone as a success. It will then be important to communicate to the team how critical search engine optimization is to your overall success. You’ll be able to show your results through an increased conversion rate, increased online audience, and other metrics. When the team sees how important organic search is to the bottom line, they’ll be more willing to help.
Celebrate Your Milestones
It’s just as important in marketing as it is in sales to not only be accountable for your budget and time but to show results. It’s important to celebrate your successes. Yes, you’ll need to have your metrics as proof but with the right attitude and presentation, you’ll gain strong support for your marketing team’s efforts.
SEO in 2019 is a landscape of possibility waiting for you. Commit yourself to use AI and machine learning and the data they offer to design a superior UX for your customers and learn more about how you can best serve them. Highly valued customers are often returning customers.