New approaches to SEO you should be using (but probably aren’t)

By Henry Brown

The way companies do great SEO is changing. In the past it was all about links. But today, there’s more to it than that. Great SEO requires an in-depth understanding of how search engines work and what they’re looking for.

Google is fast becoming a non-human brain. The search engine is now so powerful that it almost always spits back what users want. It’s able to create links between pages just based on the language that they use with machine learning AI models. It’s then able to make recommendations that answer virtually any question you type in.

Businesses need to make themselves aware of this. They need to adapt to the requirements of search engines or risk losing ground in search results to their competitors.

Focus on whole-site experience

Google wants users to feel “delighted” whenever they use your site. So in today’s SEO world, slow-loading pages are a big no-no and something that could get you relegated.
Google actually specifies how long it should take pages on your site to load. If the time that it takes is too high, then it will punish you by placing your pages below those of your rivals.

Optimize for voice search

Voice search is getting bigger and bigger every year. More people than ever before are using it. Mostly, it is being driven by smartphone assistants and smart speakers for the home. And it’s having a massive impact on how companies should do SEO.

But how, exactly? Well the biggest change is in the frequency of long-tail keywords. It takes time to type a long phrase into the regular Google search bar, so most people don’t bother. However, asking a long question is natural and hardly takes any effort at all. So Google and Bing are seeing an uptick in so-called long-tail keywords with three or more words in the search phrase. Companies that can optimize for these can take control of the voice search market.

Create topic clusters

In the past, companies focused on ramming their pages with as many relevant keywords as they could. But now the emphasis is on topic clusters.

If you use a SERP API, you’ll often find that the top results focus on a specific topic or subject. The writers aren’t obsessing over how many times they’re inserting various keywords into the mix. Instead, they’re creating a content structure that allows them to create a cluster of related articles.

Google’s algorithms love this approach because it gives them more to work with. They can get a better feel for what pages are about inside a website if they are all supporting each other.

Write longer content

Longer posts generate more backlinks – period. And what’s more, diminishing returns are small, meaning that you still get a lot of benefit for each extra word that you write.

Naturally, you shouldn’t just write as much as you can, hoping for the best. Instead, you want to make sure that every sentence provides your audience with some kind of value. Avoid padding like the plague and ask yourself, what would your audience actually want to read?


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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