Oh, Google. There is certainly no better example of a digital love-hate relationship than Google and business. Google has helped thousands of companies get seen, grow their audiences, and convert visitors to customers.
Google also changes its search rank algorithms constantly, makes new rules about which companies come out on top, and is the top search engine in the world. People search Google 3.2 billion times per day, after all. Business owners must engage with Google to increase traffic and grow sales revenue.
Today, get the low-down on how to stay ahead of Google algorithms and stay ranked on top for your industry.
We always encourage business owners to outsource SEO services to a pro whenever possible. You need to run your business, not worry about what Google thinks about you.
We recommend Romain Berg, a full-service marketing agency and SEO ninja team that will keep your online visibility climbing. Give them a call today and let them do what they do best.
First, ditch Google
Yeah, we said it. One of the best ways to stay out in front of the magical powers of Google is not to use them. Even though Google is the digital search boss, we bet you have an existing audience out there.
Engage with and grow that audience in a variety of online and offline ways. Here are a few you can easily leverage and expand.
- In-real-life referrals and online reviews are still a gold-standard for bringing new customers into your fold. Incentivizing your existing customers to give you exceptional reviews online and referrals offline remains a first-rate way to grow your audience. Any changes in Google algorithms will never change this business and marketing truth.
- Use your email list. Remember your loyal listeners? The ones who trusted you with their email address? Talk to them. Send out regular newsletters and updates on your specials, new products, freebies, events, and more. Regardless of which email campaign service you’re using (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Wix, or something else), you should be able to track your engagement metrics on all your mailings for open rates, click rates, and more. This data can help you refine your messaging and content to reach your soulmate clients and to be of value to them.
- Host live events. Brick-and-mortars, listen up! Hosting live events that you advertise and document on social media can help you gain audience momentum, as well as grow your email list (see #2 above.) Always have an info-capture option at your events, even if it’s a simple clipboard and a yellow legal pad with “name” and “email address” hand-written at the top of the page. Give people a piece of swag or service for handing out their email, and never, ever–we mean it–sell or share your customers’ information.
Google likes relevance
Creating fresh and relevant content that is easy to read, contains carefully curated images, and employs keywords naturally in your narrative will likely always be a winning Google strategy.
Since Google evolves each season to be savvier around Black Hat practices, it’s paramount to keep your content conversational and genuine to your brand voice.
Strive first to be of use to your visitors. What problems do they have? What questions are they asking? When you mine for data on these two audience queries, you can create problem-solving content for your users.
You’ll be more likely to keep the attention of the people who do find you when you make every effort to speak their language, regardless of where you rank in search results.
When you’re speaking competently to your audience, the users you attract will be more likely to convert to customers or recommend you to someone they know.
Gaming the system: a big no-no
Remember, your keywords need to be sprinkled relevantly throughout your webpage and blog content. Google will penalize sites it thinks are “stuffing” pages with keywords and no other pertinent content.
Other tactics used to try to “outsmart” the Google wizards include:
- Cloaking: Wrapping irrelevant content in a search-able cloak. In other words, the content you see on a site and what search engines see on the same site are two different things. An example would be using the keywords “cute kittens on carpet” and then writing an article about your carpet cleaning seasonal special.
- Hiding keywords: Some websites use the tactic of hiding keywords in their visible text by making the keywords appear the same color as the page background. The text is not visible to readers, but Google bots still pick it up.
- Paid links: Though backlinking is an essential part of SEO best-practice, paid linking is strictly prohibited by Google. Ensure your backlinks are payment-free and add relevance to your original content. Many sites benefit from backlinks, but the benefit should be organic. It’s okay to partner with other websites in your linking, but money should never change hands. Save your dollars for above-board Pay Per Click ads, and you’ll be on the right track.
Pay-Per-Click: A foundational digital investment
Pay Per Click (PPC) best practices also evolve over time. However, buying long-tail keywords based on your audience demographics and other industry data in your sector will likely continue to yield strong traffic results.
When you need help choosing the best PPC ads for your business, a team of professionals can help. Shop around for the agency that “gets” you and your business.
An agency that deeply understands your brand, voice, and customer base will be more able to nail down an effective PPC strategy for you, regardless of your Google rank. We’ll say it again, our friends at Romain Berg do PPC very well.
Google may change, but you don’t have to dance
No matter what algorithms Google employs, you can enjoy robust traffic when your content solves the problems of your users and customers.
In fact, Google continues to evolve new ways to spot shady SEO practices and rewards those sites that behave like the good side of humanity.
Even though our best SEO advice is a bit more complex than to “just be yourself” online, you’ll win if you follow that high-level doctrine. Begin or continue to provide fresh online content, engage in real life through email and events, keep your social media platforms updated, and avoid gaming the system.
When you need help with the SEO details, contact our friends at Romain Berg. They’re poised to take your SEO foundation to the next level and to continually update your strategy to stay current with the ever-changing algorithms of the internet of things.