Ever since the creation of Google, we have seen increased traffic from the search engine every year. Last year was an important turning point. For the first time in its history, the search engine shifted into being an answer engine. That has its consequences for traditional SEO. In the coming years, SEO will become more difficult, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a competitive edge in outperforming your competition. To put it even more strongly, you can absolutely use it to your advantage!
From search engine to answer engine
Where Google used to offer 10 options in reply to your search query, Google now answers more and more queries directly in the search engine. Users no longer have to click through to a website, but rather get an answer straight from Google. Increasingly, Google uses the Knowledge Graph for this purpose. It’s different from the snippet feature, where the source gets credit and a reference (read: link). With the Knowledge Graph — which is quickly replacing the featured snippets — that isn’t the case. Clickthroughs from the Knowledge Graph to your website are off the table.
On desktop, 30% of users are no longer clicking through to a website after reading the answer they were looking for. That means that one in three people doesn’t leave the search engine to get more information from your website. A whopping 54.4% of all mobile users no longer click through to a website (source: Rand Fishkin presentation, YoastCon 2019).
From traditional SEO to holistic SEO
In short, Google is no longer giving content writers the credit they deserve. And users get their answers immediately, which makes them much less likely to click through to your website. All that makes SEO more complicated, but it doesn’t mean that won’t be able to get traffic. There are opportunities up for grabs here. It’s best not to consider SEO as a standalone discipline, but rather to integrate it into your marketing strategy. Holistic SEO is the answer. Which really means that SEO ties everything together. In that sense, multiple elements are essential, such as:
- outstanding content;
- website authority;
- short website loading time;
- and a great mobile version of the website.
Check for SEO and readability
So SEO is becoming trickier, but don’t be mistaken: organic traffic from search engines still holds a lot of potential. The arrival of Knowledge Graphs does mean that fewer visitors will be leaving the search engine, but there is still a large percentage of users who won’t be satisfied with a short answer. And that’s unlikely to change any time soon. That’s why you should make SEO an element of your marketing strategy and find out where your opportunities lie. And keep in mind that it’s not necessarily a bad thing for Google to consider your overall content.
Do you write your text content in our editor or do you use one of our plugins or add-ins? Then we’ll give you live suggestions to optimize your written content for SEO. But that’s not the only tool you can use in service of the ‘new SEO.’ For great content, the readability of your text is also very important. The readability level of your content should be matched to your target audience. With our Text Conversion Optimizer module, you can analyze written content for its quality and readability. We also offer you practical tips to improve your content and increase your website conversions.
Focus on click volume and your competition
Knowing that Google users are becoming less likely to click through, it’s smart to focus your keyword research on click volume rather than search volume. Whether or not users are searching for specific questions is becoming less relevant, but the click volume definitely offers some conclusions. Those are the keywords leading to clickthroughs. That’s why you should focus on search terms with a lower search volume, but a higher clickthrough ratio.
Now that clicks are becoming more scarce, it’s even more important to outperform your competitors. With our Content Ranking Index, it’s easy to keep an eye on your position in Google search. You can compare your ranking with those of your competition and get insights into improving your content and drawing more visitors. That way you stay one step ahead of the competition and ensure that users who choose to click through, will click through to your website.
Textmetrics as a resource
SEO is far from dead, but we all need to accept that SEO has taken a new turn. But there are still possibilities: to keep scoring in Google search, we need to adjust along with the search engine — or rather answer engine. Textmetrics is an incredible resource to navigate that shift. By using our tools, your content will be easier to discover and lead to higher conversion rates. Our tool is developing along with Google’s changes and updates, so you know that your SEO will keep scoring.