Oh SEO the demon and devil to every single marketer out there. If we had a penny for every time we found a different way to utilise and improve SEO we would be millionaires, and we would also be here for years upon years trying to figure out the mystery.

Over the years and years of development Google’s search engine (SERP) has converted and transformed from being blue clickable links all them light years ago to a more UI friendly dynamic viewed gleaming with Sponsored Ads at the top of every single page YOU search. 

(SERP) has developed and evolved even further by becoming more not only user but also advertiser friendly, meaning even the top organic research results move further and further and further down the page leaving SEO and web developers to push and get their website out there even more than before. 

Good news however as a report from Merkle’s Digital Marketing report for Q3 2018 suggests any increasing paid search per-click (CPC) is accelerated through huge amounts of organisations up fronting money and the organic content being created reported to be a 6% increase in organic search visits in Q3 2018. 

In the graph above we can see the percentage of search visits across multiple devices in Q3 of 2018. This is across devices such as mobile, tablet and desktop.
Table 2 shows the organic search share across the whole of the US. These statistics where obtained over 2018 through multiple quarters. Over time you can see the decrease in search share and the visits that were obtained.

Money has become of language in recent years. from the graph above, you can see the marketing budgets that have been analysed and most are returning to organic search by further developing their SEO. Social media and paid statistics such as adverts have not driven the amount of visitors and data that was anticipated for meaning organic has technically won the war. SEO budgets vary from organisation to organisation, as more high level businesses end up spending around 45% more on SEO and then average low company or organisation.

The the second section of Table 2 we can see the money that has been spent through share search in the US. This is dependent on the size of the enterprises, with blue representing massive organisations, red being medium and orange being small organisations.

Google’s perspective on SEO

Google typically as you would expect, dominates SEO, by even producing 92% of total US organic searches while only Bing and Yahoo account for 5% and 3% according to Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report. Google remains and will continue to be the main victor in market share and dominating in the field and will continue to control SEO. Google made several moves towards promoting their user experience in 2018 by implementing to using the mobile version of web pages. 

Speed has become crucial with SEO and Google. Launching a speed update in July 2018 meaning that the search-ability of your website could depend on the speed of your site. This impacts the mobile search rankings of the internet’s slowest sites leaving them affected. Got a bad website connection of speed, then you WILL suffer. Google even sent out warnings for companies and organisations with slow website speeds as Google look to prioritise website speed, leaving companies to evaluate SEO further. 

This has left organisations with several problems as not only have they stated website performance effects SEO, they have not given any metric tools on how this can be improvement or the performance of your site. Third party websites have had to step in and monitor them loading times. SEO platform looked to deal with this in 2019, with a more accurate ‘important ranking factor’ in 2019. With Google lowering their ranking sites with loading times, modals and excessive ads, historically speaking this has been the only factors that affect website or web pages and their SEO rankings. SEO has become increasingly important with every organisation to increase traffic and user experience. 

Rich results dominate SEO in 2019

Google looks towards rich results for SEO in 2019. Becoming more and more prevalent. Researchers are forever more finding that they find what they are looking for without even click a link or being redirected towards a website. This is increasing common on mobile devices as screen space becomes limited. Users not only expect but now demand fast and accurate answers and reputation comes into play. Having your websites rich in SEO makes results in a top priority for SEO.

SEO vendor market 

Thousands and thousands of digital marketers now use some kind of platform or tool to monitor or analyse their SEO. Some paid or some free to use, being open source, these are used to improve and have successful SERP rankings. Companies now include both SEO options built into website templates, or external SEO options to be bought however both offer benefits, based on marketing need, budget and internal resources within an organisation. 

Rather than completing with each other SEO applications and software have been trying to establish ways in which then can separate from each other by focusing on certain aspects with SEO making them exclusive. This comes with some sacrifice however as companies look to expand they could be lacking in terms of management, administration and reporting. This makes them targets for acquisition by larger companies, with larger vendors looking to purchase them. The flow and investment into SEO seem steady for 2019.

Google’s RankBrain 

Google the masters of the search engine. Google’s RankBrain is a learning system machine that sorts, fixes and ranks for Google and their search results for their engine. RankBrain goes of measures measurements and the activity of users within the search engine and then ranks them accordingly from the activity on the search engine. 

Here is an example.

Let’s say you search in SEO vendors into Google. When you click on it…… it’s the best thing you have ever seen, you are now an SEO god among the stars and you spend hours reciting every single word that is on the webpage. Google’s RankBrain will take note of this and the activity that has gone on. This article will receive a ranking boost because of the activity.

Acting as your webpage, you are boosted due to the activity that has been on your page. Google RankBrain has taken note of this.

On the other hand however if you were to do the same search on SEO vendors again, used Google as a search engine and then clicked on the 1st result that came up without even looking. The content is terrible, absolutely awful and now you have bounced from the page and look at other results and find the right one for you. If enough people keep bouncing from the first result then Google’s RankBrain will notice this.

The alternative being that your webpage is getting visitors however they are not staying. Your content is lacking in quality, RankBrain will also note this and take it into consideration.

So RankBrain focuses on two things for search results. One being how long someone will dwell on your page and the other being the percentage of people that click on your result. In other words known as you’re ‘click through rate’.

Dwell time

Dwell time refers to how long a person that uses Google spends on your page, As it turns out RankBrain spends A LOT of time, attention and detail on this. In fact that much that it is used as a ranking signal within the search engine. This can even be found through tracking measurements like Google Analytics and this is what ranks pages so high on the RankBrain radar with the algorithm stating that if you spend that much time on a page then you most likely like the content that has been produced. 

Click through rate 

RankBrain sometimes and a lot of the time ranks pages higher and much higher than they should be rated. If a page gets an above average CTR rating then other pages then this should be sign that they should get a boost in even a permanent rankings boost, But this could even be bots you say? If a site gets clicked on it does mean that is popular.

Capabilities within SEO

The SEO platform offers different capabilities for each organisation depending on what they require and need from keyword research and rank checking, to intelligence and roles, here is a competitive list below on some of the capabilities an SEO platform can give you.

  • Keyword research and rankings 
  • Page-level SEO analysis
  • Content optimisation
  • Backlink
  • Social signal tracking from social media
  • Site error detection
  • Organic search traffic market share
  • Competitive analysis
  • International search results and rank tracking
  • Internal cross linking
  • APIs for third-party data integration and management

Higher levels of platforms may also include and provide more intensive looks at audits and analytics and identify potential opportunities to improve page performance.

  • Search intent-based analysis 
  • Universal search rankings
  • Content marketing analysis and performance tools
  • On-page content quality analysis
  • Competitive intelligence and benchmarking
  • Mobile/ local analytics
  • Cross device retribution

Link analysis and acquisition

Links continue to be one of the most important external or ‘off-the-page’ signals that can rise a websites reputation, and rise in the rankings of search engine more and more SEO platforms have started to provide link analysis.

Keyword research/ rank analysis 

Keyword research is a massive biggy. knowing what terms people use to find your website, how they rank and this can be used to have an effective SEO system is key. Virtually all enterprise SEO platforms provide keyword research tools that allow consumers to search for content. SEO has become the critical factor in searching keywords and driving traffic towards your website rather than competitors. Vendors that sell SEO services deal with this in different formats, as some licence vendor data as Google have added restrictions in AdWords and grow the percentage of search results. Other SEO techniques are to create a database of keyword terms that are key towards a blog article for example. 

Search intent-based analysis 

SEO platform vendors are developing more ‘search intent’ based tools that analyse search intent and predict or recommend the most relevant content for the searcher. Updates have been made making keyword data less accessible to search marketers. 

Custom site crawls/ audits 

The quality of content is becoming so important towards marketers and also organisations. Through the use of site crawls and audits these have become so crucial towards marketers, as optimisation recommendations for keywords, page structures, and the assigning of scores for page attributes such as HTML title tags, body tags, and meta tags. The frequency of a site crawl can vary as it can be done daily or weekly and increasing support and optimisation for mobile platforms. 

Social signal tracking and integration 

Social media activity is so important, especially in this day and age. A now major major factor in search engine algorithms and results. All SEO platforms or website integrations are now profiled based upon reporting, measuring and integrating social signals. This is converted into their own analytics and dashboard reports. This as a result, up-to-date content comes as a must, and strong social tracking and correlations to site traffic and conversions is what these vendors do best. All coming from organic traffic of course. 

Content marketing analysis 

SEO and content marketing have become close buddies as not only Google have raised the quality content bar but every organisation has had to adapt to these conditions and face value. Many vendors have upgraded the content optimisation and content capabilities of their SEO platforms. The tools have been extended further into the atmosphere with APIs to manage on page content and errors as well as reports, traffic trends, campaign management and real time content recommendations. Much more advanced platforms will tend to help and improve the quality and depth within each bit of your content. Even potentially comparing against others.

When choosing an enterprise SEO platform

The first step to choosing the right SEO platform for you is to understand your current marketing processes and knowing how to measure your success and then identify the improvements that you are looking for as an SEO platform could be the first step for achieving them business needs and goals.

With hundreds and hundreds and tens of thousands of pages, perhaps millions on millions of sites and pages, images and ways to optimise on your website and your content. SEO has practically become a crucial aspect of the modern marketing world however can become increasingly difficult and not to mention time consuming. Getting past that block, could increase not only your productivity and efficiency so by using that time up on SEO and the toolset they provide through a platform, it could benefit you massively.

Multiple tools through one platform

SEO platforms perform many many tasks and multiple tools even through one system of platform. Just a simple platform of dashboard can help your organisation and then monitor and also control your SERP ratings and settings, trends and how to measure up to rival companies and organisations in your sector. The reporting and prioritising of tasks and be substantial and be so beneficial towards enterprise-level SEO operations.

Efficient management of global operations 

Built in SEO tools have diagnostics that can be invaluable on a global scale identity site-wide issues across languages, countries or regions. These tools uncover micro and macro issues with pages, templates and infrastructure. 

Keeping up with the search engines  

SEO is a key tool in keeping up with the search engines, in ways for engineers to keep up with algorithms and also their changes so they impact on SEO reporting. 

Automated reporting to provide data in near real time   

Many brands and organisations end up trying to put a lot of data into databases and algorithms so that they can also update them manually. This unfortunately however does not provide a full complete view of the data and information that has been collected. A lot of data needs to be collected so widgets are formed to make reporting even faster and easier than ever before.

Interested getting to know SEO a bit more. Read up on our ‘A guide to backlinks’ or ‘7 ways to increase your traffic towards your website’ 

In conclusion 

Sooooo SEO then, yeah we know it’s a lot to take in. All the tools and support, the budget and not to forget the knowledge you need to use SEO in a successful manner, there are plenty of tools out there but one thing is for sure, use SEO correctly and your ratings will blast through the roof and into the atmosphere.

Just consider a few things before we leave SEO down to you. 

  • Master Keyword Research. Always start with keyword research as it could be the big push for your content to get that rating to where you want it to be and where it also deserves to be. You’re likely to understand your industry terminology and jargon better than anyone else and it helps to understand and gauge what your audience wants from your and what you can put in search queries to entice them in. The best keywords offer a demand score that helps determine the relative value in targeting each keyword theme. 
  • Understanding your competition. Search for the most important products and services you offer and note the most prominent websites in the search results, those that share the same business idea and also share the same industry are always going to be your competitors and the ones you come up against in the searches. What are they doing well? What contents are you lacking towards them? Is their SEO better than yours? Do they have interesting features, do they have the content that you are missing? 
  • Optimise your site in the right way. Create the pages and figure out the settings, that is the hard part. Depending on what platform and system that you went for and the access and knowledge you have with developers and designers you may need