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The new, REAL, SEO

Gadzoog Group

Time To Adapt
The gold rush that was once SEO is definitely changing these days. Every entrepreneur with an online business understands the significance of search engine optimization. SEO is what makes your business stand out from other businesses online. That being said, SEO is a constantly changing field, with major updates being released every now and then by Google. First, there was Panda which targeted websites with duplicate, thin, or stolen content and then there was Penguin which targeted websites with unnatural links, spun content and stuffed keywords. A few days ago, Google released its Penguin 2.0 algorithm that goes deeper than the Penguin update. This update targets websites whose profiles have manipulative links. We’ve seen countless businesses who have been hit, hard, by these updates. So now is about the right time to understand the new, REAL, SEO. This isn’t the same SEO you were working with 10, or even 5, years ago. The game is changing. Here’s how to stay relevant:

Have a Strong Social Media Presence

Social media is changing the way search engine optimization works. These days, social signals directly impact how websites rank in the search engine results page (SERP). Create a strong presence on social media by sharing valuable content with your contacts and also engaging with them. Join discussions, share other people’s valuable content, post guest blogs, and thank people for their shares and retweets. Don’t forget that even great content needs to be promoted. Make it easy for people to share your content by including the relevant networks on your site. Have a strong presence on Google+ as it plays a big role in Google’s algorithm as compared to websites like twitter and Facebook. Choose the platforms that are most effective for your business and don’t strive to be everywhere at once. Aim to create a following that not only generates social activity, but also connects to your company’s goals beyond search engine optimization. Most of all, develop GREAT content that your followers actually want to share. Thin content won’t get you anywhere. In the new SEO space, you need to know who your users are and what they like. How can you game this? You can’t. It’s time to put your marketing hat on and stop trying to game the system. You’ll enjoy a better ROI in the long run.

Optimize Onsite Content

This hasn’t changed much since the old days. You still need to structure your content to ensure it’s optimized for search engines. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to target effective keywords that people are using to search for related products and services online. Optimize your content by including the primary keyword in the meta tags and in the title. You can optimize the pages on your site for different keywords and phrases. Create a great user experience by providing valuable content and easy navigation. Check your bounce rate on Google analytics to determine if you need to improve your user experience. The bounce rate shows you the percentage of visitors that leave your site without viewing more than one page. Also make your website clean and professional because visitors and search engines treat spammy-looking sites as spam. Have a regularly updated blog that offers valuable content to the readers as this will increase the amount of content your site can rank for in search engines. Throw your old notions about keyword stuffing in the garbage. It’s useless now. The new, real, SEO positions SEO where it’s supposed to be – optimizing your content for search engines.

Build Brand Recognition through High Quality Links

When you link from reputable sites that are relevant to your field, your content is seen as valuable by search engines. You can build quality links by guest blogging on sites that are relevant to your subject matter and industry. Press release distribution is also an excellent way of building brand recognition. When writing a press release, look for a newsworthy story related to your industry and use an active and reputable press release distribution service. You can also build links by repackaging your existing content. For example, you can change a newsletter you sent via email into social media content or a guest post. You can also leverage real-life connections into links. For instance, if you belong to a professional association, you can list yourself on their website along with a bio and a website link. You can also add value to your SEO strategy by getting your site listed on local and professional directories and those that focus on your field of expertise. All of this being said, we’ll be honest with you…these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. If you want more backlinks, you need to put your marketers hat on, be innovative, out-do your competition, and be creative. Be amazing! Develop amazing content, entertain, engage, and create some emotion in your users. They’ll want to share this content, and the backlinks will come.

These days, search engine optimization requires more than just a simplistic legacy approach. SEO is a subset of internet marketing. If you want to succeed at it, you need to utilize a marketing approach. The days of gaming the search algorithms are gone. They days of being a great marketer and a great business are here. It’s time to adapt, or die. What are YOU going to do?

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