Keeping up with Smarter Search Engines

November 25, 2013

With fewer than 25 percent of your potential users ever scrolling past the first page of search results, you really need to make your site stand out. Unfortunately, search engines are constantly changing how pages get ranked. It’s imperative that you adopt a flexible SEO strategy that you can change along the way without experiencing major service interruptions. Here are some strategies that might help you keep up with the times:

Focus On Content

Content marketing has actually been around since John Deere started a trade magazine in 1895. The longevity of the content-based strategy relies on the fact that customers enjoy learning about their options at their leisure. Being open about the details of your products and services makes them way more appealing, and it makes it easier for you to establish a critical rapport.

Improving Inbound Strategies

Remember that search engines don’t just cater to consumers who like reading blogs. Podcasts, videos and PDF-based whitepapers are all indexed by major search algorithms, so it’s smart to incorporate various forms of media into your overall content delivery strategy.

In general, you have to be extremely market-conscious no matter what you’re working on. Create high-value content that goes into detail about the way you tailor your products and services to meet market demands. Make these trade documents available online along with market analyses and interesting technical reports on the innovative new technologies you’re developing.

By increasing the number of resources available from your Web portals, you make it much easier for people to find you based on what they actually need, and your pages will naturally bubble up through rankings. In addition, users who find your information at random will stick around to read it simply because it’s interesting. This, in turn, will positively influence whether search engines classify your site as being important.

Packaging Your Content Properly

There’s no real secret to staying ahead of search engine algorithms with fresh content. Simply be a bit more honest with yourself. Try to separate your sales goals from what you think other people might genuinely want to learn about and focus on the latter. Pique consumer interest with articles that:

  • Explain how to do things or use generic product families without being overtly brand-centric
  • Help readers identify strategies and resources that might enable them to assess the merit of products in an objective fashion
  • Gather interesting facts, news items or images from multiple sources into one cohesive piece that readers don’t have to search through

The critical difference between these kinds of blogs and those that spend valuable text expounding the pros of your product is that content articles actually attract organic clicks. Nobody is looking for your biased write-up of how great your services are; they could easily read a product description for that. Content that has intrinsic merit of its own will garner awareness from consumers who are looking for your services as well as those who don’t even know they might need them.

Being Seamless

If you do things right, you’ll find it easy to work your brand into the content in a natural way that fosters easy reading. For instance, mentioning your brand name 10 times throughout the course of a 300-word article tends to not make things flow very well. Search engines are also smart enough to recognize these spam techniques and relegate your pages to the bowels of the Internet. On the other hand, using keywords and phrases that describe something related to your business is a much more organic way to inject your business presence into your content, and it’s far less off-putting.

Integrate with Relevant Subject Matter

Original news articles are great ways to drive inbound traffic and force search engines to recognize your pages as valid organic results. Even if you cover a commonly discussed industry scandal, the fact that you do so from an original perspective might draw a lot of attention from search engine robots that hunt for novel content. If you’re timely about it, you may even put your website or firm on the national map by providing industry-insider analysis that gets relinked or cited in other blogs, forums and news sites.

Your integrated content can still address current affairs without losing its evergreen status. Simply be smart about using blog tags and organized links to distinguish news articles from other items, and be careful about how you reference current affairs. Forego language that assumes the reader is viewing your article close to the time when it was published. Instead, employ distinct dates and explicit language to describe events that have already occurred so that the reader doesn’t have to keep looking back at the headline or publication tag to place the information in context.

Location-Conscious Content and Continuation

Also, pay attention to where you decide to insert key terms. While it’s only natural to stick some important brand-related phrases in towards the end of an article, you can’t just distribute the others at random throughout. Try to use keywords in a sequence that makes sense within your overall marketing campaign.

For instance, say that your website sells auto parts, and you’re writing an article that explains the workings and necessity of a specific product, such as a radiator. If you end the piece by mentioning what kind of engine parts a radiator is used to cool, you might want your next article in the series to describe one of those parts. That way, you can finish up your article by directing people to your site’s radiator section or to the next piece of content where they can learn more about something related.

Content that fosters continuation is critical, but it’s unlikely that you’re going to enjoy your audience’s rapt attention for more than a few minutes at a stretch. Make sure your content provides memorable links to additional resources so that it has some replay value and keeps people coming back after they get distracted by other things.

Leaving Options Open

Your site’s ranking might take a hit when Google or Bing changes their search algorithms, so you can’t necessarily rely on a single SEO strategy to get people to your pages. Evergreen content marketing does aid in your pursuit of more reliable traffic, but it’s still critical to design your entire site with ready adaptability in mind.

While changes like the original 2011 Google Panda implementation confused a lot of webmasters by causing sudden changes in rankings, one important takeaway from its aftermath was that advertising-heavy pages dropped in rankings while social media sites went up. This reflects Google’s focus on probability; if a hypothetical user is deemed more likely to click on your site, its ranking will increase.

Adapting Your Advertising

So, how does your site change its strategy at a moment’s notice? The easiest way to keep your Web portal ready for search engine updates is to work with an SEO team or designer that can help you implement a complete content delivery system. Your corporate pages shouldn’t all be hardcoded; this kind of architecture takes way too long to revamp and modify. Make sure that your site is built around a blog platform or other content management system (CMS) that allows you to reorganize your links and add new content rapidly. This is the first step towards adapting to new trends in Web browsing and search-conscious marketing.