The entire SEO landscape has changed over the last couple of years and Google are leading the charge in their quest to improve visitor experience. Major changes in its algorithms such as Panda and Penguin have completely altered the ball game and the speed at which Google has acted shocked many webmasters as they saw their sites disappear from the rankings overnight. The days of listings being dominated by organic site matches are gone; the modern era involves maps, videos, images and social networking sites. Keep reading to find out more about the modern SEO practices that work and the outdated methods that don’t.
Local SEO is arguably the most important aspect of search engine optimization as Google looks to tailor results to meet the location of searchers. If you’re in Dallas, Texas for example and type ‘pizza’ into the search box, you will be greeted with a list of restaurants in Dallas that serve pizza. If you want a great Local SEO rating, you need to get on Google Places. Set up an account and add in as much relevant information about your business as possible and never use abbreviations when it comes to your address. Ask loyal customers to add reviews of your business as consumer reviews show up prominently in search engine results.
Search and social are now inextricably linked. Search engine rankings are heavily influenced by social cues such as ‘likes’ on Facebook and ‘shares’ on Twitter. This means adding social buttons to the bottom of everything you post to encourage people to share. Videos also appear frequently on search engine results so start creating video blogs to go along with written content. Share these videos on YouTube and add selected keywords to the video description.
What Doesn’t Work
Keyword stuffing hasn’t worked for several years now and the aforementioned Google algorithm changes killed off the practice completely yet some businesses still write for search engines and not readers. Bear in mind that people search Google because they have a question that needs to be answered. After performing the necessary keyword research, you also need to create compelling content that provides genuine value. This will hopefully end the lamentable practice of content spinning which provides zero value and should be considered a form of spam.
Website builders such as Wix were praised for creating fancy Flash websites but now Wix has been forced to change since search engine spiders don’t pick up flash media. Filling your website with glossy Flash images will only cause your website to plummet further down the rankings.
If you think that age-old ‘tricks’ such as link farming, keyword stuffing and content spinning have any hope of working in the modern SEO age, think again. A ridiculous number of businesses still utilize SEO techniques that haven’t been effective for 3-4 years, let alone since Panda and Penguin.
You can no longer afford to be lazy with your website because a high quality visitor experience is what it’s all about. Start expanding your social media reach and focus on ranking well in the local SEO stakes for genuine success.