The World of SEO Has Changed… Have You?
As marketing has gone beyond print and collateral pieces, everyone has heard the buzzwords “SEO” and “keywords” in the discussion surrounding websites. With the evolution of digital marketing, the roles these factors play in boosting your website have changed. Google has made updates over the last five to ten years that have changed the way search results are served and this has affected what people are seeing when they search, as well as marketers’ ability to measure campaigns.
Google has gotten smarter and keywords aren’t the center of the SEO universe anymore.
Finding the right keywords and capitalizing on them to drive traffic to your website used to be at the center of any good SEO campaign but with Google’s updates, that’s no longer the case. Keywords can still help you, but they aren’t the heavy hitter they used to be. The analytics for keywords and their rankings have changed as well, so they are not a good yardstick for measuring your success. Making the tracking tools for keywords vaguer seems to be an attempt to get marketers to focus elsewhere.
This is largely due to Google’s drive to create a better user experience. They’re focusing on what people want to see, and keywords aren’t a good guidepost. If the most popular search engine in the world is delivering results that are personalized based on users’ previous searches, location and the devices they’re using, everyone should get on board. People are being served search results based on implicit query factors. Technical jargon, we know, but Hubspot gives a great example of what this means:
A simple search for “Boston restaurants” will arm Google with a whole lot more information than before. They’re able to see which device you’ve searched from, where you’re located whilst you’re searching, even if you’re currently on the move.
Let’s say that you searched on an iPhone and you’re walking around in the center of Boston at 11:30 am. Here’s what this query would actually look like to Google:
“Which restaurants are currently open for lunch within walking distance of my current location in the center of Boston, MA?”
This means Google is digging deeper than those trusty keywords to find valuable results for searchers. You’re probably wondering, if keywords aren’t the bread and butter of SEO anymore, what is?
Content. Content is king.
Google is focused (more than ever) on the content on each individual page throughout your website. While dated websites were previously able to hide behind high keyword rankings, it’s not plausible anymore. The content on your website directly correlates to your SEO, which can/will impact your organic traffic. Algorithms have changed to favor topic-based content, so it’s not just what is on your site but also how it’s connected. Interconnecting relevant content is what search engines are starting to look for and you need to get ahead of the curve. When you create links between content you are creating “relationships” on this same topic. This information then gets signaled to search engines that your website contains a wealth of content on that particular topic. Increasing the amount of internal links on your website can achieve higher placement in search engine results pages.
If you’re not sure where to start with SEO, take a look at your website and the content you already have. Ask yourself:
Do you have a variety of content? How is your content showcased? Are there pieces of content that relate to each other? If so, are they connected? If not, is there content you could add?
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