4 Steps to Harness the Full Power of SEO

Navigating SEO like a pro gives you and your business a major edge.

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Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
CEO at Quarterly Global
5 min read
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In 2021, digital-marketing budgets surpassed traditional media such as television, radio and display media for the first time. The importance of digital marketing for startups, entrepreneurs and established organizations is growing, and online-marketing budgets are too. In the short term, social media prevails as the lead acquisition strategy, followed by search-engine optimization (SEO). 

A.I. drives SEO

When entrepreneurs type into Google, typically, they search a two- or three-word term. They may type in a query for learning about primary market behaviors. It's an information search. The results provided by Google are ranked according to the web pages that provide the best possible answer to the query about primary market behaviors. 

Google's A.I.-powered algorithm will rank order the number one spot with the web page that best answers the query. That page ranked number one is the best possible answer of all web pages catalogued in Google's global database.

It's a query that results in global SEO.

Related: 7 Reasons Why SEO Matters for Every Startup

Smartphone A.I. searches change search results

Increased use of smartphones had a significant impact on Google's search algorithm. Essentially, Google shifted its default database from desktop computers to mobile-device databases. 

It's because more searches are being conducted on mobile devices. More importantly, the search queries on mobile devices differ from desktop searches. Searches on mobile devices are more conversational, with users taking advantage of Siri or Google Assistant to conduct searches.

Mobile-device searches tend to be for locating local businesses, with most searches using geo-targeted keyword phrases. 

With this in mind, here's how to create an online presence that answers a searcher's query like an SEO pro. 

Step 1: Discover what your customers are asking

Determine a root keyword phrase that your target market would use that aligns with your services. Some examples include "Top project-management platforms" or "Billing and accounting providers."

Go to any free resource and keyword tool that helps you gather data about your customers and enter your root keyword phrase. Depending on the root keyword, you will see many questions under words like what, where, when, how, which, why and who.

Step 2: Google is watching and testing you

Note that your root keyword phrase appears in each of the queries. The next step is to select questions in a series that, when structured in the right way, help build a story that answers the user's query and provides in-depth information that goes beyond the searcher's expectation. It's because Google knows when a searcher has found the page that offers the best answer.

Related: 7 Best SEO Tools to Help You Rank Higher in Google

It works like this.

Imagine a searcher scrolls through Google's search result page. The searcher clicks your link and visits your web page. The searcher spends several minutes on the page and visits other pages on your site to eventually opt-in, call or email you. This behavior signals to Google that the task is completed, which is a good sign.

Now, imagine the same searcher scrolls through Google search results, clicks your link, but almost immediately returns to the search results by clicking the browser's back button.

According to Google, it would appear that your web page did not accomplish the searcher's task.

That's a bad sign.

It's a negative signal that affects your rankings on Google. We call this a "bounce rate."

Google search results are much more dynamic and fluid today than they were in the past. It's not uncommon for search results to fluctuate with the number one positioned result moving down to position five, then position two and then position one again in several hours.

It all depends on your click rate versus the click rate of other search results.

Step 3: The winning formula that gets the click

One of the elements imperative to successfully leveraging Google's A.I. is a good title and description that appears in Google's search results. Observe some of the best titles and descriptions that appear on the search results page for your root keyword phrase. Do not copy other titles and descriptions. Note the elements that gave them the winning formula for generating clicks that ultimately helped them rank.

Now, create your title and description with these elements from a different angle that makes you stand out in search results.

Related: Google's New Algorithm Update Means New SEO Best Practices

Step 4: What you should say

Keyword research tools must have given you some good ideas on how to structure your article. But think of the question posed and how you can answer it. Can background information that gives context for your answer be provided? Can you frame the premise of your argument more precisely than others have? Is there any statistical data to support your argument? Is the solution unique enough that it differentiates your answer from the competition's? 

Our research has taught us that the best results, on average, have a sweet spot of approximately 1,200 words. It is essential to optimize your page for ranking in Google by integrating your root keyword phrase in the title tag (the title appears in the top browser bar), which appears in search results. It's critical to have the keyword phrase as close as possible to the beginning of the title. If you can answer the searcher's query in the title, your ranking results are more likely to get clicks.

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