Google and other search engines are constantly making changes to their algorithms. Google, the industry leader with at least 65% of search engine market share, makes an average of 500 adjustments to its search engine algorithm every year.
The cumulative effect of all of these adjustments is that quality content and industry authority are now more effective than “chasing the algorithm.” In other words, the best SEO tricks are no longer tricks—they’re techniques that put your customers first, and reward you for doing so.
Unlike the SEO of the past, search engines in 2014 are looking for quality, not just quantity. If you target your ideal customer through the use of specialized keywords, and present yourself as an authority by offering compelling content, you can build lasting and mutually beneficial relationships—that help you attract your ideal customers.
Use these 6 techniques to help you make the most out of this brave new SEO world.
1. Don’t stop doing SEO.
Content is the new way to optimize and drive traffic, but you still have to prepare your site through keyword research and basic on-page SEO. By doing the basic research, you're making your site ready to attract the right kind of customers. Keyword research is just as important, if not more important, as it was before. To learn how to do it right, use this business blogging guide to help.
2. Beef up your social media presence.
Social media presence is becoming more important than search rankings. Having a strong presence in social media helps build brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website. As more and more people join and spend time using social networks and social sharing, these networks are attracting more and more effective and important customers.
3. Have a great mobile site.
More than 40 percent of emails are now viewed on a mobile device. Content optimized for the various mobile platforms that connects to other apps will continue to be a predominant trend. While desktop search numbers are growing, mobile search numbers are growing even faster. Sites that don’t have mobile versions will be left behind, so it's important to have a good mobile site, a mobile plugin, or a website with full-on responsive design.
4. Use good local search terms.
Locally sourced isn’t just for food, Google and Bing are planning to continue their trend of localizing search results. Start by registering your business with Google+ Local. Also optimize your website content locally by:
- Highlighting success stories and case studies about local customers
- Writing about local business related to (but not in competition with) yours
- Including local keywords in your website’s URLs, page headers, internal links, and page content
- Targeting local long-tail keyword variations—if you make tacos and you're in Milwaukee, you might want to include tacos Milwaukee, chicken tacos in metro Milwaukee, and taco catering southeastern Wisconsin
- Having location pages—a unique page for each of your locations
- Putting your business name, address, and phone number on your "About Us" and "Contact Us" pages
- Blogging about local and industry news
5. Know your customers' biggest pain points.
Ask your sales and support team for feedback about your customers’ biggest pain points. Since they are your customers, and they still have these sources of pain, it means your site is not doing a good job of helping them. Developing and using buyer personas is a great way to make sure your content is specifically designed to give your ideal customers something useful to them. By writing web content that addresses your customers’ challenges, you can serve them better.
6. Be an authority.
If you spend your marketing energy creating educational and helpful content, you will establish yourself as an authority and build the trust of your customers and potential customers. Blogs that contain educational and helpful content add value to your site—and to your business.