As we all know, it is so important to create and publish only the highest quality content. This has actually always been the case, you might have got away with publishing any old stuff years ago but now, the search engines want more and it’s not just them, visitors to your site want to read something interesting and that is well written. In order to find your articles, you need to make use of good keywords (long tail keywords are very useful for local searches). Beware of keyword stuffing, this has been frowned upon for a number of years now and you will be be punished if you do this. Be creative with your keywords, use other ways of saying the same thing and make sure that they are what people are searching for. The search engines are getting smarter and can interpret what a searcher is looking for with more success than ever before. Due to Google’s algorithms, the quality of the results has improved and as such, the sites with the best articles will rise up the organic rankings. Social media plays a part here as well, when a visitor likes what they read, they will generally share it with others which of course generates more visitors to your site. Find out more about how SEO has changed over the last few years and how you can make yours better, read on.
Change #1: Don’t Miss Using Google’s Keyword Tool
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool has been gone for about a year now (replaced with the new Google Keyword Planner).
Many bloggers, myself included, relied heavily on this tool; however, I think our reliance was misguided. The keyword tool only measured what people were willing to pay for and was really created for products. It was specifically created to work with AdWords and while the hack that most of us used it for was fine, its data was probably not as relevant as we believed – at least, for those of us more interested in organic search results who didn’t use AdWords. In retrospect, I now feel freed from hours of pouring over results that may or may not have had a beneficial return on the time I invested. There are better ways to find out optimal keywords than these keyword tools.
Modern SEO Strategy #1: Go To The Source for Answers
You should be using Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, and going to the source for SEO information. Instead of wondering what’s new, good or outdated, simply start following and watching Matt Cutts’ Google Videos, which are organized by topic at SEO In House, to answer your questions.
If you installed Analytics a while ago, make sure you are upgraded to Universal Analytics and have the new code pasted into your site. Really dig in and examine your analytics. Click your blog under “Webmaster Tools,” go to Search Traffic, select Search Queries and download the table. I advise importing it into Excel, so you can sort it. It will give you the real story of how people are getting to your site.
Change #2: Google is Smarter than You Think
Some years back, I had a small business client who spent a ton of money engaging an SEO firm. They researched a 3-word phrase and then created a page where they repeated that phrase in a document – ad nauseam. No human would read that page. At the time, that kind of SEO was technically acceptable. Personally, bending and shaping words to match the exact 3-5 word phrase I believed people to be searching for has always been a painful exercise for this wordsmith.
How could I put my name on something like that and still build my reputation as a writer? Turns out, you can’t.
Thankfully, Google can handle whatever you write. It’s smart enough that you can place the group of words in the same or near order and still get the juice for your keyword phrase without being redundant. You do have to be careful as your long tail grows, but my best advice is just to write the best you can. You will find that from time to time, you are writing articles with no other way to say a word. For example, I just completed a piece on grass fed vs. conventionally raised cattle. There’s no other way to say either of those terms accurately, so they were repeated throughout the article. Good for my SEO, but not necessary every time.
Modern SEO Strategy #2: Use Your Head When Writing
It’s time for all of us to go back to Journalism 101 and write or curate valuable content for our audience.
If you have a new blog, don’t write too much until you start to build readership and connect with the leaders in your niche. Headlines and descriptions should entice or scare people into clicking. Articles should give provide readers with something they need and engage them, even if there is a call to action in it that benefits you. Click here to continue