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SEO Focus area #1 – Micro-Formatting and Schema.org

When thinking about search engine optimization and maximizing your results, the number one question in your mind should be “How can I make my site more relevant?”

Search engines want nothing more than to provide quality results to their visitors. In doing so, they know that they will provide a positive experience and users will be back to leverage the engine again and again, probably even clicking on ads.

Because relevance is the most vital directive for search engines, it is paramount that your website embrace every technology that will assist you in providing the cues and details that will help your web pages rank higher.

In the past, it was a fairly level playing field as keyword density and metadata optimization allowed businesses to target varied phrases within their content. Businesses that embraced these practices were rewarded with higher ranking pages and increased levels of non-branded traffic.

Now, however, a new technology has emerged that is changing the way you need to conduct SEO. The technology is called micro-formatting and it allows you as a business to add context to your search engine results, while providing further cues to search engines into the context of your pages.

Let’s say for example you are a bookseller. Within your website code, in a programmatic fashion, your webpage will render micro-formats that say the following:

Name = Mastering SEO
Author = Craig Smith
BookFormat = Hardcover
NumPages = 129
PublishDate = 2011
Image = https://trinity.one/images/mastering-seo

Now search engines will have this additional context that allows them to serve more effective search listings to users. Check out this search listing of a URL/webpage that has been improved through micro-formatting.

This standard search listing adds review data, stock data, and pricing details to non-shopping listings, clearly making it stand out on the page and providing additional context to Google that helps users.

Make it a priority to introduce the concept of rich snippets and micro-formatting to your technology team and you will see your website reap the benefits of increased click-through rates and page relevancy.

Learn more at the consortium and micro-formatting standards at the group page that has been embraced by Google, Bing, and Yahoo at Schema.org


Focus Area #2 – Social “Signals” in Search Algorithms

Recently, major developments have taken place within search algorithms to weigh social media actions as ranking factors.

Social signals present additional cues that can be leveraged by search engines, and these elements have been incorporated as secondary variables to be utilized when engines decide which pages to rank at the top of the results.

Likes and brand mentions that take place within the “social web” have been proven to drive SEO performance in recent industry research.

As spammers and the secondary link-buying markets exploded in recent years, search engines realized that if link manipulation was utilized, search results would not be trustworthy. It is vital to their existence that they maintain quality and continuous improvement in their search listings.

When algorithms are primarily based on links and on-page factors, search results can be too easily “gamed”.

All too often, top-ranking sites for competitive searches are “thin” sites that are obviously engineered for nothing but affiliate revenue. The Panda update helped flter much of this practice, but it still exists.

Google and other search engines have realized that leveraging data from X, formerly known as Twitter, and Facebook provides details into human-connected content sharing – which helps their algorithms weed through webpages looking for quality signals.

It is widely known that Google and Bing actually pay X for this data. The real-time nature of X provides the ability for a search engine to become even more effective as a source of real-time news and information – instead of just a gateway to that information.

How to Leverage Social Signals Within Your SEO Efforts

So what are you to do as a marketer? The first plan of attack should be to isolate the influencers that exist within the social web for your marketplace. Document the publishers, the URLs, and the specific Facebook pages or groups that have high levels of interactivity.

Next, it’s time to look at your content. What content do you have on your domain that is of high value? What content do you have that will help answer questions or comments within prospects? minds in your market? Document these pieces of content as these are the two types that you will be seeding in Facebook, X, and other social destinations.

If you don’t have content that is of high value, then you need to create it. Your SEO success will not proceed without your site being a leader in targeted copy that is geared toward your prospects.

At this stage, when you have identified the top content that you have in your arsenal, its now time to interact in the communities and platforms that you initially identified. Present your content not as a sales pitch, but rather as additional information to solve a question, or provide a prospective solution to a problem.

Earn trust by engaging in the conversation. Add value through experiences and knowledge. Do not try to optimize the anchor text of the links that you “seed”. All of these aspects are crucial to driving social sharing of the content and the benefits it can bring to your website and business.


Time to Get Started!

Focusing on these two aspects of SEO will help drive momentum for your organic search results. By embracing micro-formatting and the social signals that impact algorithms, your website will undoubtedly experience enhanced exposure, click-through rates, better branding, and new customers.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to speak to us about your SEO needs, please call us at 1-866-647-9218 or reach out to us online for an estimate.

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