Search Engine Optimization tactics have changed over and over. Webmasters have always been trying to figure out how to fight Google but every time Google seems to be the last man standing. The major reason behind this is Google’s ever-changing search algorithm and the search results that Google seems to play with every other year. You don’t believe me? Well, try observing search results for something as obvious as “car hire”. Do you think that you can push your blog in those search results? You think that your SEO tactics can push your URL in between all the results of Google Places and Google Maps. I seriously doubt your confidence.
Today, we will try to dig into some of the new tactics that are slowly emerging as must learn ways for webmasters if they want to survive in this world of Search Engine Optimization. This discussion will try to graze through the still unreal modern-day SEO practices.
Target Local SEO
Look at those search results. Sights like these are common on Google’s SERPs and they are frightening for webmasters. It is very obvious that searchers will prefer the jungle of Google Places results and hardly any of them will scroll down to check different blogs (if any) and various websites.
What do we do in such situations? Well, the answer is pretty simple. One must expand the SEO horizons to Google Places which seems to be the next big thing when it comes to local SEO. Note down these quick pointers:
- Your business on various services: Hire someone or keep some time aside for this activity as this is going to take some time. You will have to make a list of all the services that acts as Yellow Pages in your niche and in your locality. Start registering in all of them and list your business along with the other necessary details in all of these. If they are worth the money then don’t hesitate in paying for such services. Also, remember to be consistent with the content on all the services where you are leaving your details. Lastly, remember to do the most simplest thing. Publish your address on Google Places, Google Maps and the like.
- Optimize the Google Places Page: Try to point your Google Places page to a landing page which leaves the visitors in awe. Spend time on your Google Places page and see to it that you have done your bit to give out the information that visitors are looking for.
- Get Reviewed: You have your landing page, your Google Places page and your business details listed in almost all the listing services. Now what? Well, it is time to get yourself reviewed from some of the recognized critics that increase your rankings and Google’s trust in your listing.
So, as the discussion above suggests, it is time to move out of the world of backlinks, keywords, tags etc. It surely is time to expand your reach into the modern world of SEO. If you don’t start now then you are bound to be lost in between all the competition.
Integrate Your SEO Strategies Smoothly with Social Media
Gone are the days when SEO and Social Media Marketing were two different approaches for traffic. Today, you will find Twitter handles and Facebook fan pages on huge bill boards and on screens before a movie starts. It has become so obvious for every business to be present on Twitter and Facebook for starters. You aren’t hip if you aren’t on Twitter.
One good example of integrating Search Engine Optimization for a business with Social Media Strategies is the #BeatCancer hash tag. An Atlanta-based Social Media Communications company launched a campaign to raise funds for various non-profit cancer organizations. The idea was that the sponsors (eBay/PayPal and MillerCoor Brewing Company) will donate $0.01 to charity whenever the hash tag #BeatCancer was used somewhere in a blog post, Facebook page, Twitter or any other platform on the Internet. Surprisingly, the idea resulted into $70,000 being donated to different charities. Also, the amount of hidden publicity that it brought to the campaigners attached with the same was innumerable.
Social Media giants like Twitter and Facebook can play a huge role in your search engine rankings if the approach is planned and help from someone with expertise isn’t ignored.
Start Targeting Humans Instead of Robots
As I said before, enough of SEO for bots. We have tried a lot of keywords and pushed multiple tags. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could ignore search engines, programs, algorithms etc. and start writing for humans? For our real readers? For the people who make or break our business? I am not asking you to follow this approach because the older methods of SEO are failing but because Google has started to move towards real-time results that are appreciated by the general searchers. And, there is no room for blackhat SEO tactics in these results. Either you start listening to Google or get left behind.
Remember that people come to Google because they are looking for something authentic. If you give them goofed up content just by tricking the algorithms then you might have won for that particular search query but in the long run you just lost a visitor because of the stupid content.
Again, No More Love For Backlinks
I am trying to emphasize this because this point is very important. You cannot fool Google. Just accept this fact and stop trying the silly tactics that you think can break Google’s algorithms. As of now Google has started a very human approach with their search results which does no longer looks for keywords only. It is about the authenticity of content, the value of the same to the searcher and various such considerations. It is impossible to trick this approach.
They will know when you bought a backlink and if they do then life ahead will be killing for you. It will be better if you don’t take such risks that can actually see your business being kicked out of Google’s SERPs.
Use Schema.org to Check the Authenticity of your Efforts
If you haven’t yet heard of Schema.org then you surely have been sleeping. Although Google is the boss it was generous enough to sit with the minors like Yahoo and Bing to come up with standards that help search engines understand a website better. These results help such search engines read the particular website better and index it as per its features.
Like, if a website starts using rich snippets then it has the ability to inform Google that the SERP will have product reviews too along with the usual website link. Do you see the reviews in the image above with rich snippets enabled for a particular website? It is possible to show those in your search results if you too start using rich snippets. Also, you can test your approach using the Rich Snippet Testing Tool.
Analyze. Rinse. Repeat.
Theory is good but it is the numbers that matter. So, analyze your results and gauge your efforts. See where you are heading. How many visitors come to your landing pages and how many of them actually stay there for more than 2 minutes. Optimize your efforts as per the results and keep trying new things. Remember, it is not just the keywords that matter but the overall effort of the modern-day SEO practices. It requires a lot of planning and smart execution.
What I discussed was just a small section of Modern Day SEO. Google is drastically changing its approach and we have to keep up with these changes if we want to be in this game. What do you think and what are your new strategies towards SEO?
Salman Siddiqui is an alpha geek, design guru and seasoned WordPress critic. Writing, for him, started out of ego but it has become the most luring and enlightening career option of his life. He is walking that extra mile for his freelancing dream.