First and foremost, the concept of SEO being solely about “Getting Ranked on Google” is dead.
If you ever encounter an SEO person that still thinks solely in those terms, run the opposite direction.
Sure, getting ranked on Google is one piece of the puzzle. A very small yet important piece of the puzzle, but still, only a piece.
It’s my mission to change SEO from being about solely the Search Engine Appearance to more of an experience optimization.
Changing SEO from Search Engine Optimization to Search EXPERIENCE Optimization, if you will.
How can we do this?
It’s definitely much more of a holistic approach, that’s for sure.
It’s not just about “getting on Google”, which is a battle all in itself. It’s about making your brand present in a way that grows you as an online presence, not just a “pop up shop.”
Below are three key steps to keep in mind to ensure you have the best Search EXPERIENCE Optimization possible.
  1. UNDERSTAND THAT CUSTOMERS WILL SEARCH FOR YOUR BRAND BEFORE THEY PURCHASE
The online buyer is more educated than ever. They are also more sensitive to scams then ever. They want to know that who they are buying from is reputable and that they’re not going to be ripped off.
So, be conscious of how your brand appears when it is searched for on Google. More than likely (unless you’re selling low cost items that your customers will happily take a gamble on) your potential customer is going to hop on Google, search your brand name, and see what comes up.
There, you have 7-10 opportunities to put a piece of content in front of your potential customer that you control.
Go ahead, take a look now. Are there reviews? Your social profiles? Is everything on page one something you own? If not, this is an opportunity to build your reputation and trust with potential customers.
  1. MAKE YOUR SITE STAND OUT FOR NON-BRAND TERMS
If you put in the time and your keywords find their way to Page One, you want to make sure they do so with a “Bang”.
Take the opportunity to optimize your Meta Description (different from product description) to “pre-sell” your potential customers.
You can also implement review apps that use structured data so that you get those glorious star ratings on Google. These have been shown in my research to get 30% more clicks even if nothing else changes.
  1. BE READY FOR VOICE SEARCHES
Now, Obviously in the world of ecommerce, Alexa is going to lean on Amazon to return results.
But, Siri and Google’s voice search tools still lean on Google for delivering results when it comes to product related searches.
There are two steps for being ready for this… First is to think about how people search when using voice. It’s usually questions or a longer sentence, which means a different style of optimization, which is point number 2. The second step is to optimize our on page content to answer these questions.
The world of search has evolved immensely over the past few years. It is still insanely powerful if you know how to adapt to it.
Hope this got some thought going!
Before we kick this off… I’m not a big fan of “predictions” articles.
This is all founded in a couple weeks worth of research and trend observing rather than blind guesses disguised as “Thought Leadership.”
It’s very clear that Google has pulled back on the “change accelerator”.
The days of 2011-2013 where every week was a game changer are over.
To me, this means that Google’s product has perhaps matured as far as it’s cor infrastructure is concerned. It’s simply not as simple to manipulate it as it once was. Google doesn’t respond well to tricks designed to get results quick. It would rather see a genuine user experience that surpasses your competitors.
So what does that mean in the short term?
First and most obvious… The quick wins are over.
I could reminisce about how back in the day you’d make a change today and get more traffic/sales next week.
But… as most retailers have learned, investment in SEO today means results down the road.
Which leads to strategy number one…
– SEO MUST INCLUDE UX –
As I mentioned above, Google gives rankings/traffic (and as a result, revenue) to the sites that create the best user experience.
I’m talking deeper than “Oh, this site loads fast” too.
You need to think from beginning to end user experience. If someone links to you, it needs to be relevant for the user. When they get onto your site, you need to make sure it’s the best experience for your customer, not the best experience your developer could pull off…
When Google sees that your visitors are happy with the experience, they will give you the traffic in time. In the short term, the better user experience of course means a better conversion rate.
As an example of this, I included a screen shot of one of my client’s % results. In the short term, we are seeing a very slight increase in traffic, but a significant lift in conversions and revenue. This is because we overhauled the user experience to create a better user experience. We are confident that once Google catches wind of this our rankings/traffic will follow.
– THINK BEYOND GOOGLE –
Yes, Google owns something around 91% of the search market, which is insane.
But, think of user behavior. Left and right, new “personal assistant” tools are popping up. Siri, Alexa, Google’s, and probably another handful that I’m missing.
The thing is that a lot of these tools (apart from Alexa) still lean on Google for results. They also lean on sources like Yelp, Various Maps, and others.
So, it’s worthwhile to survey your customers and see how they use search. Then, you build a content strategy if there’s potential for more voice search volume.
– ANSWER QUESTIONS –
You’ve probably noticed that your customer is more educated than ever. They research, research, research every buying decision under the sun before making that decision.
So, use that fact to write blog posts that will answer those questions. Once they see you as the authority, get that visitor into your funnel, and let marketing magic take it from there.
You probably noticed a theme with these three strategies. 2018 will be the “year of the user.”
I hope this helped get your mind thinking of a strategy. If you want to chat about a strategy that can get you a lift in revenue and traffic in 2018, get in touch.
Everyone knows the “basics” of SEO.
Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, H Tags, Backlinks and blah blah blah.
The problem with those is that, well, everyone knows them.
Everyone does them.
Sure, there are ways of edging up looking at those elements alone, but Google looks at over 200 individual factors, so you’re going to need a little bit of an edge.
Today, I wanted to share a handful of quick tactics that can help you get that edge.
Sure, you’re not going to see results quick.
These, along with any SEO strategy are part of a longer game.
Anything you do today will not yield results tomorrow.
But… As long as your business is in the game for the long haul, these actions today will mean extra free traffic down the road.
And this isn’t about replacing your current traffic either. This is all meant to be “in addition to.” It’s about growth.
Anyway, here we go…
  1. LSI
LSI is short for Latent Semantic Indexing. This is the art of introducing a “theme” to your website’s content rather than just making it relevant for a specific keyword.
The difference is in a page that talks about “Chocolate Cake” vs a page that talks about Chocolate, Flour, Sugar, Birthdays, Frosting (you get the idea).
When you do this, you open doors for the long tail terms that convert better while also showing Google a bigger story about what you offer.
  1. Internal Linking
I talk about this one frequently because it’s insanely effective.
When you do this, Google gets a better sense as to what each page is about via the anchor text in the link.
So, to do this, you link from one page to another using a targeted keyword as the text in the link itself.
  1. Structured Data
This is a fun one. It does 2 things… First is that it gets information to Google in a way that is written in a way that Google understands it more directly. The second is that with that data, Google can modify your appearance in the Search Results.
When the appearance change happens, it creates what are called “Rich Snippets.” Things like review stars, links, and etc.
This typically means higher click through rate, which is of course more (qualified) traffic to your site.
The little edges are what get you ahead with the search engines.
Hope this helps get some ideas going, leave a comment!