Why Your Content Won’t Be Found in Google Search

Dustin Hoffman asked Sir Laurence Olivier why people become actors. Sir Laurence’s response: “Look at me. Look at me. Look at me….”

It’s a short distance from that response to the dilemma you're facing with your digital content. Like Olivier, content is begging to be looked at. First it must be found. And, as we know, a harsh reality of the digital age is that excellent content can languish in obscurity owing to its creators’ lack of knowledge about search engine optimization (SEO).

When most communicators speak of SEO they mean Google SEO, where 70% of U.S. desktop searches were conducted, according to a 2016 comScore report. That figure jumps to 89% globally.

Meritus Media CEO Sally Falkow has been studying what Google looks for since 1999 and has written a book about how to get your content found. She will discuss Google’s latest SEO ranking factors and how they influence engagement and writing for Google search, among other SEO-related issues, during PR News’ Google for Communicators Workshop in Miami on June 6. She sees inbound links to your site from a diverse group of domains as critical to SEO. These links are “like a third-party endorsement of your site,” she says. On top of that, Falkow advocates creating high-quality content is one of the best ways to raise your search rankings.

Yet desktop search is far from the whole story. In fact, ignoring mobile search makes no sense, Falkow says.

Despite U.S. mobile search overtaking U.S. desktop search sometime last year, 22% of sites are unable to pass Google’s mobile-friendly test, she notes, citing data from Inc. 500. Why does this matter to communicators?

  1. Almost half of B2B researchers are millennials, who live on their mobile devices.
  2. 42% of B2B buyers use a mobile device to do their purchasing researching online.
  3. Mobile search by B2B buyers is up 91% during the past two years across the entire purchase path.

Moreover desktop search is “fundamentally different” from mobile search, Falkow argues. This is due to the way people experience mobile and what they use it to do. Falkow notes a Pew study saying that 68% of smartphone owners use their phone at least occasionally to follow along with breaking news events, with 33% saying that they do this “frequently.” She adds that 67% use their smartphone to share pictures, videos, or commentary about events happening in their community, with 35% doing so frequently. The average person checks his/her mobile phone 150 times/day and spends 177 minutes daily with it.

Included in the mobile ranking factors she cites are:

  • Site Speed
  • User Experience
  • Internal links
  • Fewer images per page

Much more from Falkow and many others next week in Miami. For more information: http://www.prconferencemiami.com

Follow Sally Falkow: @sallyfalkow

Follow Seth Arenstein: @skarenstein