Each month, ROI Web Marketing does an internal strategy meeting for each of our clients on what should be done for them to enhance their SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Google AdWords (Pay-Per-Click Advertising), website maintenance, and overall Internet marketing exposure.
Our clients also ask us what they should be doing next or what they should do to assist us with their marketing.
This has spawned this article on what I feel the future of SEO looks like and what you should be doing now to keep up with how Internet search is evolving.
You can either be ahead of the game or be left in the dust.
Ok, that sounds a little harsh. But I promise this article is a beauty! :)
Google Is All About the User
Google is an excellent company that puts the user experience first and has stuck to this since the begining. When people find relevant information and are happy with what they've found, Google is happy that they are giving people what they want. With all the data and tracking that is available to Google, they are doing a great job of continuing to deliver quality search results for their users.
SEO is definitely an area where you need to take everything into consideration in order to be successful. There are no quick fixes or accelerated ways to the top of Google. It's a process, and you need systems in place and consistency in order to get results from it.
Current SEO Landscape
The current landscape of what's needed for SEO can be summarized into 4 categories:
- Keywords & Content
- Code & Guidelines
- Off-Page Factors
- Social & Engagement
1. Keywords & Content
A keyword is a search term input into Google to find relevant websites. Every keyword will give you different results. Every location you are in will give you different results. From a basic standpoint, if you want to be found for specific keywords, you should have those keywords in your website, in your code (appropriately), linked internally on your website, linked from other websites, and so on. But now I'm getting too technical. Quite simply, keywords are important. :)
Content is King!
Content is really what gets indexed in Google and sorted based on suggested keywords you've given Google. Google is so smart that no matter what you give them, they index your content in their own way anyways. Nevertheless, as an SEO Expert, our job is to influence them in appropriate ways according to their guidelines. You don't want to piss Google off, do anything that would get you removed from their listings, or do anything that would hurt your rankings.
More is Better
People ask me how long their pages or posts should be. More is better. 400-600 words for a page or blog post is great, although most of my posts are much longer as you can tell. It depends on how much of a topic you'd like to educate people on and how much resources or time you have to write it.
Writing with purpose to make an impact on your customers will allow you to write much better than writing for the sake of posting for SEO.
Write the content as you would like to say it. Don't worry about keywords until after you've written what you want to say. Then, feel free to go back in and see if there are some more keywords to add into your post (or for technical people, to input into the meta tags and alt tags for the post).
If you aren't able to write content for your website or don't have the resources to do so, having your marketing company create landing pages may help fill this void in some way, although ideally, the content is sharable socially in order to get the maximum effects for SEO.
2. Code & Guidelines
In order to comply with Google's guidelines, you basically need to have a well-coded website, look good on all devices (be mobile-friendly or responsive), and not do anything spammy or black hat that would get you removed from Google search.
I'm not going to go into each of these tasks, but essentially, these are changes to your website structure, code, navigation, security, and speed.
Here are a few common tasks that you may have heard of, and this is not the full list:
- Meta Tags
- Alt Tags
- Security & SSL certificate
- Structure of your theme and code
- Website hosting & website speed
3. Off-Page Factors
Google scans the Internet to see what other websites think about yours. They do this by measuring how many links point to yours from relevant websites such as news websites, directories, or even affliiate companies, or referral websites. There is a standard list of the most common directories your company should be listed on - this is no quick fix and often one of the most challenging areas for SEO. This often takes the most time and effort to gain backlinks to your website.
Here are a few examples of common off-page factors:
- Link building for common business directories
- Registering and verifiying your company in Google My Business & Bing Places
- Having links back from your associations or community groups
- Google Remarketing & Facebook Retargeting advertisements
- Online reputation management
4. Social & Engagement
Internet marketing reach has always been important. How many people do you have access to? How many emails are in your database? How many followers? While reach is important, what's becoming more and more important is engagement. Google is giving far more exposure to how social you are - this is directly related to your current SEO and will be more and more related into the future. If you want to be successful with SEO and Internet marketing, you definitely want to consider increasing your Internet marketing reach, being more social, and creating more engagement.
You need quality content to be socially accepted and have your content shared, so you can see the cycle happening here. To keep up with where SEO is going, you need to:
1) write quality content,
2) promote the content through your growing network and create engagement,
3) abide by the guidelines set forth by search engines and coding structures, and
4) build quality, relevant links throughout the Internet.
Lastly, in order to be able to run any successful marketing campaign, you need to set up some form of measuring your success.
5) Google Analytics setup with proper tracking for goals to gauge how well your marketing is performing is extremely important.
Systems & Procedures for Your SEO
Ok, now that you realize the importance of good quality content and how that's going to shape your future, this is what I'd suggest you do moving forward to get the most out of your SEO.
#1: Content Marketing Strategy
Consistently releasing new content for your website either via a blog or news-type articles is your top priority. Once you've done that, you can move on to other forms of marketing. Having content on your website and then promoting this content via social and email newsletters will give your company the most efficient Internet marketing you can get.
You can learn more about a Content Marketing Strategy here: https://www.roiwebmarketing.com/6-month-roi/content-marketing-strategy
#2: Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Google AdWords is the top reason companies hire us. We set up and maintain Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising to get you as many leads as possible for the best rate.
If you aren't able to produce content to support your SEO efforts, it is imperative to continue optimizing and enhancing your PPC campaigns. If you were to look at the traffic to your website, the most relevant and converting traffic should be your paid advertising.