This article is designed to help small business owners in charge of their own SEO efforts as well as newer digital marketing agencies looking for new SEO strategies to take their campaigns to the next level. SEO is viewed as a complete black box by many. Google’s introduction of numerous algorithm updates only add to that perception. We are here to guide you through the haze and confusion to focus your efforts on strategies that will provide real SEO results that you can count on. The most important thing to understand is Google’s ultimate goal in terms of providing quality search results. Google’s primary focus is to satisfy the needs of searchers by helping them find results that are truly helpful. Every single Google algorithm update furthers this one goal. Since user experience needs to be at the core of your strategy, we want to help you understand how to provide great answers for searchers looking for products and services that you offer.
Understanding Searcher Intent Is Key
As mentioned above, Google’s primary focus is to provide quality search results. It is important for you to be focused on providing quality answers that solve searchers’ problems so Google will be inclined to show your website and its search results.
The primary way searchers get answers to their questions is through keyboard searches. For example, searchers might type in “teen clothing website” or “Italian food restaurant in Seattle.” It is important to understand which keywords describe your products and services. Tools such as AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Google Search Console provide a wealth of keyword research for website owners and digital marketing agencies alike. Once you have identified keywords that your customers type in to find websites in your business category, it is time to change your website’s metadata to reflect those as well as to create content that will turn visitors into customers.
Writing a great blog post may sound intimidating. Don’t worry; here are some simple steps to make sure your blog post gets read by users coming to your website.
Step one is to incorporate the keyword research you already completed. Step 2 is solve a problem faced by your customer in a way that positions you as an expert. We find the best way to do this is to write step by step instructions that provide excruciating detail to help your customer solve a problem has been frustrating them. Step three is to share your content on social media and with websites whose audience may benefit from your content. Now that we understand how to address user intent, let’s take it to the next level and incorporate what Google’s RankBrain wants to see in your content.
Understanding the Role of Artificial Intelligence
The biggest changes in Google search results are often a result of algorithm updates; however, another big factor in Google’s search results involves machine learning. Google launched RankBrain back in 2015. The goal of RankBrain is to use machine learning to improve search results in order to create a better user experience. It is no surprise that Google utilizes RankBrain to better accomplish their stated goal of providing exceptional search results. What we care most about is understanding the true impact of RankBrain and how we can best leverage its presence to improve our content in our site’s rankings in Google search results. We recommend that you focus on four areas:
- Click-through rates: Before we help you optimize your click-through rate, let’s define what click-through rate means. When a Google user searches for a product or service, they are presented with 10 results. Click-through rate answer the question of which sites on page one get the most clicks to their website from Google search results. The number one way to improve your click-through rate is to rank higher in Google search results as the number one, two, and three positions garner many more clicks. Another important way to improve your click-through rate is to create a better description tag. Google typically pulls the copy from a relevant page from your website to use as copy in your search result. Take a look at the screenshot below; the text in black is the description tag. Many websites have bland description tags, which will lead to low click-through rates. We highly recommend you follow the formula below to create an effective description tag.
- Let people know what you offer and why they should buy from you
- Include a call to action in each description tag
- Add keywords or variants of your keywords
- Description tag should be 155 characters or fewer in terms of length
Create Long-Form Content
In the searcher intent section, we mention the importance of creating great content to help searchers remove roadblocks preventing them from growing their business. Now we’ll explain how to create content that will position you as a thought leader and turn blog readers into customers.
Step One: Increase the number of words you are writing in a blog post. There is ample research indicating that content needs to be between 2,000 and 2,500 words long to make it to page one of Google’s search results. We added a screenshot to show you the impact of content length on rankings. Many small business owners and SEOs alike are not familiar with how critically important is to create long-form content 2019.
Step Two: Understand your ideal customer. if you have not done an ideal customer exercise at your company, we highly recommend that you do so before investing time in writing long-form blog posts. If you do not have a good picture of what your ideal customer looks like, we recommend that you ask your sales team and fulfillment team. They talk to your customers every day and understand their problems at a deep level. After the interviews, aggregate all the data to find the most common and pervasive problems faced by your client base. It stands to reason that if your current customers are facing these problems, then your prospects are also facing these problems.
Step Three: Write detailed content that helps your ideal customer solve their problems and grow their businesses. Content teams who can accomplish this goal in an authentic way that speaks directly to the audience will be rewarded with new customers.
Step Four: Hire an SEO agency to promote your content as they tend to have a relationship with high domain authority websites and blogs in your industry. If you are an SEO agency looking to expand your link-building relationships, we recommend that you hire an SEO reseller program as they typically have numerous relationships with link partners to give you an edge over your competition.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. It is our sincere belief that you will see incredible results from implementing these tips. The most important thing we can tell you is to begin implementing them immediately. This will give you a leg up over the countless small businesses and other agencies who delay or simply failed to implement these strategies. See you on page one!