SEO Industry Updates – June 2019

seo industry updates

SEMRush Expands to Amazon

Page optimization testing tool through Amazon

Summary:

If you manage an Amazon store, you may have frustrations about the lack of industry tools dedicated to the organic performance of Amazon pages. Within the SEO industry, there is a plethora of tools dedicated to tracking and optimizing websites, but not for optimizing Amazon stores and products.  Up until recently, marketers have had to rely on general best practices and trial & error to see what improves their Amazon performance.

On May 20th, SEMrush announced they are launching a tool called Sellerly that is helping fill this gap in the market. Sellerly gives Amazon sellers the opportunity to perform an unlimited number of A/B tests on images, pricing, and title & product descriptions.  The information gathered in the split-tests empowers Amazon sellers to make data-driven decisions for their stores.

Founded in 2008, SEMrush has been a leader in the SEO & digital marketing industry, having helped over 4 million users perform research to optimize their websites.  According to Eugene Levin, SEMrush Chief Strategy Officer, the split testing is only the beginning of SEMrush’s involvement in Amazon marketing:

“By introducing Sellerly as a seller’s buddy in Amazon marketing, we hope to improve hundreds of existing Amazon sellers’ strategies. Sellerly split testing is only the first step here. We’ve already started to build a community around the new product, which is very important to us. We believe that by combining feedback from users with our leading technology and 10 years of SEO software experience, we will be able to build something truly exceptional for Amazon sellers.”

Takeaways:

  • Sellerly’s split testing can help Amazon sellers perform tests within 3 categories:
    • Imagery
    • Wording
    • Pricing
  • The live data is available as tests are being performed, but Sellerly recommends running a test for at least 2 weeks in order to gather enough data
  • Sellerly is currently only available for Amazon sellers within the USA
  • Setting up Sellerly is a simple process of connecting the tool to your Amazon Marketplace Web Service
  • The tool is currently FREE, with NO LIMIT on the number of tests you can run.  (This will most likely change in the future, so we recommend testing out the tool while it is free.)

7 Reasons Ranking Dropped

How to fix recent drops in ranking

Summary:

When it comes to SEO, there is no one size fits all. And when it comes to a drop in traffic you need to be prepared to check a variety of issues before you actually solve the problem. Below are some of the top reasons for an Organic drop found through a study conducted by Search Engine Watch.

  • Google Algorithms – Maybe it’s not just your site that has seen a drop in SERP positions. These shifts in traffic could be due to Google testing out its algorithms. To understand if this is the drop that you’re seeing, compare your site’s data with competitors. Learn more about the pre-announcement of Google’s Core Search Algorithm Update made on June 3, 2019.
  • Technical Issues – Always be aware of possible technical SEO issues on your site to understand if some major factors are affecting your rankings: server overload, page speed, redirects, broken links, broken images, metadata issues, and more.
  • Keywords – Are you using the right keywords for your client? Are you considering user intent? Even if you are doing this already and are ranking high in SERP for specific queries, Google could have changed the way it is understanding your website’s intent. Tracking your keywords on a monthly/quarterly basis can help you make sure your site matches the target keywords you are focusing on.
  • Outdated Content – Make sure that your content is up-to-date and delivering fresh information because outdated content doesn’t encourage shares and links. With outdated content, it’s more likely that search engines will reduce your ranking position. Make sure to post valuable content on a regular cadence to show search engines and users that you have the answers.
  • Links – Growing your website’s link profile is an important part of the SEO strategy. And we’re not just talking about any links, we’re talking about quality links.
  • Poor User Experience – If you were ranking high in search and suddenly see a dip in rankings, it could be due to your page not meeting user expectations. When showing results, search engines focus on key metrics such as click-through rate, page duration, bounce rate, and the number of visits. Always remember these on-page optimization tasks to help increase user experience and rankings: relevant header tags, title tags, and meta descriptions, along with an easy to read content structure.
  • Competition – If you have everything in line when it comes to the above steps, then maybe your rankings have dropped simply because your competition is outranking you. Analyze these sites, complete a competitor analysis, and start monitoring what they’re doing that you might not be doing.

Google Placing Podcast in Search Results

Modern web apps Google may be able to fully crawl

Summary:

Google is now showing podcast results in search. After hearing about this newest feature for search back in March 2019, it is officially rolling out now (announced via Search Engine Land May 9, 2019) in the mobile and desktop search results.

Zack Reneau-Wedeen, founder and head of product for Google Podcasts, stated on Thursday, May 9th:

“Rolling out this week you’ll be able to search for and play podcasts directly in Google Search across Android, IOS, and desktop browsers, a step toward making audio a first-class citizen across Google.”

Podcast search results on desktop and mobile are showing three of the most recent episodes for your desired search, with a link at the bottom for More Episodes which will take you to the Google Podcast interface.

This feature pulls searches for the title tag, meta description, and audio as Google transcribes them. To strengthen this newest feature, there is Podcast structured data that can be implemented to help Google discover and understand your podcast. Google states:

“You can enable your podcast to appear in Google Search results and Google Podcasts, along with individual episode descriptions and an embedded player for each. This feature is available through the Google Search App for Android (requires v6.5 or higher of the Google Search App), Google Podcasts app, Chrome for Android, Google Home, and Google Assistant.”

This new feature is a step toward making audio more well-known across Google. Podcast producers can now get more visibility in search of their content.

Key Takeaways:

  • Officially rolled out for mobile and desktop search results (May 9, 2019)
  • In addition to title tags and meta descriptions, Google is transcribing audio to pull search results for podcasts.
  • Podcast structured data is available to help Google understand your podcast even more.
  • As stated by Zack Reneau-Wedeen from Google, “this is a step toward making audio a first-class citizen across Google”.

New in Structured Data: FAQ and How-To

Summary:

At this year’s Google I/O, Google developers announced the launch of two new ways content creators can implement structured data to enhance their content in the form of How-To’s & Frequently Asked Questions.

Why Is This Important?

As Google continues to alter the layout of search results, structured data for How To & FAQ pages provide content publishers the opportunity to have their page appear not only for searches on traditional devices such as phone or desktop but also on the Google Home Hub or other devices with the Google Assistant.

With eligible pages for How-to results, searchers will now be able to see step by step instructions to follow along with as well as images or videos to accompany each step.  

For frequently asked questions pages, searchers can now more easily receive access to answers around questions about a business or service. FAQ results are available on both desktop and mobile searches.

How It Works:

For How-To structured data, pages will need to provide the following information:

  • Name of project (ex. “How To Make Oragami”)
  • Steps associated with project
  • Description of each step
  • Image or Video Corresponding with steps (Duplicate images will not be accepted for multiple steps.)

For frequently asked question pages, pages will need to provide the following information with only one answer per question:

  • Question
  • Accepted Answer

According to Google, only one set of instructions can be marked up per page. These instructions are also different from the implementation markup for recipes. For frequently asked questions, information must be from the organization and not sourced through users in comments or through a forum. To learn more, visit Google’s developer documentation for how-to & FAQ.  

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