Why Clicks Are No Longer King in SEO

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If you thought measuring clicks was still the best way to determine the success of an SEO campaign, it’s time to start considering newer more accurate metrics for evaluating visibility and engagement. In today’s ultra-savvy and sophisticated world, content is king, and clicks have been demoted to commoner status. That is to say, although clicks might have once played an indispensable role in SEO rankings, the focus has largely pivoted to purposeful and quality material.

Today’s forward-thinking SEO gurus are increasingly highlighting the importance of providing exceptional content that’s timely, relevant and compiled in an easily digestible fashion. Additionally, major search engine providers have changed the way they provide content, presenting new challenges for marketing professionals.

Here’s how your site might benefit with the incorporation of some new and improved SEO strategies:

Engaging Content Drives Search Results

There’s no substitute for top-notch, targeted content when it comes to driving website traffic.  Research shows that longer and informative copy leads to higher Google rankings, while sites with video content are 50 times more likely to boost traffic. And did you know that 97 percent of page one Google results include at least one image?

With this in mind, it’s crucial to ensure your website chooses the correct type of content – whether it be graphics, a blog, charts or videos – to suit the needs of your intended users. This will help generate traffic while strengthening its credibility and relevance.

If your website could use some finessing, check online for ways to improve its content. 

Keep up With SEO Rules Changes

It’s no secret that Google rules the Internet. With that in mind, it’s important to keep pace with its ever-evolving search layout.

As it strives to keep visitors on its own site longer, Google is now delivering answers and services directly on the search engine results page (SERP). For instance, if you’re wondering who won the 2019 Masters, there’s no need to visit the PGA’s site; a quick Google search will inform you that Tiger Woods took the title. Google also pulls featured snippets from popular websites, so that if a user is seeking food poisoning symptoms, he can find them directly on the SERP without having to visit WebMD.

These new features can be of great help to Internet users, who needn’t invest much effort to find the answers they seek. But the conveniences present a challenge for websites looking to attract traffic.

To improve your website’s chances of being featured in a Google snippet, ensure its code is clean and consistent. You can also try creating content that answers specific, popular questions. To strengthen your SERP odds further, ensure your website’s answers are genuine, accurate and likely to satisfy queries from the broader Internet. Mind that Google seems to prefer using snippets that are concise, or in list- or graph-format.

Of course, before appearing in a SERP snippet, a site should already have a page one ranking, so your team must first remedy any SEO problems or algorithm bugs.

Google Visibility vs. Clicks

Rather than obsessing over generating a mass number of clicks, focus your SEO strategy around creating broad keywords that help promote your site’s visibility.

Specifically, try using long-tailed keywords, which are hyper-specific, short keyword phrases. As this article mentions, the strategy can prove particularly useful when targeting customers who are late in the buying cycle.

The terminology you choose must be specific and likely to match the exact phrases used by potential buyers. If you’re not sure which long-tailed keywords to go with, think like a customer and begin typing relevant words into Google’s search bar. As you type, the search will auto-populate to reveal common search phrases.

Research shows that long-tailed keywords are an effective way to attract customers by boosting SEO rankings. According to this study, long-tailed keywords account for 70 percent of all online searches.

The Evolving Industry of Google Search

Since it was founded in 1998, Google has undergone significant changes. Since its first search more than 20 years ago to more than 228 million hourly queries today, the Internet giant is shaping the way users seek – and find – information.

According to Google: Our search algorithms are complex math equations that rely on hundreds of variables, and last year alone, we made more than 3,200 changes to our search systems. Some of these were visible launches of new features, while many others were regular updates meant to keep our results relevant as content on the web changes. And some are also improvements based on issues we identified, either via public reports or our own ongoing quality evaluations.

And as this information superhighway continues its evolution, it’s important to keep pace with those changes to ensure the ongoing success of your SEO strategy.

Ahmed Elhadi

Digital Marketing and SEO Specialist at Bastion Rare
Ahmed Elhadi is a Senior Digital Marketing and SEO Specialist at Bastion Rare, the US digital marketing and branding arm of international communications group Bastion Collective. With a degree in electronic engineering and business management from the United Kingdom, Elhadi is an expert in applying his deep knowledge of retail consumer behavior to the development of search engine algorithms that maximize target audience reach and visibility. Elhadi has spent years developing local SEO strategy designed to enhance website UX, deliver quality traffic and improve SEO rankings.

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