The Shifting Face of SEO: How Google is Changing the Game for Digital Marketers

Let’s be honest here: Google is the best of all when it comes to SEO strategy. That’s because as the largest search engine in the world, Google has an opportunity to create and alter algorithms that help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for.

And, to be the best of the best, Google is constantly altering the SEO landscape to focus results squarely on relevance. After all, can you imagine the mass exodus that would occur if Google started giving users false or irrelevant results? By educating yourself in the complicated ways that Google has been changing the game for the last year, you can better structure your strategy to ensure that your digital marketing tactics rank high on Google searches.

It’s All Semantics Now

semantic web crossword symbolA fairly new development in Google searches, the search engine giant has created a way to scour the Web and find the most relevant sites for any query. Semantic SEO was developed after the latest Hummingbird update to the Google algorithm. It gives Google the ability to rank websites not only on their keywords, but also relevant terms to that keyword.

Instead of just returning hits for couches when someone searches for a new sofa, the algorithm can also return searches for interior design, living rooms and other relevant keywords. Therefore, SEO marketers should focus less on one keyword, but several relevant keywords across all platforms to increase ranking chances.

News and Reviews

Reviews have become more and more popular online. Whether it’s looking to see how other diners have rated a restaurant or making sure that an online store is legit, consumers are smarter about where they put their dollars. Google has recognized the substance of online reviews and will soon be adding them to search results.

At a glance, customers can see your rating and what other customers are saying about you, so it may make more sense to shift focus and work on getting the best reviews in 2014. Increasing customer service and frequenting review sites can help you address concerns and make sure you have an excellent online reputation.

Keyword Encryption

Where you could once log into your site stats and see exactly which terms users utilized to find your website, Google is changing the game with keyword encryption on all search activity except for click-on advertisements. By encrypting keywords, it’s more difficult identify keywords to stuff into your content to rank higher. Still, keep in mind that Bing and Yahoo don’t encrypt just yet, so you won’t be flying totally blind.

And, if you really want to know how users are getting to your site, check out your landing pages: It should give a good idea on which topics garner the most hits. Moving forward, your content and SEO strategy should be more about quality than quantity. By creating quality content, you’ll enjoy traffic no matter what the keyword.

Change is Good

Old way or new way? Change is goodKeep in mind that Google holds most of the cards. With near-constant changes and updates to algorithms, you may need a qualified SEO agency to help you navigate your way through digital marketing strategy. Still, Google ranks based upon quality and relevance, so making sure that you offer the best possible content means you won’t be deeply affected by changes and updates.

The world of SEO and content marketing can be confusing at times, especially when you’re catering to Google’s changes. But the updates are really to your benefit, as they help users more effectively pinpoint exactly what they’re looking for online.

By maximizing your digital marketing strategy and covering content, SEO and keyword bases, you can enjoy a high Google rating no matter what.

Learn about how we stay adaptive, and get in touch with us to find out how we can work with you on a long-term SEO strategy that stands Google’s test of time!

Content Marketing Techniques: You Need to be Smart to Win!

We all know that technology develops seemingly at the speed of light, leaving those behind that don’t stay with the times. Of course, the same holds true for effective link-building and content marketing strategies on the internet.

Recently, Matt Cutts of google declared that guest posting, one of the most popular forms of network building on the web, is essentially dead due to overuse and bad quality content. He says the new age of content marketing will largely center on social media and high quality content posts that really grasp the attention of the reader.

While guest posting most assuredly is not dead, but rather evolving, in moments like these it’s worth reflecting on potentially diversifying your avenues for online marketing.

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What Went Wrong with Guest Posting?

Guest posting is different from “regular” blogging in that bloggers post their articles and information on other websites or blogs with links back to their own content, in this way expanding their networks and hopefully increasing traffic to their own website. Guest blogging has been one of the easiest ways to advertise a website or blog and has been used by digital marketing agencies and SEO suppliers for a while.

The problem with guest posting is that many people have abused it to spam websites with very low quality content simply to get clicks through to their website. This has resulted in an abundance of bogus and repeated posts that do little to help the internet community at large.

Cutts’ announcement that guest posting is essentially dead worries so many people because it implies that the Google algorithm ,which can have a huge effect on the success of a website, will frown upon guest posting in future updates to its ranking formula. For many bloggers, guest posting has been their main source of self-advertisement. If guest posting is no longer welcome on the web, how can you promote your website?

Make Sure You Only Post High Quality and Interesting Content

Despite some interpreting Cutts’ words in an extreme way, he did not intend to say that all guest posting is dead. What he intended is to discourage the thousands of spammy posts we see on the web every day. High quality guest posts are, of course, still great ways to enlarge your network and share your opinion or information.

You can still generate links to your personal blog or website through guest posting, just make sure you are saying something unique that is actually useful for your audience. High quality guest posting is far from dead!

Social Media is the Way of the Future

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Quka / Shutterstock.com

In the spirit of diversification, however, it’s always good to take a look at alternative marketing methods. Cutts and many analysts agree that, in addition to high quality guest posting, social media is really the best way for link-building and content marketing. Social media has soared in popularity in the last decade or so, with millions of people connected to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram every day.

You can easily establish a presence on these networks for free, take advantage of the secondary networks of your existing contacts, and quickly see your message and links to your website spread around the internet like wildfire. Social media agencies and online marketing agencies are great resources for advice if you would like to try out these lead generation forms of content marketing.

A great tip for content marketing techniques is simply to make your posts as informative and interesting as possible. Take advantage of the rising popularity of infographics or create a useful guide to something that people need. This will allow your links to be accessed through a variety of indirect sources and show your audience that you are here to actually help them out, not simply to increase traffic to your page.

What are you waiting for? Expand your network with high quality content that grabs the attention of your readers. Create an online presence through social media. Get your website out there! Just call us on 01962 605 000 today.

5 Critical Keys to Managing Your SEO Supplier

Ok, so you didn’t take our first advice to ‘never commit to a monthly SEO contract‘, or perhaps you found another creative way to work with your Search Engine Optimsation which didn’t involve regular payments… but you still want to make sure you’re getting value, right?

Here are five ways to make sure that you can manage your SEO and ensure they’re going to deliver for you.

1. Don’t Focus on Position

Do not, we repeat, NOT, fall into the ‘Page 1 of Google’ trap. This is usually the domain of the lazy SEO. They will guarantee a first page position and, as soon as they get it for you, they’ll down tools and just bill you monthly.

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Seven Steps to Measure (and Manage) a SEO Agency

When we talk with clients about SEO, we spend most of our time unpicking various untruths promoted by SEOs to unsuspecting businesses. From the ‘you’ll never have to pay again to advertise’ (but you’ll need to pay me!) to the ‘you’ll be printing money’ (because you won’t be able to make real revenue).

We’ve already covered some of the pitfalls in our first two articles: never commit to a monthly SEO contract and 5 critical keys to managing your SEO supplier. These give you the groundwork to understanding SEO better.

In this article we now give you the ammunition to manage your SEO supplier (rather than them running rings around you).

Continue reading “Seven Steps to Measure (and Manage) a SEO Agency”

Never Commit to a Monthly SEO Contract

In the next few weeks, we’re going to tackle some of the key reasons why we’re SEO-sceptics when it comes to many businesses and the way in which SEO services are sold to customers. In this article, we challenge the need to spend on an SEO every month.

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