Many of us understand the basics (and importance) of search. There’s nothing more that we would want than to rank well on Google. Why is that? Having a better spot when search engines churn out results is one of the best ways to be discovered and rediscovered by audiences. There’s a running joke that many internet users never make it past page one of search results and while this may not be true for everyone, everywhere, it still holds some merit.  


Content that ends up on page one or even ranking in the first few search engine slots gets seen and comes with a level of credibility. Search engines are powered by algorithms looking to prioritize the best of the best content that is useful, unique, and fits the user’s search criteria.  


There are endless topics to cover when it comes to search and endless tips and tricks out there to improve your efforts. In this year-end recap, we’re going to take the focus off of the basics and review some valuable strategies that will take your search habits to the next level. 


You, Your Competitors and Search

There are a variety of tactics to improve your keyword research. A major one was highlighted in our February blog post, How to Better Analyze Your Competitors’ Keywords. That’s right. To make your keyword research even better, it’s actually a good idea to take your eyes off your own site and put your competitors’ under a microscope.  


Competitive keyword analysis can give you the upper hand in multiple ways. For one, there’s already a wealth of knowledge and research there that works. There’s a good chance that you aren’t the only one out there doing what you do which means search engines are looking at content from everyone and ranking it accordingly. Looking at competitor keywords boosts your own research. 


Taking a look at your competitors’ websites will also give insight in understanding where your own gaps lie. Maybe you’ll find that there’s something they are really excelling in or something that you are doing much better. All this can show you where you’re already doing well and where you can do better.  


There are steps to take throughout this analysis process that can help you be thorough in your research. First off, you’ll need to know who your competitors are. Then you’ll need to know how to find their keywords. It doesn’t end once you have the list in your hands. An analysis needs to take place to figure out where and how it fits in with your own company’s SEO strategy. Comparing your competitors’ keywords with your own is one gap to look into but be sure to evaluate for gaps in areas such as domain authority, site design, content quality, meta tags, etc.  


This is a process that requires repetition. Rather than getting it done and out of the way, this analysis can be regularly scheduled so that you and your team have a good idea of where everyone stands. This is a good habit to incorporate into your tasks so that your SEO is properly optimized.  


Dynamic Content in Search

Dynamic content is making its rounds whether that’s through email marketing or advertisements you find in your physical mailbox. What is less commonly thought about is the dynamic content that shows up on search engines. This can manifest as personalization based on the user’s name, geographic locations, price promotions, local currencies, or product availability. All of this can be extremely helpful to your customer and creates a tailored experience that lets them know whether you’re relevant and accessible.  


However, search engines have an obvious preference for static content. This is where dynamic rendering comes in. Dynamic rendering is an advanced SEO tactic approved by Google that provides a workaround for calling out content that changes rapidly. It’s important to note that this isn’t the same thing as cloaking which is not acceptable to Google and is, instead, a violation of their guidelines. To learn more about what’s risky, what’s not, and how to implement dynamic rendering into a full SEO strategy, check out our fleshed out blog post on this topic: SEO & Dynamic Content: How Do You Rank Content That Doesn’t Exist Yet? 


What’s Next?

The world of SEO is always changing. In fact, there’s already been updates since we published the original blog articles mentioned in this roundup. For example, dynamic rendering is no longer the sole recommendation from Google. Instead, they’ve included a red warning bar in the documentation that lets us know that dynamic rendering is not a long-term solution and to try other tactics like server-side rendering, static rendering, or hydration as final solutions. 


There’s a reason why emfluence and many other SEO experts are constantly releasing new articles that touch on search. With so many updates, it becomes extremely helpful if there’s a reputable source to turn to for advice and answers. That’s why we’re dedicated to staying on top of all things marketing now and into the new year.  


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