The rules of SEO have changed, have you changed how you do SEO?
Two years ago I wrote an article here called My Philosophy on SEO it was a relatively small article and just talked about the basics of what I thought SEO was and should be. At the time, Google had yet to introduce Panda, mobilegeddon, personalized searches, or even place more importance on local searches. In the article, I said “Content was King” this part is still true, I also said link building was important, also still true I also said Social Networking and Trust and authority were important, all of these things are still true. I briefly mentioned page ranking. This item is far less important than in the past. Luckily the article for the most part still applies today, but there is far more to add and change up now.
SEO has Changed
So what has changed since I wrote that article? Well for starters Panda, mobilegeddon, personalized searches, and local searches. But beyond those Social Networking, and customer relationships/customer service. And let’s not forget user-friendliness also known as UI/UX. SEO has changed so much that Searchland released a new Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors for 2015 In my article from two years ago I had linked into the table they had going on at the time. So what changed between the two versions? Well, mostly the point factors or weight given to common SEO factors. While this table is an awesome resource for all SEO experts and novices alike I don’t necessarily agree with all of the weight or points they have given but it still remains a good rule of thumb.
Social Networking needs to be a Priority for All Business’
Google now, with help from Twitter counts your social networking page and activity for your business. They can and have placed a tweet in the search results. It isn’t just twitter either, business’ need to be on most major social sites. They need to be posting, liking talking and engaging their customers.
I think a lot of businesses are not really getting the message about Social Networking. As a business just hiding reviews doesn’t mean they aren’t still seen… they ARE still seen, just not on your page. That user and his friends see it and their friends and their friends and so on and so on. Just deleting a negative comment from your page about a product is the same thing it’s still out there. You as a business owner need to address that comment and review you need to acknowledge they had a bad experience, try and make it right. However, other users aren’t necessarily looking for you to solve the issue as much as whether or not you are engaged and trying to solve the issue. They want to know you cared enough to try.
Social networking is what word of mouth was in the days before computers but on a much larger and more global scale. This makes your customer service one of the most important factors of your business which also means social networking has now become a vital part of that business and customer relationship.
Build your customer relationship, nurture and cherish it. Engage that customer and serve them well, do all of that in the public forum of social networking.
Content is Still King
Your content is more important now than ever. Word of mouth is basically people talking about you and your business, content is what you are doing and saying to get those customers to talk about you. You need to be making sure your content is informative to your customers. Ask yourself does it answer a common question we get asked all the time? Does this article, video, post help my customers? Does it make them laugh, think, wonder or make them want to share it with their friends? If your content isn’t doing that it’s not quality content. You want your customers talking not only with you but about you behind your back when you’re not around. You want them saying you know this is a great company, they are really helpful to me.
We need and want our customers sharing our content, linking to them, liking them, and talking about them. This is the hardest part of SEO and social networking for most business’ it takes time, energy and resources to produce this content. The problem is you can’t just hire someone to write about the industry your company is in and call it good. Your content producers need to know your industry, or at least learn about it to be able to share content that is of high quality and to convey the voice of authority. In addition, your company needs to have a personality to it to make your customers relate to you.
Page Rankings mean less in 2015
Page Rankings mean nothing in 2015…well not entirely true but close. We use to strive to be placed in the top 10 of a search. We worked on keyword searches until our eyes bugged out and our fingers bled. We wanted that spot so badly. Now it doesn’t really matter. Why? Because what Tom sees in his search results for the same keywords can be entirely different for Sue. Sue’s friends like brand X so Google is more likely to show Sue brand X in her search results while Tom’s friend like brand Y so he’s likely to see brand Y. In addition, Sue lives 20 miles from where Tom lives and Google is more likely to show both whatever brand is closer to them. These are of course simplified versions of the algorithm but you get the point.
Your website (s) need to answer your customer’s questions using the same language they use (long tail keywords).
But recently Google released the snack pack (that’s what the web is calling it I kid you not). This seems to be a way for Google to encourage business to pay for advertising but even that won’t guarantee you a spot in the top. What is the “snack pack”? It is a local search result where Google places your business in a box with 2 other competitors. So basically there are ONLY 3 slots. This means more competition. So if you’re lucky enough you already are placed there if not well don’t fret too hard because the apparently change often even sometimes within a few minutes. But guess what factors into you getting one of those shiny new spots in the top 3? REVIEWS!!!! Yes, your company reviews are now more important than ever before. In addition, authority, links, citations, marketing, and branding.
Focus On The Core Elements:
- Google My Business
- Citation Consistency
- On-Page Optimization
- Reviews and Reputation
- Local Links
Note the second to last recommendation from Searchland, Reviews and Reputation, this comes back to customer service and your reputation. Start producing quality content, great user experiences, and great customer service. This will get you the sales you want and need and the reputation too.
For more than just my say so check out these articles:
Searchland’s 2015 Table of SEO Factors
Good Social Media Boosts SEO Even Though Nobody Understands How
Local SEO Is Not An Island (Or At Least It Shouldn’t Be!)