SEO strategies are constantly changing, and new ideas and concepts are tested, retested, and then tested once again at our company. We have seen a drastic shift over the last several months, changing the way we now think about Search Engine Optimization. This change impacts all businesses, and the quicker you can adapt and adjust, the sooner you will see the results of your efforts. As we approach Google’s deadline of April 21st and the introduction of new mobile-friendly search results, I thought now would be a good time to share some other changes that are going to impact you going forward.
Brand Vs. Keywords
In the past, the main focus has keywords, and the ranking benefits that come along with those keywords. Ranking for phrases and terms that generate thousands of searches each month was the easiest way to generate traffic. Although keywords still play a vital role, your brand now plays a pivotal role on whether or not you show up in the search results.
Think about Google, and what they ultimately want to achieve. They want to provide its users with the best possible results for every search. Online marketers know the tricks to rank websites, and how to manipulate the search engine results. Google wants to reward the brand name items with top results. So a company like Target or Wal-Mart is going to rank better than a website like cheaptvs.com, or buyappliancesforyourhome.net. More weight is now given to the brand, and your company must start implementing this strategy. The backlinks pointing to Wal-Mart are links such as Wal-Mart – Televisions, or Appliances at Wal-Mart. The brand and the product are tied together. You can implement this strategy in your own link building efforts to tie exactly what you have to offer, with your brand. This will garner you some pretty good results.
You may be wondering, why can’t an online marketer do this as well? Because Google is going to reward the brand name above all else. Not to get technical, but there is a patent in play here with Google and the brand being able to achieve the top listing in the search results. Your first actionable item after you read this blog should be to type your company name into Google and see where you show up. If you are not in the first position, your company has not established its brand properly in the eyes of Google.
Social And Branding
Think about the major companies that you hear about everyday. Do you think Coca-Cola or Pepsi have Facebook pages? What about Twitter accounts or Pinterest accounts? Of course they do, because they have branding experts working on their teams and they want that brand to be displayed everywhere possible. You can follow the same strategy with your brand, even if it is only 3 employees and 2 desks. Tie your brand to social, be active on social, and get your information out to the masses. You don’t need to be on social media 24/7 in order to drive your brand, but you must be somewhat active. A little activity will go a long way when it comes to social media and branding your company.
What is Google Thinking? LSI
Doesn’t it seem strange that you can do a Google search for “jumping place for kids in Selinsgrove ” and the first organic result that pops up is BouncePlex? I didn’t use the word trampoline, yet Google knew exactly what I was trying to say. Google’s new algorithm can understand what you mean, and the technology is getting better every day. Remember Siri when it first came out? It was not very good, but it is getting better all the time because the technology is now understanding what we mean, not necessarily what we say.
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Index, and simply put, they are the words that relate, or can be similar or synonyms to what we are trying to say. In the past, you needed to put your keywords on the home page of your website and state them over and over and over again. Not anymore. It is more important to use words that relate to the subject you are writing about, and implement those in your content.
If you are a drunk driving attorney in Philadelphia, PA, you know that you want to rank for the words Philadelphia DUI attorney or DUI lawyer in Philadelphia. But how do you do that? Use LSI keywords in your content, in your links, on social media that relate to this type of law. Keywords like:
- Philly attorney
- criminal defense lawyer
- criminal lawyer Philly
- Philadelphia’s best drunk driving defense
And keep going with this and the Siri info I stated earlier. Use keywords people would say into their phones….
- Who is the best DUI lawyer in Philadelphia
- What do you do after being arrest for DUI in Philly
- Can you fight a DUI in Philadelphia
Do you think your website is popping up #1 for “Can you fight a DUI in Philadelphia” would be beneficial to a DUI attorney in the City of Brotherly Love? Hell Yes! That is how you have to think since about LSI keywords and your keyword research.
Links Will Always Matter
Stop listening to the doom and gloom emails you get about changing the way you SEO and how backlinks will never work. If Google stopped relying on backlinks, the search engine would have more confusion at the end of the day than ever before. Backlinks WILL ALWAYS matter, it just may be that some of them are going to carry much more value than others. Earning links with great content and sharing is going to provide you with more long term results. Don’t underestimate the power of some well placed links, with solid anchor text. It matters, and is the difference between ranking 20, or #2.
Mobile Is Here
If you haven’t updated your website to mobile yet and are not prepared for April 21st, then I am sorry. Your mobile rankings will disappear on that date guaranteed. Google wants to provide an amazing experience on a mobile device, and they have given us clear notice that a change is ahead. This is a great opportunity for all of us as only about 20% of websites are mobile friendly. We are going to see less competition on mobile, and better chances of you showing up on page 1 if your site, brand, social media, and backlinks are all in line.
I presented much of this information and more to a group last week, and the very next day, I was sent this article from Inc.com. I think you will see that I am not the only one that sees a change ahead. You can check out Inc.com – that is a BRAND you can trust.