25 May 10 Ingredients to Create The ‘SEO’ Secret Sauce
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has undergone significant changes over the past few years. One of the significant changes that have pushed for doing SEO the right way is Google’s preference towards delivering user experience than just focusing on keyword stuffing or link building.
This wasn’t the case a few years back. Black hat techniques were deployed by SEO practitioners to solely increase search engine rankings and drive website traffic. Google, since then has taken measures to force Search Engine Practitioners to look beyond black hat techniques and focus on user experience instead.
So, what is the secret to work around existing or new measures deployed to still have better search engine rankings and drive website traffic?
Mostly there are 10 ingredients that will create the ‘SEO’ secret sauce capable of withstanding any future announcements including algorithm changes.
- Delivering what’s right
The most critical ingredient in creating the secret sauce is “Delivering what’s right” to your audience. Most of the marketers fall in the trap of delivering something complex and may miss out on delivering what’s right to their target audience. By delivering right, the messaging could be to create and deliver text, figures, images, video, offers, etc. All of which focused to deliver best possible user experience.
- Keeping the message delivered fresh
While educating your target audience it is important to optimize user experience by keeping the message fresh. This can be done by getting the primary/secondary research and insights presented to be relevant, up-to-date and most importantly providing accurate information.
- Prioritizing user experience
Prioritizing experience is not just focused on delivering outstanding content to your audience. Its’ also about keeping up with the technical updates necessary and ensuring that the website loads faster, easy to browse and is enjoyable to spend time on.
- Building engagement
Often marketers fail to build engagement by focusing solely on link building efforts to improve SEO. In the past the efforts of building links by connecting to other relevant website may have yielded some results. This may not stay true as move ahead.
What will stand the test of time is by building engagement leading to link building than to just solely rely on link building activities. The ideal approach to build links is to ensure that your audience sees value in what you aim to offer them, leading to social shares, mentions and linking on their own websites leading to link building efforts organically.
- Focus on audience search behavior
While creating content to entice audience to click through the search results, it has become important that the content showcased is specific, volume driven and is personalized.
Here is an example to highlight what we mean. For a restaurant that is located in a busy street like Commercial Street of Bangalore and being ranked highly for the keywords ‘Best Vegetarian Restaurant’ might just be an ego booster. This may be true, if the search volume is not high and the efforts are not yielding walk-ins to the restaurant. A little research and logic may reveal to us that the audience is actually searching for a restaurant to walk into by using the keywords ‘Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Commercial Street.’
- Using the keywords in appropriate places
A next step to consider after getting the all the keywords or key phrase right is to place it at appropriate place to boost the web pages search rankings. This is done by ensuring the keywords are placed appropriately in the body copy & in the title section. One of the best practices deployed by leading brands is to create content around the keywords through blogging or providing news feeds to their audience.
- Transitioning from keyword research to customer research
Audiences visiting your website or a specific web page are looking for some answers based on their search query. It is critical for a brand to live up to their brand promise and publish or share answers relevant to their search query.
In the interim this will elongate the stay of your audience on your website. Signaling the search engines that the audiences have found the right resource to the query they have typed. This would ensure that the search engines place your web page over your competition. The adverse is true if the audience come to your webpage and is disappointed with what they see and leave your web page to your competitors’ webpage affecting your search engine rankings.
- Getting the fine elements right
One of the overlooked items which have an impact of your webpage being clicked on search engine listing is the meta description. This is the text section which appears below the URL. If the meta description is created right, this would lead to educating the audience on what to expect inside of a webpage. What’s presented as part of the meta description will determine the click through success.
- Create a content repository
There is a high likelihood that the audience who have visited your webpage by typing in specific keywords are also interested in other areas relevant to the keywords originally searched for. If so, brands have an opportunity by being perceived as an authority over their competition by presenting other relevant content in the form of related articles, videos, case studies, interviews, whitepapers, etc.
Search engines will consider the additional time spent by the visitor to a webpage, resulting in higher ranking of the web pages over competition.
- Being patient
Being patient is one of the most critical ingredients of the SEO secret sauce. It takes time, right from indexing your web page by the search engines and to get organic back links leading to leads and eventually revenue.
Being consistent with the above efforts and monitoring search engine ranking efforts would be the worthy number 11 and 12 ingredients respectively.
Though, there is no set time or guarantee to ensure that the pain and effort taken to create and deliver outstanding user experience will result in high search engine placements. What the above ingredients will do is to ensure that your audience will get a quality user experience that will result in additional time being spent on your website. Thus increasing the chances of capturing leads, driving additional traffic through social sharing and most importantly will help you build a brand that will be seen as an authoritative figure leading to future sales. Which is one of the main objectives of getting the ‘SEO’ secret sauce right.
Image Credit: Serprank