When you look at the statistics seen on Google analytics, half of the website searches are done from mobile devices. Google prefers websites that have a good mobile version. If your website does not have a good mobile version, if you’ve been putting it off or ignoring it, half of your traffic is lost and Google will penalize your rankings. Wayne Bucklar, CEO of SEO Bites, talks more about the changes in SEO and latest trends this 2017 in this episode.
Henry : What’s next for SEO?
Wayne Bucklar: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always changing. You have to remember that Google who is the prime but not the only client because Bing and Dot Dot Go and all those other search engines are also significant. But Google doesn’t have an interest in making you successful in getting your page to the top. Their purpose is to provide an excellent search experience for their users and for their advertisers. As someone who’s just got a webpage listed in Google, you’re a long way down the priority list for Google so things change all the time.
We’ll talk a little while about some of the things that are happening, but the big ones are short messages, facial recognition, and a huge reliance on video. All those things are being reflected in what we offer SEO Bites, where we still offer our video packages that we always do, but we’re de-constructing those packages so that individual components will become available for people who just need editing on their own blogs or on their own videos.
Henry: What are the new services that are offered?
Wayne Bucklar: The new services are to de-construct what we currently do. So currently what we do is we interview a client, we do a transcript, we create from that transcript a slidedeck for Slideshare, we create introductory paragraphs in social media posts for a whole a bunch of social media outlets, we create a podcast, we put up our radio-ready audio file on the SoundCloud and on our own radio stations. We make also available to the client for them put on their website. So what we doing is taking all of those skill sets: audio editing, video editing, slidedeck creation, and making them available as individual components. We have some clients who doing their own podcast and really just want their podcast to be ‘Audio Engineered’, I guess is the word. Technically we would levelize the volume and maybe roll of the base and get a clear resound, some of that stuff, and maybe add to the front of it and the end of it, and intro, and an outro, maybe an under bedded music. We used to do that as part of that packages with our interviews with our own clients, now we’re making those individual components available just on a per hourly basis. Check our website on the components and you’ll be able to see all those new services that we’re offering.
Henry: Should website owners change their approach in SEO?
Wayne Bucklar: Website owners always need to change their approach to ensure that the way they appear in the search engines is as good as it can be, that’s the purpose of Search Engine Optimization. The big things that are happening; firstly, a greater and greater use of facial recognition. Make no mistake, all of the social media accounts and Google are able to recognize the face of the person who appears in the video or the photo. If they don’t know the name to go with that face, they know where else the face is appearing on the web. So, what these means is, one of the wise to link to get a content is to have your face showing. The cautionary note is that if you have your face showing it will be linked and assessed implications of course for some of those photos that you might wish other people hadn’t posted on Facebook. But nevertheless, the photos on there, the applications on the internet are able to recognize the face.
Secondly, video. As you can see from my face made for radio, I’m an older person. And so I remember when literacy was about being able to read words, and novels, and books. And some of us even did that for pleasure. The current generation tend to want things predigested and they want short messages. They prefer it in video, they prefer it to be summarized. And to get the current generation of users to watch a video of about 15 minutes is really a big effort, it has to be dynamic content. In this short message argument, I just put up Donald Trump as an example where in a 140 characters on his tweets, he is able to convey messages which are I have to say, are beautifully crafted. They do tap into an American mindset, they do engage people emotionally, and they’re only a 140 characters long. The SEO lessons for everyone at present, short, concise video based and take advantage of facial recognition.
Henry: What are the trends emerging in SEO industry?
Wayne Bucklar: The trends emerging in the SEO industry are those we just mentioned earlier. The read alliance of the audience on getting their messages very quickly over their phones, often with their mobile so mobile is critically important, video is critically important, and concise messaging is critically important. The advertising industry has for a long time done A/B testing on things like online ads where they test model A against model B and C which one works. It’s really getting to the point where A/B testing is worthwhile doing with messaging. If you can’t explain what you do in your business in the value of let’s say less than a 90-second video, you need to think about writing more concise videos. There is really a reluctance to pay much more attention to 90-seconds and remember television ads are generally 30-seconds long and they are able to get their message across in just that time.
Henry: Why do you think mobile searches are more prevalent compared to the usual desktop search?
Wayne Bucklar: I give mobile a lot credence because now, when you look at the statistics which you can see in your Google analytics, half of the website searches that are done are being done from mobile devices. Google is preferencing websites that have a good mobile version of their website. It has to fit the screen, it has the scale, the buttons have to be big enough, there is advice only Google website about how you should set up your mobile webpage. But if you haven’t, if you’ve been putting it off or ignoring it, half of your traffic is not getting your message and Google is now penalizing you because you don’t have a good mobile website. It’s just reached the tipping point where more than half of the traffic is coming off mobile devices.
Henry: Is this the year that all website owners have to start making mobile formats for themselves?
Wayne Bucklar: Henry, it’s not only the year when everyone should stop to do mobile websites. It’s really the year when everyone should have finished doing their mobile websites. If you haven’t got a mobile-enabled website right now, then you’re playing catch up and you’re losing half of your traffic. My advice to people who are building websites now is build with a strategy of mobile first, your desktop website should be your second consideration. Your first consideration should be how it looks on a mobile phone. Fortunately, there’s really only the two operating systems to worry about, Android and Apple. I know there are other phone operating systems but they make a very small part of the market. Have it looking good on Apple, have it looking good on Android, and that’s really the battle. But it’s not time to start doing that, it’s really time to be finished doing that.