Believe it or not, search engine optimization (SEO) has been around for more than two decades. Yet knowing how to maximize SEO in your marketing strategy has never been more important in generating leads.

At Skoda Minotti Strategic Marketing, we expect an upward trend in the investment that companies will be making in SEO to keep up with constantly changing algorithms by Google and other search engines, as well as improved AdWords targeting and mobile search updates. Whether you manage SEO in-house or work with a reputable marketing agency, you’ll need to continuously monitor search algorithms—if you don’t, you may find your business experiencing a sharp decrease in web traffic.

The latest innovations in AdWords center largely on including more targeting options for mobile, as well as adding value to advertisers via machine learning. For those unfamiliar, machine learning enables marketers to analyze a number of signals in real time so that you can target your audience with the right ads at the right time. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably noticed the sponsored ads that relate to Facebook posts that you’ve clicked on, viewed or interacted with in some way. These are targeted specifically to your actions and interests – machine learning at its finest!

As part of your big picture strategy, machine learning means you can get a better handle on the buyer’s journey across all the various devices and channels they use. The best way to manage this is to be sure to put more focus on your AdWords headlines and descriptions to take the greatest advantage of machine learning algorithms. The challenge for marketers will be to take advantage of all the data available to them from these ever-changing algorithms, and put it into action.

We’re also keeping an eye on voice search—a hot topic as more devices become available to enable consumers and businesses alike to quickly access the information they need. People are using their tablets, smartphones and home devices to quickly get the resources they need.

Let’s say your business sells insurance products to the automobile industry. How confident are you that your business will come up first in voice search? The challenge is that there is no single SEO approach for voice search because each search engine is different, such as Google Home, Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.

You will need to consider various strategies to optimize for voice search. For example, Google provides most voice search options from the featured snippet box, so consider doing keyword research to see which featured snippets present an opportunity for your business. It will also be important to keep in mind that voice search is much more conversational and natural. As a result, you will need to think outside the keyword phrase box in your approach to voice queries and focus on the type (and context) of specific questions people will ask.

Do you have questions about SEO, or other marketing issues? Please contact Bob Goricki at 440-605-7234 or email Bob.

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