3 Big Tips To Improve Your SEO Results Today
Most SEO agencies scour the internet for the next big SEO tip, trick, or tactic as they do not want to fall behind their competition and lose clients. As understandable and commendable as this may sound, it can often negatively impact their firm's clients as they are lurching from fad to fad with no consistent strategy in place. Strategy trumps tactics every time. Once a solid strategy is in place, it is then appropriate to select which tactics you employ to achieve your strategic objective. We highly recommend that you create a strategic objective for each campaign in your client base. In our experience, agencies do not create strategic goals because they themselves are not clear on what ranking factors Google values most. It is easy to understand why many of your agencies are confused about how to best align their efforts to create a alignment with Google as Google drops several larger updates, called core updates, and as many as 300 smaller unnamed updates each year. Many SEOs see individual algorithm changes as unrelated to one another and therefore require a change in tactics. We have good news for SEO agencies: although Google releases numerous algorithm update each year, they all have a single goal in mind, which is to produce relevant search results that meet the needs of their users. We will review our top three recommendations for you to employ to help your customers meet the needs of their users.
Recognize Searcher Intent
Because Google's primary goal is to understand what searchers want when using their search engine, that should be our primary goal as well. Our role will be to provide great answers to questions people ask Google. Naturally, we do not want to answer questions unrelated to our client's business. To make sure you have a thorough understanding of your client's business, we highly recommend that you ask them what their ideal customer looks like and what kinds of problems they face. Once we understand the questions, fears, and aspirations of our customer's ideal customer, we can then create resources that Google will want to show to searchers. With our ideal customer profile in tow, we can then turn our attention to understanding how searchers arrive at our customer's website. Search engine users typically communicate their questions through keyboard and voice searches. We will want to optimize the customer's site a bit differently to accommodate voice and keyboard searches.
Optimizing for voice search involves understanding which phrases searchers most commonly ask when utilizing Google Home, Siri, and Alexa devices. Conversational phrases such as "Find a pizzeria near me" and "Is there a pizza shop open right now?" are typical voice searches. We recommend creating an FAQ page to improve your chance of ranking on these important questions. We also suggest writing blogs for more intricate or sophisticated questions. This will allow you to go into greater depth, which, in turn, will give your clients a leg up in Google search results.
Search phrases used in keyboard searches are short and often fragmented. In our pizzeria example above, a keyboard searcher is more likely to type phrases such as "Pizzeria Cleveland" or "Cleveland Pizzeria." Keyboard searchers try to type in as little as possible to find what they are looking for. That results in keyword phrases that can be difficult to incorporate into website marketing copy. Despite that challenge, these phrases can be added to your client's title tag and we recommend that you add similar keywords to the marketing copy such as, "Pizzeria in Cleveland" or "Cleveland's Premier Pizzeria." Now that we've covered the basics of searcher intent, let's turn our attention to helping Google learn about our client's website.
Many SEO agencies treat Google's machine learning program named RankBrain much in the same way they treat algorithm updates. Those agencies believe that RankBrain's objectives are divorced from the objectives of Google's algorithm updates. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. Google employs RankBrain to quickly sort through an impossible amount of data to help provide users with highly accurate and relevant search results to meet their needs just as Google's algorithm updates. Despite this strong alignment, there are three tactics we recommend that you utilize to make RankBrain's job easier.
● Content Quality: It is important to create useful and relevant content that answers questions, as noted above. In the last section of this article, we will talk about specific steps to follow to create world-class content.
● Link Building: Attracting links from other sites to your customer's site is an important ranking factor. We advise that you link to important product and service pages as well as to content created on your blog. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time creating content and little time promoting it. RankBrain needs to understand which content is more useful to users. When readers link to the content they love, it is a big signal to RankBrain that this content is highly useful and relevant to readers.
● Keyword Research: Although we already covered keyword research in some detail, it's important to note that when it comes to RankBrain, it is best to focus on medium-tail keywords. Medium-length keyword phrases are typically three- to four-words in length. Utilizing these keywords has a positive impact on conversion rates due to their higher specificity.
Create (Much) Longer Blog Posts
Google loves long blog posts because searchers love long blog posts. The bar for what constitutes an adequate blog post in the eyes of readers has not moved a few inches, it's moved a few football fields. Five or six years ago, it was considered acceptable to write a blog post in the 500-word range. The important thing, most SEOs reasoned, was to produce a steady stream of such blog posts. The SEO landscape has shifted; it now favors blog posts in excess of 2,000 words in length. Longer blog posts now overpower numerous shorter blog posts because they allow the writer to go into extreme detail, provide step-by-step instructions, and include an abundance of keywords in each piece. Data shows that it takes a minimum of 2,000 words for content to appear on page one of Google search results.
SEO agencies need to talk to their clients about this change and let them know that rather than writing one 500-word blog post each week, we need to write one 2,000-word blog post each month. Before writing a blog post refer to the keyword research we did above and be sure to answer important questions posed by your customer’s ideal client. And most importantly, provide content that will make the lives of those who read it better.
SEO Like A Pro
In closing, we urge you to carefully scrutinize each new SEO trend or fad to determine if it fits into your overall marketing strategy. Keep in mind that despite seemingly constant updates, Google's primary goals never change. They will always want to provide an outstanding search experience for their users. If you are able to keep this top of mind, it is our belief that you will improve the search visibility of your clients in a significant way.
Adam Stetzer holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has published on the topics of Internet marketing, absenteeism, employee and customer satisfaction, productivity and safety, and culture. He has founded several technology firms, and is currently CEO at HubShout, a ( white label SEO reseller firm ). In his 25 year career he has worked with companies such as General Electric, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Verizon, AT&T, Ford, LendingTree, American Express and ChevronTexaco. Adam has advised over 1,000 small business owners and blogs frequently. Connect with him on LinkedIn .