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12 Changes That Will Impact Your SEO Strategy (Or not.)

May 25, 2015 // 7:00 AM, From a Hubspot Post with commentary by Chuck Lohre for the industrial search.

Written by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) | @

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SEO is a moving target that can really affect your business. This means that as a startup founder, you need to be prepared to make your strategy work no matter what Google enforces.

(Industrial search doesn’t move that much. Sites we have done for hugh water pumps ten years ago are working perfectly well today. There product hasn’t changed in 50 years. Why should their site? They just keep getting orders from around the world because we wrote the site for people looking for that very unique pump. If we had anything new to say we would, but we don’t)

We asked 12 entrepreneurs what trends they have noticed in the past year and how they have prepared their business. Here’s what they have noticed:

1) Increasing Attention to the User

In the past, SEO was all about manipulating data and keywords to gain search engine rankings. However with the leak of Google’s Quality Rating Guide back in August, it has become crystal clear that modern SEO is all about adding quality rather than quantity. We shifted our entire content marketing strategy to be about the user, creating engaging content that compels our audience to take action.

– Phil LaboonEyeflow Internet Marketing

(Still, you have to use the words that your visitor is searching for. Search engines can’t guess what you are thinking.)

2) Optimizing for Mobile Traffic

Google recently started including a ‘mobile-friendly’ notion next to website for mobile search results. Making sure you have this next your site increases the CTR for your website and the over amount of traffic. I suggest you test your site with this Google tool.

– Yossi FishlerAndy OS, inc.

(It’s all the rage but the jury is still out on this when it comes to multi-million dollar machine tools. A very large percentage of those searches are on a desktop and not a tablet or cell phone.)

3) Emphasizing the Importance of Social

Whether it’s social sharing from your site or traffic coming from social media, the importance of social engagements is really affecting SEO. It’s part of SEO’s way of measuring interactions with your pages and content, which are proving to be more and more important. If no one is interacting, it reflects poorly on your page quality and hurts your chances of ranking.

– Brooke BergmanAllied Business Network Inc.

(The largest social feedback we get is when we misspell a word! Of course we were explaining the energy involved in a process and the preventive maintenance procedures.)

4) Identifying Negative SEO

With penalty algorithms, negative SEO can now impact businesses that are not carefully watching their backlinks and other metrics. There have even been studies of sites hit by negative SEOs that sent bogus traffic and negatively impacted bounce rate and CTR from Google SERPs. Watch your link profile, analytics, and be on the lookout for misuse.

– Marcela DeVivo, Gryffin Media

(The only backlinks we have are from industry directories we like and our customers use.)

5) Focusing on Storytelling

Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Now, artful storytelling is the only way publishers will get visibility in the SERPs. Our business focuses on helping brands create compelling content with YouTube creators, so updates to the Google algorithm have been immensely helpful in improving our value proposition to clients and the long-term value brands get from their Grapevine campaigns.

– Danny WongGrapevine

(Keyword stuffing doesn’t mean not using you keyword in the URL, title, headline and body. That’s just common courtesy to the visitor. And to the search engines.)

6) Introducing More Penalties

Our daily tests from 5,000+ sites prove that you will get penalized for both on-site and off-site issues that you may not be aware of. Look closely at the quality of pages you’re indexing in Google, eradicate duplicate content, improve your user experience, and ensure you’re monitoring your incoming links, disavowing those that are working against your assets. It matters more now than ever before.

– Alex Miller, PosiRank LLC

(We’re not sure if this is duplicate content. But it would be if this was a much more popular blog.)

7) Looking for a Google+ Page

If you are a local business, having a website isn’t enough to rank well in Google’s local search listings. If you want to rank well you need to unlock, verify, and optimize a Google+ Business Page (referred to more recently as a Google My Business Page). If you want to maximize your search traffic from Google, treat your Google Business Page as you would your website, and optimize accordingly.

– Kristopher JonesLSEO.com

(It’s fun to update your Google + page. Not sure if it effects much yet.)

8) Aggressively Targeting Blog Networks

At the beginning of 2014, Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, announced that the idea of “guest post networks,” which had been effective in the past, were on their way out. In the middle of 2014, Google took action against several large networks, including MyBlogGuest, and penalized many high-ranking sites that had participated in linking schemes. Guest bloggers need to rethink their strategy.

– Sathvik TantryFormSwift

(This is the practice of making a post to your blog with a URL to the site they are promoting. They are done by robots and sounc goofy.)

9) Optimizing for User Experience

Where do take your SEO strategy when you’ve got links, titles, and content covered? Recently we’ve revamped our site to offer a better user experience. Within three months of rolling out the changes, time on site is up 30% and our bounce rate is down 9%, all while our search traffic is up almost 110%. Google is looking for quality indicators. Make sure your user experience isn’t sending the wrong ones.

– Nick ReeseBroadbandNow

(What is a better user experience? Making it easy to find what they are looking for with out looking too busy.)

10) Becoming More Predictable

SEO is now easier than it has ever been thanks to big data. The key to successful SEO is having a strategy in place that records your previous efforts, compares those efforts to your current results, and then predicts which activities will provide the most value in the future. SEO was an art before big data. Now it is a science.

– Roger BryanEnfusen Digital Marketing

(Determine the keywords that are important to your business. Write your content to educate the visitor about those topics. If you don’t rank, buy AdWords, but never stop trying to rank free naturally. We have retired AdWord programs after the client’s site was ranking naturally for all the important phrases.)

11) Using Location as a Source

Since we are a global identity verification company, it’s important to understand how changes in Pigeon’s algorithm would affect the visibility of our website in local listings.

– Stephen UffordTrulioo

(Even un-local purchasing is effected by location. Local offices and sales reps are the cause.)

12) Optimizing for Entity Search

We’re always looking for opportunities to increase our footprint in Google’s search results. With more search queries ‘answered’ directly in Google’s search results, we only need to spend a few hours of development to be eligible for inclusion. As semantic markup expands to identify more entities, our business will be relevant for more complex and user-specific queries.

– Andrew SaladinoKitchen Cabinet Kings

(What he means is, if the visitor can get their answer by never clicking on your link, Google has succeeded. But a tree does make a sound even is no one is there to hear it.)

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Blogging: A Most-Important Part of Your On-Site SEO Strategy

When it comes to Internet Marketing the phrase “Content is King” is tossed around quite often, but when it comes to Internet Marketing, and especially Search Engine Optimization, it is important to remember that only the right content, the most relevant content to connect your business to your potential customer should reign supreme.

In considering how to streamline your site to attract visitors who match your several-to-many buyer personas, and when optimizing your site so that search providers can point these visitors your way, it is necessary to realize that there is no way that one or even a handful of pages could ever manage to cover all of this. Trying to gear even a forty-page site toward even one target audience, when so many possible keywords and long-tailed keywords are needed, will surely only result in a loss of keyword saturation per-page and hurt your search engine optimization.

Other Advantages of Fresh Content over a Static Page Site:

  • Static pages, though essential later in the decision-making process, do not make for the sort of content potential customers crave when seeking solutions.
  • Search providers are also on the hunt for fresh content in order to direct their users to the most relevant and most up-to-date information.
  • Having a larger site, allows for more-specialized content, each page with its own content geared toward a smaller, more-precise sample of the larger target audience, with content geared more-specifically toward their needs.
  • Blogging is not only the best approach at White-Hat SEO, it is a great way to avoid the pitfalls of Black Hat SEO

In order to understand why that last bit is so incredibly-important, one must first know a little bit about both White Hat and Black Hat SEO.

What is White-Hat SEO and What is Black-Hat SEO?

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and sometimes staying on top of it all can seem daunting, but when you think this work from a point of view outside that of a marketer, developer, or site owner, it all becomes much, much more simple:

The goal of the search engine is to connect users with the most useful, most precise, most specifically-targeted content to fit their needs. Site owners can benefit from this in that those who visit their site are more likely to be doing so intentionally, in search of related products, services, or solutions. Visitors also benefit from information relevant to the problem they are seeking to solve. These people may become return visitors or even customers, especially if they are brought to the correct page of the site to begin with, which is another important part of your site’s relationship with search providers.

Ideally, these visitors will land on that perfect page to encourage them to stay and read. If that content is informative and interesting, that content likely to be shared or bookmarked as a part of the visitor’s decision-making process. If that content does not offer valuable information, and does not give the visitor any feeling that they may be in the right place, the visitor will often return to the search provider and try other search results. You may never see them again, even if they were looking for services you offer.

Like visitors, search engines pick up on these things too. Search providers’ algorithms are streamlined more and more every day to help their users find what they are looking for, and avoid sites or pages that misrepresent or fail to represent what they have to offer. This is why you need to learn how to recognize and avoid Black-Hat SEO tactics.

Some Signs of White-Hat SEO

  • You are looking to bring the right visitors to your site, which are visitors who have problems or needs that you can solve.
  • You are seeking to reward their visit with information valuable to their decision-making process.
  • You use accurate keywords in your content’s description, title, and url.
  • Keywords can be easily found within the visible content of your page, and make sense in their context, because they are an actual part of the content.
  • Inbound links come from satisfied visitors, leaders in your industry, or magazines and blogs related to your industry.

A Few Signs of Black-Hat SEO

  • Keywords are repeated over and over in the content, to the point of making the content difficult to follow or unpleasant to read.
  • Keywords are in content that is hidden, where it serves no use to the visitor at all.
  • Inbound links are from pay-by-link sites, comments on blogs, pages/sites that serve no purpose other than to provide indexes of junk links.
  • Image alt tags are not worded to inform the reader, who may be sightless or may be a search crawler, what the image actually contains.
  • Content is duplicated from elsewhere, or copied and reworded to seem like unique content.

Black-Hat SEO is very-easily recognized if you think of it: Black Hat SEO is any approach that seeks to trick or manipulate search providers.

White-Hat SEO is just as easy to sum up: White Hat SEO is about creating great content in order reward the right visitors, and minimize bounce rates.

Bounce rates help no one. High bounce rates will only serve to make your marketing a more frustrating process, and prevent you from fine-tuning your marketing machine to reward the ideal visitor for finding your site.

Good SEO, and a good inbound marketing strategy is all about quality links from search engines leading to quality content specialized for quality leads. Quality *and* quantity are essential toward good keyword saturation because good keyword saturation is no-longer just about a page or a post, but the entire content of a site or domain. Site-wide keyword saturation *and* content keyword saturation work together to bring a visitor to the right page of the right site.

alt tags misused in web design can annoy those without sight and could harm search engine placement.

Diagram: How to annoy with alt tags

Blogging and Site-Wide Keyword Density / Keyword Saturation

Blogging is most beneficial from an SEO standpoint, not just in garnering shares and other relevant inbound-links to expand your authority, but in adding to the overall keyword density of your site. Adding to the keyword density of the site as a whole is much more effective than filling individual pages or posts with keywords. New posts also expand the site with fresh, unique content to be indexed, which search engines love.

If your site has 2000 original posts, and 1750 of those posts are somewhat-related to gardening equipment, your post on selecting the right tiller has a good chance of ranking well. If it is useful enough to be shared by a few individuals, it will rank even higher.

Image of advertisement done for Cincinnati Industrial MachineryThe Value of Unique Content

I stress original because unique content is very valuable to your SEO, but shared or duplicated content can have the opposite effect, and serves mostly to give authority to the website(s) of the originating source(s).

Have you ever searched for information and only found the same point of view over and over again in near-identical wording over a few hundred websites? Frustrating, isn’t it? In order to eliminate this frustration, those sites that are sharing information, white papers, and other content provided to them, are far less-likely to get good search placement. – and reword as you will, it will likely be recognized as duplicate content. Doing this only serves to boost the search authority of the originator. Sharing, in moderation can be beneficial to your site’s overall keyword density, if you don’t overdo it, and remember to only share content that has value for your visitors.

Unique content through blogging (and blogging regularly) will allow you to have focused, targeted information on your site for the many individuals that make up your many prospective customers and will allow you to boost the authority of your site for all of those individuals as a whole.

Blogging has become the most essential on-site tool for inbound marketing, and is a must for anyone whose business model depends on being found through search providers.

 

If you are interested in our services for blogging, articles, news releases, advertorials, other content services or custom-building a CMS/COS for your web site, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 513.961.1174 or contact us through our contact page.

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