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So how will AI, Machine Learning and RankBrain Change Things for SEO?

It’s been said for years, but having content that is useful to your audience is key. Providing value to your users will never go out of style and fortunately for everyone, it’s the way of the future. As search professionals, we need to make sure we have meaningful, relevant content available across all platforms, devices and networks. Simple stuff really. The best thing you can do is try to put yourself in your customer’s (or your clients customers) shoes and see things from their perspective.

To really stay ahead of the curve, Baidu SEO should start thinking less about optimizing for search engines and more about the content experience they can provide.

Its Role In the Buyer’s Journey

Let’s say you’ve been getting into bicycle commuting. You’ve been leaving the car at home and your bike is quickly becoming your main form of transportation. First of all: CONGRATS! Secondly, you’ve probably had a flat tire or two along the way. For all intents and purposes here, let’s say you’ve been getting flat tires a little too often and you decide to do a search for “why do I keep getting flat tires on my bike?”.

flat tire serps

You’ll probably come across Mr. Sheldon Brown’s encyclopedia of bicycle knowledge and by the end of the article on flats, you’ll feel like an expert on flat tires. You’ll also learn about kevlar-lined tires and their reputation for decreasing punctures. You click on a link within the article and it takes your to their page to purchase a set of Continental Gatorskins. With the content experience Sheldon’s provided you’ve not only gained new knowledge, but you’ve also solved your puncture problem by purchasing a set of high quality rubber.

Sheldon Brown has been content marketing before “content marketing” was a thing, simply by writing about what he loves and putting himself in the shoes of his customers.

But What About Technical SEO? On-Page Optimization & Structured Data

As search engines continue to get smarter, technical SEO will become less and less important. Web platforms and software providers are creating tools that are SEO-friendly out of the box. I’m not saying to stop writing good meta titles and descriptions; or to ignore internally linking your site; or to write-off structured data. I’m saying that you shouldn’t worry about  things like    “crawl errors”  as much – search spiders will get smarter and learn new patterns. Good news right? More time to focus on creating the best possible content for your users.

Structured Data?

Something often overlooked but just as important as ever is structured data. Giving search engines as much possible information about your content will only increase visibility and click-through rates. Higher click-through rates signals to Google that your content is popular and that web surfers are engaging with it. So pay Schema a visit and make sure your microdata game is on-point.

Don’t Forget Social!

I know I’ve been preaching about creating quality content, but it simply isn’t enough these days. Having the best content means nothing if there aren’t eyes reading it.

social media

This is where paid social comes in. Developing a solid paid social strategy will not only get your content seen, but also shared and linked. Start small with a low budget if you’re new to paid social media and see what works. Also consider finding other authorities in your space and perhaps doing some outreach.

Takeaways?

SEO now is all about creating the most relevant content experience possible. End user data is becoming paramount and is just as important (if not more so) as having quality links.

User intent is of the essence here as machine learning within search is on the rise. Being able to anticipate the needs of your customers and the intent of their search habits will keep you ahead of the competition, especially if you use social channels to ensure your content is seen and shared.


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