I don’t know what’s going on but I’ve been getting a TON of website proposal requests lately from literally all over the world. Small businesses all trying to get their websites to work. A “theme” I’m reading in these proposal requests goes something like this…
“My website used to be near the top of the page on Google but now I’m nowhere. Help!”
When I speak these website owners the story is the same. Their previous SEO firm got tons of incoming links TO the owners’ website and created multiple pages on the site with content. Not necessarily great content, just content.
Google’s Panda and Penguin Updates
You may not know it but Google changes their algorithim as much as 500 times a year. The great majority of these changes are minor but once in a while they roll out a MAJOR change. In 2012 there were 2 major changes, once called Penguin and the other called Panda. Basically, these two updates changed the way SEO webmasters across the world performed their work.
Basically, Google went from ranking website pages according to keyword placement TO ranking website pages according to keyword placement AND quality content.
Rhondalynn Korolak put it the best way I’ve seen it stated…
“Now the online game is all about quality content. And quality is defined as content that is unique, authentic, relevant and compelling to the intended audience. Rather than focusing blindly on SEO which is prone to manipulation, Google is forcing website owners to shift their focus to social engagement optimization.”
Karolak’s article goes on to talk about Neuromarketing and how Google has essentially embraced the techniques of neuromarketing to provide their search audience with the best, most relevant content available. After all, at the end of the day, that’s Google’s job. To give the user the information they are seeking. (Every website owner and SEO webmaster should also be following that rule – find what your audience wants and give it to them.)
How Can You Embrace The New SEO?
So, here comes the easy part. How can you (the website owner) and your SEO webmaster embrace the new SEO rules? Here are some tips…
1) If you can’t write quality, relevant content, hire a copywriter. It’s the best bang for your buck!!
2) The content on your website pages should be all about “solving the problem”. How many times have you purchased something (a product or a service) online because you liked what the “about us” page had to say? The majority of consumers “…don’t care about your brand, your awards or your features and benefits. They are looking for solutions…”
3) Here’s a quick way to check to see if your website is mentioning your brand or your service too often.
a) Go to Google
b) In the search box type in the following:
site:domain.com + “keyword phrase”
c) Replace “domain.com” with your domain and replace “keyword phrase” with either your brand or your specific service.
d) Now repeat the process except this time use solution solving phrases in the “keyword phrase” section. So, for example, instead of “SEO services” I would use “improve website ranking”.
I bet you will see your brand name and your specific service repeated MANY more times than a solution phrase.
4) Engage your customers. That means keep them in the loop at all times. Mobile marketing is getting bigger and bigger and if you haven’t begun to use that service, start researching it because it’s not going to go away. Blogging and Tweeting are just part of daily business these days. Don’t think you can get away without engaging. Let’s face it, we are all much more engaged these days than ever before.
5) Use the keyword research your SEO webmaster provides you with to create new content. Make sure the content is aimed at solving a solution vs. just talking about how great your company and/or services are.
So, that’s it. If you’re a small business owner, you can take advantage of this knowledge and improve your website’s ability to compete.