Universal SEO. A Beginners Guide 

How to optimize for Universal/Blended Search Results Page. PDF Download

Not everyone likes to read the text content. Some users might also look for something more. Universal SEO or Universal Search Optimisation is the ideal practice of combining your content with a perfect blend of Images, Videos, Podcasts, and Downloadable information such as PPTs, E-books, PDF templates and optimizing them on the various platforms so it ranks higher on the SERP. 

What is Blended Search? 

The Blended or Universal search is an algorithm update introduced by Google in the year 2007. This update is a search engine’s way of serving users with results from multiple sources. To put it in simple terms, it refers to the integration of additional media like videos, images, audio, or information such as PPT, Templates, etc. 

For example, before this update, if you search for any query, you will see only the 10 results or 10 blue links on the SERP. But after this update, if you were to search for a query, you will see results in a blend of Images, videos, podcasts, or even ebooks from multiple sources. 

What is the importance of Universal Search?

Universal Search is designed to make search results more user-friendly, broadening the results from simple text only, so that users can view all the cross-media search results on one page.

This can be understood from four different types of content optimization, which are 

  1. Image SEO
  2. Video SEO
  3. Audio SEO
  4. PPT SEO

Image SEO

Images can be anything ranging from a submission form to an actual photo. Simply put, whenever you add images to your website, make sure to optimize it by using the correct filename and alt attributes. This allows search engines to understand the images in case they do not load properly. 

There are two ways to optimize the images with respect to Universal SEO

  1. Optimization at the source (Refer to step 8 Image Optimisation mentioned above in On-Page SEO)
  2. Optimizing the images on popular platforms like Pinterest

To optimize the images on Pinterest

  • Create a Pinterest account using Google here Pinterest – India
  • Add your credentials and on the profile page, create a board name related to the images that you are looking to optimize. For example, if you intend to optimize the images for a Blog page, then name the board as Digital Marketing Blogs
  • On the board page, Create a new Pin.  in this pin, you can upload the image that you want to optimize and start adding the Title, Description, and a destination link where you will add the URL of the destination page. 
  • Once added, click on Save and preview. 

Video SEO

In universal SEO, videos are considered to have the highest click-through rate which makes them an important part of SEO. Ensure that the quality of your video is well enough to rank higher. 

Optimize your videos on Youtube which is the most popular video-sharing platform and is also the 2nd largest search engine after Google. 

Best Practices for Video SEO on Youtube

  • DO USE informative words like ‘how-to’, ‘learn’, ‘what is’, and ‘history of’ as these types of terms aim to address a question or solve a problem and tend to rank better.
  • DO NOT USE transactional keywords (such as ‘buy’, ‘cheap’, ‘free’ and ‘sale’ etc.) or navigational keywords (such as brand descriptions, names, site URLs, etc) as these tend to signal a more spammy quality.
  • ADD LINKS to your social media accounts, other youtube videos, and most importantly, post the video on your website. 

Here’s an example of a high ranking video on Youtube 17 COLORFUL CRAFTS FOR BORING DAYS AT HOME 

Audio SEO 

Audio SEO refers to optimization practices to make audio files, especially podcasts, to be displayed prominently in the search results.

As of 2019, Google has started indexing audio files and displaying them in search results. So it is important to optimize your Podcasts on various popular platforms so that it ranks higher in the search results. 

The best platform to optimize your podcasts with ease is Soundcloud.

  1. Create your account on Soundcloud here 
  2. Upload your audio file on the profile and optimize the following.
  3. Title. The title should be relevant to your target audience and should summarise the theme of your Podcast.  
  4. Description.  It serves as a summary of your podcast, telling your audience a little about what will be covered in the audio and presenting additional information. Don’t forget to add links to the other podcasts or your website if you intend to drive traffic. 
  5. Category. Define which category best describes your podcast. This will help users understand what they can expect from the content. 
  6. Tags. They offer your users a good overview of the themes that will be covered in the podcast. Tags also help to keep your content organized. 

Here is an example of a podcast on Soundcloud How to Manage a PR Crisis on Social Media [JSB Talks Digital PSMP 3]

PPT SEO

PowerPoint submission or PPT SEO is an effective digital marketing tactic to attract traffic, get quality inbound links and maximize your site’s visibility on Search engines. Well-organized and visually attractive presentations make visitors become interested in the content and thereby increases the rate of conversion.

Optimizing PPT is the perfect way for increasing Google rank, wherein submission to quality platforms can help your website get high traffic. 

One of the most popular platforms for PPT SEO is Slideshare. It is a Linkedin shared platform where you can upload your PPT files and optimize the Title, Description, Categories, and Tags just like the podcasts. 

Keep a track of the discoverability score. Higher means better for the users to search for your content.

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