The SEO industry often gets a bit too caught up in chasing the algorithm. Google will tell you that User Experience is the top ranking factor. They continually tweak the algorithm with that in mind. Google’s goal is to give the searcher the best response or experience when they are using Google. The evolution of the algorithm has always been to reward good content from respectable sources. Probably the worst SEO strategy to take for the long term is to constantly look for loopholes in the algorithm, as the smart folks at Google are always working on closing them.
Fundamentals Matter for SEO
The fundamentals have always mattered. Good unique content that solves searcher’s problems and is good enough to get others to send their users to via links to your site. These are seen as votes of credibility for your content and each of these links tells Google a story in relation to how reputable the source is, the topic or topics covered, the recency of the link, and many other related factors. As Google evolves its algorithm while technology improves, there are always little tweaks and adjustments along the way. A good SEO will spend time on the things that “move the needle” for their clients, but if you start with the fundamentals, there is less jumping around with each change in the algorithm.
Chasing The Current Data in an Evolving World
Years ago I would get excited each time the ranking studies came out to learn what mattered most to help my clients. Over time, SEO has evolved as every topic and search has its own set of factors. For some searches, speed may be much more important than others. One thing to always keep in mind is that SEO is relative. You are competing against others that offer the same type of content. Photographer searchers may be less worried about speed as those sites are trying to impress you with their great images. A more informational search may rely more on site speed. This is just an example to give you the idea and explain why having the same factors for every search doesn’t best serve the user.
One of the key aspects of SEO that has evolved in recent years is what we call “topic authority“. Traditionally, SEO people would use our tool of choice to see what people search for most and then write content that targets those searches. As time went on and things got more competitive, the little guy would have to target the “long tail keywords” that are less competitive to have a chance. Sometimes this was adding your city to make it a bit less competitive. These terms may be searched a bit less often, but maybe you are a better match for them, and it gives your small business a chance to get to that coveted spot at the top of the rankings. These targets were done looking at historic search data and trends and finding a target to go after with your comment. Now there may be a new type of long tail keyword that can help you.
Predictive Search Phrases and Getting There First
Nobody knows your business like you do. A new wrinkle on the long tail keyword idea is getting ahead of searches. You know what is new and interesting in your industry. You don’t need a keyword tool to tell you what is coming. A great tactic to help your business’s SEO presence online is to use this great “market research” you have access to from being in the trenches and create that content ahead of the demand. You know the searches will come and you already know what the issues and solutions are around it. You have that information people want ahead of time. It is like having that great stock tip, but for your search presence and business success.
There may not be a lot of search for it yet, but when it starts, Google (and then users) will find your site there occupying that space because nobody has addressed it yet. It is like being the first person on the moon. You are there first and not only will it help to have that presence, but it will also help your topic authority as Google keeps finding your pages in their content when trending new phrases start growing in search volume. It isn’t the only content strategy to have, but it is definitely a piece to consider. Sit down and think about what is coming up in your industry and how you are going to serve that audience. Plan to build content that serves this audience ahead of time. It will get you that traffic as it grows, but it will also build your site reputation for being on top of this subject area with good and useful content for Google and y0ur users.
Think about the FAQ’s around the topic. Think about different solutions that the new product or service will solve, and how you are the best answer for all of that. There could be a number of new blog posts or pages you can create around the new offering, solution, market, technology that is available. Consider building that new service page and then a number of supplemental information that supports the ideas listed above. Always think “information gain” and how you can help the user. This will help you stay at the top of the rankings, even as the followers start showing up on the scene with their own content.