Web marketers have entered a new age – the era of Google Penguin 2.0, where the rules are new and, according to Google, much improved. And in this new environment, quality content is king. How does a small business better understand the science of search when all the rules have changed? How do you find the “golden keys” to publishing great content that meets the rules for search engine optimization(SEO)?
SEO used to be all about measurable data, the mathematics of algorithms and number crunching. Today’s SEO, with new Penguin rules combined with Panda‘s policing of optimized sites and sites packed with ads, is all about delivering quality content. And with this change, the science of search has shifted from sheer statistical analysis and data mining to the softer science of psychology.
And Google continues to favor its own. According to Forbes online, using a Google+ account, with a complete profile (that you include in all of your online content) will improve your search rankings. Adding this tag to the end of all of your quality content will cause Google’s search algorithms to aggregate it into your search results and your author page. Simply sharing content with Google+ as part of your social media campaigns is another easy method for increasing visibility. Its easy, and is proven to raise your search rankings, and will also get your site “crawled” by search bots almost immediately after posting, getting you to the top much faster as well.
Yes, keywords still matter, but keyword-rich content simply for the sake of using lots of keywords may actually lower your site’s ranking. Choose a primary keyword that relates to your business niche, and include it in the title and somewhere in the header of your content.
Backlinks to your site also matter, as long as they are the right links. This is far more in the PR realm than sharing and trading backlinks just for the sake of increasing the number of links to your site. In fact, unrelated, low quality links are one of the very real mistakes that any site can make under the new SEO rules. It may even cause you to be penalized by Panda’s algorithms, resulting in very low rankings or even being labeled a spam site. Valuable backlinks may come from articles in media outlets in your target market. They may also come from other quality websites with strong audiences that reference and share your quality content. And quality links are NEVER purchased or traded. They also do not send your visitors to other sites where they are pitched a service or product without their specific knowledge and awareness, either on your recommendation or for your profit.
Developing a thought leadership is another key to stronger SEO. Publish high qualtiy content on a regular basis that your visitors and target market wants to read. Share these links on all appropriate media outlets. Send excerpts and links to your readers via email. Make the content compelling and unique, and your readers will share it with others, naturally increasing your ranking and the number of engaged visitors on your site. Contribute content on other’s sites, as a guest blogger or with a shared white paper, complete with a link to your site and your Google+ tag. Ask experts that you respect to guest blog on your site, and ask that they link to their post from their sites. (These are also excellent methods for increasing your backlinks.)
Be transparent and open. If a link represents a paid endorsement, be clear about it with your visitors. Use varied content, and try not to directly repeat content throughout your website. Use promotional information as appropriate, and consider using customer testimonials to promote your business rather than your own words. Remember that PR stands for public relations, not promotion, and give as much as you get on your site. Offering up great content, even if its free, adds value to your site that both your visitors and google will appreciate. And their appreciation will show in your rankings.
So what is the new science of search when producing content? Perhaps its recognizing what intelligent readers knew all along- offer interesting, engaging, useful and original content, make sure you share it with people who might be interested in what you have to offer, and then get down to the business of doing what you do best: treating your clients to the best service possible.
Want some assistance developing a scientific plan to manage the new rules in SEO? Contact us today for more information and get your search rankings where you want them – at the top.