Google's recently teamed up with Kantar and surveyed more than 4,000 people in the U.S. to get a better understanding of the connection between consumers’ needs and their search behaviors. The goal was to determine if search behavior was connected to Kantar’s NeedScope: surprise me, help me, reassure me, educate me, impress me and thrill me... and at no surprise, it was determined that search behavior is driven by them all.
Your content is most likely already taking some or all of these needs into consideration. The question is, is your content being found?
In this blog post, learn five HubSpot SEO strategy tactics that will help you rank higher in search engine results.
What is SEO
Let's start at the beginning.
SEO stands for 'search engine optimization'...meaning when someone goes online and types a word, phrase, or question into Google, it ensures your product or service will show up as a result.
The tricky part is, there are only a handful of spots available after ADs, local results, videos, and the 'people also ask/feedback' section on page 1.
So how does your business compete for these spots?
You need to become the most relevant and authoritative website for the problems your business is trying to solve.
How do you this? Develop an SEO strategy.
If you've read any of our recent blogs on SEO, you'll know that HubSpot has some pretty snazzy tools that help you with content strategy and optimization for blogs, landing pages, and website pages. It also offers a plethora of technical SEO features for anyone hosting their website on the HubSpot CMS.
So now that we've gone over how to implement these tactics within HubSpot's platform, we thought it would be beneficial to review some of the basic tactics to include in your SEO strategy.
What to Include in Your HubSpot SEO Strategy
When it comes to SEO, there some staple ranking factors that you need to implement so your content and website not only ranks on Google, but has authority... meaning it's popular.
Below are our top 5:
#1 - Mobile-friendly
As of July 1, 2019, Google announced that it will use the mobile version of content from your website for indexing and ranking, and that 'mobile-first indexing' is enabled by default for all new websites. Older websites will be notified on Google Search Console and evaluated based on Google's best practices.
Before July 1, 2019, they were using desktop versions to determine the relevance and authority of a page or website in relation to a search query.
But since the majority of the world now uses a mobile device to search on Google, the Googlebot will primarily be crawling your mobile pages now.
#2 - Technical SEO
We spoke at length about the importance of technical SEO for rankings in our blog, 'How to Boost Your Website's Technical SEO with HubSpot'.
This is how you ensure your website is fast, secure, and easy for Google to find and understand, and that your internal and external linking structures are providing a great user experience.
#3 - User Intent
It's pretty safe to say that every search online is made because of a need from the user that needs fulfilling.
This is called user intent.
Google has made it crystal clear in their Search Rating Program that 'websites or pages without any beneficial purpose, including pages that are created with no attempt to help users, or pages that potentially spread hate, cause harm, or misinform or deceive users, should receive the lowest rating.'
Google goes into more specific detail about the significance of user intent in section 12.7 and said search queries typically include or more of the following intents.
- Know query: the intent of a Know query is to find information on a topic. Users want to know more about something.
- Do query: the intent of a Do query is to accomplish a goal or engage in an activity on a phone. The goal or activity may be to download, to buy, to obtain, to be entertained by, or to interact with a website or app.
- Website query: the intent of a Website query is to locate a specific website or web page that users have requested.
- Visit-in-person query: typically on mobile for finding coffee shops, gas stations, ATMs, restaurants, etc.
#3 - Content Marketing & On-Page SEO
Content marketing is a strategic marketing tactic focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract, retain, and profit from a clearly defined audience.
This the heart and soul of HubSpot's methodologies and marketing tools, and you can't really talk about on-page SEO without it.
On-page SEO is then the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized.
The top on-page factors that affect search engine rankings are:
- Content on a Page. The topic is stated throughout the content of the page, the content is unique and covers a specific amount of information in a lot of depth.
- Title Tag. The topic is stated in the title of the page
- URL. The topic is stated in the URL of the page
- Image Alt Text. The topic is stated in the Image Alt Text of the page
- Internal Linking. Provide appropriate internal linking to a pillar page and to additional related content pieces.
#4 - Featured Snippets & Suggested Clips
Another one of Google's goals is to speed up your experience by providing things like autocomplete, predicting the topic as you type and Featured Snippets, which show a paragraph, list, or table of relevant information to what you’re searching for at the top of the SERP (search engine result page).
The content that appears in these features is generated algorithmically and is a reflection of what people are searching for and what’s available on the web.
Google displays featured snippets when their systems determine this format will help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description of the page and when they click on the link to read the page itself.
They predict this will be increasingly relevant for mobile or voice searches, in addition to video.
With the continuous rise in use and popularity of video, suggested video clips are gaining exposure as well.
These videos are replacing featured snippets as featured videos at the top of SERPs. In addition, Google recently announced that they will no longer take you into YouTube.com to watch the video. Instead, it overlays a window that plays the video in a black frame above the Google search results.
This is the new position 0 on page 1 of Google.
#5- User Experience
It's kinda common sense...a good user experience (UX) will lead to more satisfied users, which notifies Google’s crawlers to take notice.
Google states that it's core foundations of a delightful web experience are:
- Fast - It responds quickly to user interactions with smooth animations and no awkward scrolling.
- Integrated - The user doesn’t have to reach through the browser, it uses the full capabilities of the device to create an experience true to the device.
- Reliable - Loads instantly and reliably.
- Engaging - Keeps the user coming back to the app with beautifully designed experiences that look and feel natural.
Google Playbooks also offer some best practice examples of successful UX and some basic metrics you can also factor in like:
- Time on Site. How long does the user stay on the site? A higher time is better; it indicates the expectations of the user have been met.
- Page Views. How many pages are viewed on a website? More page views are better because it indicates the information interests the user.
- Bounce Rate. If the user jumps from your website back to the search results, and clicks on a different website, this indicates that they did not find what they were looking for with you. This can have negative implications for ranking and SEO.
This concludes our discussion of HubSpot SEO strategy and what to focus on to rank higher on SERPs.
Stay tuned to learn everything you need to know about HubSpot SEO.
Do you want to learn more about HubSpot SEO?
Check out another one of our blogs on this topic, 'Improve Your Content Strategy With HubSpot SEO Tools' by clicking the button below.