by Ryan Grassie - May. 4, 2012 at 2:57pm
Just what we have been preaching to our clients for years. Google made some big moves in changing the way their algorithm ranks sites. The changes are designed to penalize “over-optimization.” What does over-optimization mean? Well, as a firm that avoid the use of tricks, favoring content to drive traffic – I can tell you that if you’ve been in marketing for more than a week, you’ve gotten a call from a firm that specializes in this – usually from India.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firms charge big bucks for monthly services that include creating thousands of fake landing pages, creating “ping-backs” by commenting on other posts, and a number of other nefarious, but previously effective tactics.
So what is Google rewarding with the coveted top spots on searches? Content. They will be rewarding organizations that are “making great sites for users, not just algorithms.”
This trend is not new, but it is nice to get a rare peak behind the mysterious Google curtain as their comments make their recent trend into an “official” position. Article on the changes.
This is fantastic for our clients and, quite frankly, a trend we’ve been seeing for years, albeit unofficial and never made public in the way Google did last week. It is high-quality content and smart, targeted optimization that gets results. Stay away from the tricks.
So what are the best practices? Here are just a few of ForceFive’s:
- Creating a handful (not hundreds) of extremely relevant and targeted landing pages
- Ensuring that your site is complete with meta tags, category tags,
- Creating URLs with search friendly terms embedded
- Making sure your keywords are peppered throughout the content
- Including a Google xml sitemap so Google and other engines automatically see new pages
- Backlinks from relevant sites – leverage your partners and help each other
Most importantly, your website is not a brochure that you print, put aside for a year and then refresh. Blogging on your site creates new, fresh content with keywords that will drive traffic. In this case, I want people looking for effective Google search tactics, websites that drive traffic, and Google search best practices.
Let us know how we can help you effectively drive traffic to your site – no tricks, just solid content. Another benefit of content over tricks? Tricks never strengthened a brand or create thought leadership the way blogs do.
by Ryan Grassie - Mar. 2, 2012 at 1:29pm
Blogging is a fantastic way to create value to your website customers. But there is another major plus of online blogs - they naturally attract search engine traffic. Blogs already have optimized site architecture – meaning the way they are setup (or should be setup if done properly) makes them highly visibly and indexed by search engines. Most are set up with a clear navigation, where every page is set up to link back to the other main pages. They also have the inherent potential to be well-linked.
Blog Directories and Site Submission
If you haven’t already submitted your blog to some free directories, you are missing out on some great one-way links. But before you start searching for them and submitting, you should know a a few tips on how to optimize your blog. Then your new articles can help your site get the best keyword placement in the major search engines.
Blogs and SEO – Keywords
You have a choice to make. You can target a really general high traffic keyword you have little chance of ranking well for and get barely any traffic. Or you can shoot for a keyword that gets a moderate level of targeted traffic resulting in more leads and sales. They may not get you the most traffic, but they often bring the most profit. Keywords like this can be determined using any number of traffic estimating tools out there. The good ones also show the level of competition for any given keyword.
More Web Site Traffic and More Sales? Not Always
You may be surprised to learn that there isn’t always a correlation between high traffic and high sales. Many of the most profitable sites in the world get moderate traffic because their lucrative keywords result in a much higher ratio of visitors to buyers. Keep this in mind when writing blog articles and target more specific keyword strings when possible. Adding a local spin to your blog titles and content may be that difference. For example instead of targeting “Nike Shoes” if you target “Ottawa Nike Shoe Store” you will get much less traffic, but anyone who does find it and clicks on it surely is a highly targeted user.
Length of Search Query is a Factor
A recent article in Information Week stated that the highest conversion rates from search engine traffic comes from people who do four word queries. The great thing about your blog is that it can get so well-indexed that you have the potential to show up for any number of four word phrases that are relevant to your industry.
Target Your Blog for More Traffic and Sales
Targeting your blog discussion to a two or three word phrase that has a high yield of traffic, and yet has little competition, is not a dream of past Internet days. Another recent study revealed that surprisingly high percentages of search engine queries debuted as late as 2004. As long as there are new developments, new products, services and trends, you’ll never have a shortage of these terms if you learn how to discover them.