November 9, 2018 Latest SEO Trends and the Necessity of Content SEO

Yuta Ishigaya

About Content SEO

Content SEO is, in short, proactively creating high-quality content to increase website access through search services. So, why's it necessary to adopt specialized measures regarding access from search services?

Most website traffic comes via organic search (search services)

For those familiar with analytics, it's common knowledge that for most websites there's much access via search engines. Furthermore, traffic generated from organic search is different from advertising - it doesn't cost money. For that reason, whatever the site, web teams are focused on increasing access from organic search.

In this Column, I'll focus on the latest search user trends as well as the mechanisms of search engines. Furthermore, I'll explain why our "Content Writing SEO" service is effective for increasing traffic via organic search.

Rise of Smart Speakers

With the spread of smart speakers, the growing trend of voice search is a point to note. According to the Accenture 2018 Digital Consumer Survey (in Japanese) Open PDF , the smart speaker penetration rate in Japan was 8% at the end of 2017, while the ownership rate in the US stood at 21%. According to the same survey, 94% of digital voice assistant users are satisfied with services received.

With this, Google expects "micro-moment search" (a micro-moment is the very short time from first thought to action) behavior on smart speakers to grow, therefore, it's increasingly necessary to support more ambiguous search phrases rather merely executing search for specific keywords. In other words, it's becoming essential to implement strategies for a wider range of keywords.

However, smart speakers aren't the only thing that needs to be emphasized.

Google and Yahoo! are Boosting Consideration for “Mobile Searchers”

In recent years, with the widespread adoption of mobile, we're living in an era where people can find, learn or check "anything, anytime, anywhere." With the increase of on-the-go searches, algorithms now display pages that have been adapted for mobile users at the top of mobile search results. I believe that mobile-oriented algorithm updates, such as the "Mobile First Index (MFI)" and the "Speed Update" etc., came as quite a shock to some web administrators.

In addition to smart speakers, in order to carry out optimal SEO for mobile devices and achieve a high rank for target keywords, it's necessary to understand the structure of search engines.

Search Engine Mechanisms and Trends

Regarding user queries, search engines display the most relevant pages at the top of the search results screen. However, the answers that users seek aren't merely as simple as “1 + 1 = 2”.

Query answers aren't limited to one

When searching “wine recommendations,” for example, there aren't only red and white wine drinkers but also those who want rosé, and then, amongst drinkers, there those who prefer dry, medium, and sweet varieties etc. So, when creating content related to specific keywords, for example “wine recommendations,” and seeking a high-ranking display, as an SEO measure it's insufficient to only prepare results for “rosé recommendations.” This is because the strategic content deviates from the search keywords making it unlikely that “rose recommendations” related content will be displayed in the upper search results.

Be aware of YMYL display quality

Also, in recent years, Google have updated their algorithms to better evaluate the quality of “YMYL” (an abbreviation of "Your Money or Your Life" - pages containing financial and health related content) pages, so that content related to medical care, finance, shopping, etc. are required to have higher expertise, authority and trust. In this way, in order to have a high-rank, while conscious of "YMYL", we need to understand user needs hidden within search keywords and then prepare a variety of content. So why, through the preparation of content answers, can a high-level display be expected?

The Phrases “to Google” and “Google Sensei”

Regardless of how complex or broad the keywords we search, Google provides content that answers our queries. Based on your search experience, aren't misplaced results rare? Of course! Otherwise the number of Google users would decrease. (StatCounter Global Stats – Search Engine Market Share Japan). Regarding search engine market share in Japan, Google ranks top. Even second placed Yahoo! utilizes Google's search algorithms.

In fact, it's quite usual that Google provides the answers to user queries. This is because Google's search engine ranks content based on "user value and convenience" and thus ensures that useful content appears in the search results.

As we increasingly hear the phrases “to Google” or "Google sensei," it highlights the trust that Google has attained from users. In other words, in order to have content displayed at the top of Google's search results, writers need to create "content that's useful for many people" so that Google algorithms know it answers user queries.

However, as mentioned above, quality content which provides answers cannot be created in a short space of time. Nevertheless, it's wise to believe that there's no other way to increase access through search engines.

No Shortcuts in SEO

A while ago, "black hat SEO" which sought to improve search rank by fooling search engines was rampant. Using external and paid links was used as a technique to improve search ranking - by having multiple links from sites with domain authority as well as linking from sites that didn't have any significance, it was possible to improve search ranking.

External links remain important

Even now, external links are highly evaluated. However, a link from an unrelated site doesn't lead to an enhanced evaluation. On the contrary, if there are links from low quality/unrelated sites, site owners may get penalized and even possibly lower the overall rating of the site.

There is no shortcut to SEO. It's necessary to continuously improve search rankings through the creation of content that, from a user's perspective, delivers high satisfaction and is useful.

Content SEO and Issues

Content SEO, unlike some measures that rely on external links, is a technique that seeks to increase search inflows through the continuous creation of useful content. Due to time constraints etc., it can be challenging for corporate web team members to create content that takes into consideration the user satisfaction, search engine algorithms, and business goals while going about their regular business.

Even if article creation is outsourced because in-house production is difficult, implementing content meaninglessly will likely prove unsuccessful as content won't meet user needs. Even if we succeed in attracting customers by satisfying user needs, it cannot be said that measures have been successful unless we achieve our business goals.

SEO Content Writing Service Features

We offer a Content Writing SEO service. With this service, one of our analysts, expert in Google Analytics and Google Search Console, audits current operating conditions and performance, then, with an in-depth understanding of the client's business, selects strategic keywords. Furthermore, with awareness of strategic keywords, we create content which satisfies multiple user needs.

We not only meet client search needs, but, to contribute to business goals, we write content that enhances the appeal of client services and products.

Content writing system

In this service, for each piece of content written, an SEO consultant, a writer and editor each offer their opinions to ensure that created content is as valuable as possible.

In addition to content writing, as we have in-house experts in a variety of specialist areas, we can support client site operation from both UX and accessibility perspectives.