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How To Stay Up-to-Date In The SEO Industry

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How To Stay Up-to-Date In The SEO Industry

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tricky field. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, Google goes and changes the algorithm and what used to work doesn’t work so well anymore. or there’s a new element to add to your SEO bag.

Though you may want to write this off as a “cost of doing business” in SEO, these constant changes are actually for a good reason: Google is always trying to develop a better understanding of how people use the internet.

Changes to search algorithms are made with the goal of providing better, more relevant information to users.

And while this is great for users, it also means SEO professionals must constantly stay up-to-date on the latest changes and best practices. And that can be a major time commitment by itself.

But never fear, we’re here to help.

Tips For Staying On Top Of SEO Trends

Whether you’re an experienced SEO professional or are just getting started in your career, here are some ways you can stay in the know about what’s happening in the industry.

Subscribe To Leading SEO Blogs And Email Newsletters

It’s no secret that Google is the top dog in the search engine field.

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As of February 2022, it accounts for a whopping 92% of search engine market share – which is what you would probably expect for a company whose name has become a verb meaning “to look up.”

And because Google is such a giant in the field, any SEO pro worth his or her salt should make sure to check the Google Search Central Blog on a regular basis.

Run by the search engine giant itself; it’s where you can find official updates to the Google Search Core algorithm, announcements about new search features, and articles on SEO best practices.

While Google’s blog is the gospel search engine optimization is performed by, there are several other valuable resources on the internet written by digital marketing experts.

We’d be remiss, of course, if we didn’t list ourselves first. Search Engine Journal exists for the sole purpose of keeping busy SEO people in the loop.

And while we humbly consider ourselves a top resource, other blogs and email newsletters you should be reading include Kevin Indig’s, Moz, SEO Fomo and Yoast.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of 38 other resources you may find helpful.

Join Communities And Forums

SEO is a community and professionals love to share their knowledge. It was my participation in two or three communities that led to the launch of SEJ almost 19 years ago.

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Gathering as much knowledge as you can ensures your strategies are effective and gives you the page rankings you want.

One of the best ways to do this is to read and participate in forums on the topic.

One of the most popular communities for SEO (and just about everything else) is on Reddit. Users can create posts, ask questions and share articles.

Content on this social platform is “upvoted” or “downvoted,” depending on the community’s opinion of it. This encourages quality posts to rise to the top, while poor-quality ones quickly disappear.

The SEO subreddit can be used for everything from job searching to troubleshooting, serving as a strategic sounding board to tracking new developments in the field.

For people with specific questions, Quora is an excellent resource.

Designed as a place to share knowledge, it allows users to ask questions, which are in turn answered by the community.

Update Your News Feed And Follow Thought Leaders On Social Media

Love it or hate it, there’s no question social media has changed the world.

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And while the downside is it allows your, um, quirky uncle to share his thoughts on the connection between sasquatch, aliens, and the JFK assassination, it also allows you to connect with people like never before.

And if you’re not using this professionally, you’re missing a huge opportunity.

Twitter, LinkedIn, and yes, even Facebook, give you unparalleled access to professionals who have built their careers by sharing their experience.

With a few clicks, you can start receiving the SEO thoughts of people like Danny Sullivan and John Mueller. In addition to Danny & John, here are 202 SEO Experts who we feel that you should be following on Twitter and other social channels.

By updating your newsfeed to include these people, you’ll not only benefit from the immense level of knowledge they share, but you’ll ensure you stay in the know about any developments within the SEO world.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of top SEO experts you should be following here.

Listen To Podcasts

Do you have a lot of other commitments, and don’t always have hours to dedicate to perusing the internet to stay on top of the latest best practices?

Once again, modern technology to the rescue.

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Podcasts are a great way to get trustworthy tips directly from notable industry experts.

And you can consume them anywhere from the train during your morning commute to the treadmill during your workout.

Not sure what podcasts you should be listening to? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a handy list of 17 of the best SEO podcasts in the business.

And no list would ever be complete without mentioning our very own Search Engine Journal Show, where we talk all things SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, and digital marketing with the top industry experts and authorities.

Watch YouTube Videos And SEO Webinars

Are you old enough to remember what life was like before the internet?

If so, you probably remember the frustration that came with figuring things out on your own, rather than pulling up your phone and watching a quick tutorial video.

Luckily the bad old days are behind us, and we now have access to an unprecedented amount of information, including helpful videos on platforms like YouTube and webinars hosted by experts.

Many leaders in the field of SEO have YouTube channels where they regularly upload content.

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These usually short videos are an excellent way to pick up quick tips and find solutions to problems you’re facing.

Channels worth following include The SEO Video Show, Ahrefs, Matt Diggity (more of a casual, Mr. Beast feel) and, of course, Search Engine Journal.

If you have a little more time to dedicate to your SEO education, webinars are a great way to expand your knowledge.

For top-quality SEO learning, there are three main contributors: Semrush, BrightEdge and, you guessed it, Search Engine Journal.

Usually available on-demand if you miss the live presentation, these are an effective way to stay up to date with what’s happening in the field.

Attend Conferences And Build Your Network

The most valuable resource for any organization is its people. That’s why there’s an entire division called “human resources.”

But, you don’t have to work in the same office, organization, or even country to benefit from the knowledge of other SEO professionals.

To ensure your continued success in the field of search engine optimization, it’s important to expand your network.

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By getting acquainted with other people in the industry, you can mimic their successful strategies, learn from their failures, and stay on top of what’s trending – and one of the best places to do this is at SEO conferences.

In a pre-pandemic world, there was no better way to put your finger on the pulse of the world of search engine rankings and connect with industry leaders than on the floor of a summit or at the evening cocktail hour. And it was a great way to make new friends too.

Though Covid-19 put a temporary limit on in-person gatherings, they’re starting to pick up again, which means attendees are once again able to expand their networks and gain a deeper understanding of how top SEO professionals are getting results.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve read this far, hopefully, we’ve impressed upon you the importance of staying up to date on the constantly shifting world of search engine optimization and given you some resources you can use to do so.

But even if you’re someone who loves your job, you undoubtedly have other commitments in your life.

And staying abreast of the latest best practices can feel like a full-time job in itself.

You simply don’t have time to spend all day, every day tracking the latest trends and best practices. And even if you could, that wouldn’t give you the bandwidth to implement these new strategies.

But that’s why we created this piece: to show you the many ways you can learn and follow what’s happening in SEO.

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Maybe it’s part of your morning routine, where after checking your email, you spend some time reading the latest articles.

Maybe you routinely listen to our podcast while stuck in traffic. Or maybe you prefer lunch-and-learns, where you watch webinars while you’re taking your lunch break.

There’s a wealth of SEO information out there from a lot of experts who can help you take your rankings to the next level.

It’s up to you how you’ll use their information, tips, and tricks to make the most out of them.

More Resources:


Featured Image: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.

The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:

  • Visualization
  • Personalization
  • Sustainability

After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.

The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).

The Struggle With Images

Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.

Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:

  • How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?

Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general eCommerce businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.

More Uses Cases, Please

Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.

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The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.

Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.

Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.

The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.

  • 30-minute follow-up session on how these relate to advertisers
  • Focus less on verticals
  • Provide more use cases

Michelle Morgan and Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.

Google Product Managers Weigh In

The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:

  • It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?

Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:

  • Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
  • For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page

However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.

Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.

Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?

The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.

Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.

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Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.

Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.

Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.

The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.

Closing Thoughts

Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.

However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.

Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.

A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.

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Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M

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