It’s been a big year for changes from Google. First, Google started blacklisting content marketing tools like press releases and irrelevant backlinks. Then it locked up search data that helped marketers understand how people found their websites. It seems like as soon as the dust settles, Google’s got another algorithm that’s threatening content marketing.
But while many small business owners and marketers are biting their nails, unsure of how to proceed, there are many of us who consider it business as usual. Here’s why savvy marketers aren’t changing a thing when it comes to marketing online.
1. We Always Write for People. You know if you’ve read bad SEO-riddled content. It’s overflowing with keywords, with little value. For example:
Need New Jersey heating and cooling solutions? Our New Jersey heating and cooling solutions are designed with you in mind. Call us today for a free quote on New Jersey heating and cooling solutions.
Yea. People still do that. So are you really surprised that Google has put the smackdown on such behavior? Me either. Good content marketers have been writing valuable, conversational content for years, so they don’t need to make any changes here.
Okay, maybe I jumped the gun with that title, but allow me to rant for just a moment. At Egg, we look for new projects on Elance. Today, as I’m looking, I’m seeing tons of gigs looking for search engine optimization specialists. People who want “gurus” to help them rank #1. They throw around terms like “keyword density” that, thanks to Google’s recent smackdown, are simply extinct now.
They’re setting themselves up for failure. Sure, someone will bid on these projects, but when they fail to deliver what the customer wants: that golden top spot on Google (which, by the way, no one can guarantee), they’ll realize they’ve wasted a lot of money.
You’ve heard it here before: it’s not about getting on the top of Google. It’s what you do to convert the traffic you’ve got into customers. It’s not about stuffing keywords unnaturally into web copy in the hopes that Google will be too dumb to notice it’s written for bots, not humans.
This is a guest post by Tricia Borren.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become one of the most effective and useful online marketing tools available today. Although most small businesses understand the basic concepts of SEO, many still make some mistakes during implementation. Small businesses should avoid making five of the most common SEO mistakes.
The most common mistake small businesses make is having duplicate content on a site. Duplicate content today is commonly generated by content management systems (CMS) or other tools that automatically create some pages or content. Duplicate title tags can also be a problem. Duplicate content hurts the ranking and quality of a page even if it is unintentional.
I need SEO! proclaimed the frantic client. With this last stupid Google update, I dropped from page 3 to page 11, and I’m losing business. I was barely hanging on as it is!
I took a deep breath and steeled my resolve for the conversation that was sure to ensue.
Ok, what’s your budget?
Not much! I was barely making any money before the update, now I’m almost out of business.
Ok, what is it that you are looking to do in terms of SEO?
I need to get my rankings up, page 1 would be great, but anything better than page 11 would be great.
So there is the scenario: Frantic customer, limited budget, nearly out of business, call the SEO guyeggmarketingpr.com/blogeggmarketingpr.com/blog and expect him to work a miracle for free. We need a plan.
We start with a plan. Actually we start with a plan to make a plan. But how do we make a plan?
If you operate a website, you know how detrimental search engine traffic is. It’s the glue that holds everything together, helping you bring in a stream of targeted visitors day after day. The only problem, however, is that you often have to be on your toes, as your endless flow of traffic can be easily stopped overnight all from a small algorithm change.
In order to prevent your site from becoming penalized or the victim of an algorithm change, you have to stay on top of proper SEO techniques. Understanding what these proper SEO practices are can make all the difference.
With that said, take a look below to learn about 5 common and reliable SEO techniques you can use to make sure your website stays safe from a search engine update. Apply them now to increase your chances of keeping your high rankings in place.
#1 Obtain External Links from Relevant and Reliable Sources
One of the biggest red flags for a search engine is a sudden influx of external links from low quality websites. It looks unnatural and can trigger a penalty in the search engines algorithm, causing your website to tank into oblivion.
If you’re going to build external links, always make sure that you grab them from relevant and reliable sources. Time is your best friend here, so don’t be afraid to be patient and take things slow. Doing so will help you gradually move up the ranks (or keep them where they are).
When it comes to SEO, Google pretty much keeps webmasters in line, but that doesn’t stop some less-than-above-board practitioners from trying tactics that are a bit, well, questionable. If you’re new to doing your own search engine optimization, make sure to avoid these practices. Many of these will be penalized by Google and won’t help you rise in rankings anyway.
1. Overuse Keywords
It’s amazing how many companies push to get the maximum number of keywords in a blog post or web copy. To what avail? Humans want to read text written for and by humans, and using the same keyword over and over and over again doesn’t draw in customers. Sure, you want search engines to rank you higher, but ultimately, you want the visitors to your site to like being there.
Pay attention to your keyword density, meaning the percent that your keywords take up in the total number of words. Experts say that Google responds best when keywords have a density of 1-3% of total text.
When you’re browsing around the web to find SEO information you’ll no doubt come across a number of different articles and posts with a similar theme – ‘top tips’ for getting your SEO right, ‘five changes’ you can make to your on page SEO right now, and ‘best SEO strategies’ of 2012. All of these things can potentially help your site to get more traffic and to get higher in the SERPs as long as you’re reading the right advice, and there’s certainly a big demand for these kinds of articles.
But the problem is, doing all the right things isn’t enough to guarantee success because doing some of the wrong things can be enough to ruin your chances of success. You need to know which good things you should do, but also which bad things you should avoid. Here we’ll look at those bad things so that you know what you need to avoid.
There’s quite a bit of debate in regards to longtail keywords. There are extremes on either side of the spectrum: some believe that longtail keywords are worthless while others believe that they are the best source of traffic.
Perhaps we should take a step back first; are you still trying to grasp the idea of what longtail keywords actually are? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Essentially, longtail keywords are terms of phrases that are associated with your product or service but don’t necessarily get the highest amount of traffic. They are usually more specific and on the plus side, they are often more relevant. Though they will bring in smaller numbers when it comes to overall traffic, they may help deliver determined buyers to exactly what they are looking for on your site. If you would like to read more about longtail keywords, I would recommend checking out this blog post.
The truth of the matter is that the value of a longtail keyword could be either worthless or the best source of traffic, and it takes a discerning eye to decide whether or not it’s worth pursuing. This value stems from a number of factors, and anyone can figure it out for themselves with a little bit of higher knowledge.
You may already know that keyword-rich web copy helps search engines (and people) find you easily. But consider this: your web copy also helps tell the story of who your business is.
Do you want to come off as professional? Off-the-wall? Appealing to teens? Mothers? Retirees? You can do all of that with your copy. Even if you’re not aware that you’re telling a story, the copy you have, whether you thought it through or not, gives an impression to visitors. It’s important to make sure that impression is the one you want to emit.