Category Archives for "SEO"

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Feb 02

How to Research and Optimize for Questions

SEO

If you’re not optimizing your content for questions, you’re missing out on opportunities to engage customers and drive more traffic to your site.

Questions are valuable for many reasons:

  • Question research is excellent content inspiration.
  • Questions are engaging and trigger a natural reflex to answer.
  • Questions are useful for audience research.
  • Question research gives you a better understanding of natural language for voice search.
  • Question optimization increases your organic search visibility.

Types of Questions and How to Categorize Them

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  • Basic questions: These typically define concepts, and those searching for them are looking for quick answers.
  • How-to questions: These typically include step-by-step questions.
  • Branded questions: These typically include a brand name or product name.
  • Online research questions: These are typically specific questions that relate directly to your product, such as pros and cons or reviews. These include:
  1. High-intent questions, such as asking how to buy.
  2. Navigational questions about site navigation.
  3. Competitive research questions, such as brand comparisons.
  4. Reputation questions, such as concern your company culture.

Regarding basic and how-to questions, the query may only have the intent of searching for information. That said, there’s always a possibility that this question is searched with the intent to purchase.

How to Discover Questions with Tools

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“People Also Ask” Tool

The “People Also Ask” tool from Google contains related questions to a given query. While not a lot of information is available on how Google generates these, we can assume that these questions would only be shown if there are enough queries to justify them.

More space is taken up in the search engine results by the “People Also Ask” tool, and showing up in more search engine results with one query is a valuable aspect of organic search visibility.

The “People Also Ask” tool is important for content marketing for two reasons:

  • It offers insight into the searches of the target audience.
  • It boosts organic search visibility.

Google Search Engine Results Page

Search results provide a lot of information about terms and concepts from search engine results pages, if you analyze them properly. A Text Optimizer tool will extract terms and concepts from the search engine results pages and analyzes them to provide a list of questions to include in content. This tool will expand on the knowledge you gain from the “People Also Ask” tool.

Google Suggest

Google Suggest is a search-based tool that’s designed for content marketers. Google autocompletes a query based on the most popular searches from other users. With this in mind, we can assume that Google Suggest results have a significant search volume or demand to end up in the suggested index.

The challenge with Google Suggest is deciding how to start the question to see it completed. First, you type your query in and hit search, then you pull your cursor back to the beginning of the query. If you add “how,” Google will suggest other popular searches.

You can take this a step further by using Serpstat, which is a keyword research tool that gives you niche questions according to your core question. You can also sort the results by the original question and filter questions by the most popular term to organize your results.

Quora

Quora is arguably one of the largest sources of questions online. Unlike some other discussion boards, however, Quora requires users to post discussions in a question form, so it only offers questions.

Quora’s search can be challenging, due to the complex architecture of topics, and it doesn’t show you the most popular questions. The algorithm works on personalization, timeliness, activity and some other factors.

With this in mind, the Buzzsumo Question Analyzer is useful to organize your Quora results. It aggregates results from Quora and other discussion boards to analyze your query and generate results, giving you in-depth insight into what searchers are looking for.

Twitter

Though not many content marketers use Twitter for this purpose, it’s an incredible source of content inspiration. Twitter’s question search allows you to see what questions users ask when discussing your brand or product with the following search:

Type [brandname ?] (be sure to include a space) into the search box and you’ll see any questions related to your brand, product or topic.

This can also be used to monitor your competitors and get an idea of what your prospective customers are searching for from them, so you can position yourself to solve customers’ problems better.

How to Include Questions in Your Content

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Questions provide a virtually limitless source of content marketing opportunities. Here’s how you can use questions to inform your content:

  • Create a frequently asked questions section that addresses the basic questions that come up in queries often.
  • Develop and optimize your existing content to address common questions.
  • Add Q&A sections to your landing pages, which may also help you get a product page in Google.
  • Develop new content to address a question that lacks satisfying answers.

The value of questions goes far beyond content, however. Question research should involve different departments in your company to maximize your results.

Basic Questions

Basic questions do well with content like glossaries or FAQ. The customer support and sales teams should use this information to adopt the same language or jargon as the customers. The CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) team should be involved as well, since basic questions could be transactional.

How-to Questions

How-to questions do well with content like FAQ and videos. Your CRO team should be involved, since these can lead to sales.

Branded Questions

  • ROPO (Research Online/Purchase Offline) questions: These should be addressed in the form of blog content or tutorials, which should be optimized for many related brand terms. The product management team should be involved to collect answers and feedback and to implement product improvements or updates.
  • High-intent questions: These should be addressed in the form of a product Q&A. The CRO team and A/B testing expert should be involved to optimize on-page conversions.
  • Navigational questions: These should be addressed with a product-specific knowledge base and video tutorials. The design team should be involved to improve usability and to solve any existing navigational concerns.
  • Competitive research questions: These should be addressed with specific landing pages and videos that address benefits, as well as being optimized for brand-related terms. The product management team should be involved to collect feedback and implement improvements. The sales team should also be involved to learn how to best explain the product benefits to potential customers.
  • Reputation questions: These should be addressed with landing pages and videos specific to the query. The reputation management team and social media team should be involved to address these questions properly and to ensure your brand has the best possible image.

Final Thoughts

Questions are incredibly useful for content marketing inspiration, but they can also provide insights into audience research, conversion optimization and product development. Optimizing for questions also boosts your SEO and ensures that your copy is ready to earn you more organic search visibility.

Researching questions and optimizing for them is a continuous process, however. Over time, you may discover new questions or new ways to find them, offering real-time knowledge that gives your business a competitive edge.

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Jan 19

Keyword Research to Match the Buyer’s Journey

SEO

Keyword research is as old as SEO itself. Search engines use keywords to provide a list of relevant results to the searcher, and as this SEO market expanded, Google brought in an advertising platform that gave businesses a chance to appear on search engine results pages for keywords.

From there, Google offered a tool that enabled businesses to see how many searches occurred for any keyword, eventually giving way to keyword research. This tool is indispensable for business because it came from Google itself and offers additional insights to gain leverage over the competition.

As businesses began using more data for marketing, however, it showed that keywords are useful, but may not always be completely accurate. More software tools emerged to provide additional keyword insights, giving marketers more opportunities than ever to use keywords to their advantage.

Unfortunately, historical keyword research has a few problems:

  • SEO is focused on the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, and not the whole process.
  • SEO is focused on keywords alone, and not on categories or topics.

These two issues are being addressed as marketers focus on topics more than keywords, but that’s only part of the whole picture. Optimizing keywords to align with each stage of the buyer’s journey is the key, which we’ll cover here.

What Is the Buyer’s Journey?

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The buyer’s journey refers to a framework that acknowledges the buyer’s progression through the research and decision process, which ultimately ends in a purchase. This concept isn’t new, but it’s evolved over the years with new technology and marketing insights.

There are three stages to the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness: The buyer is experiencing and expressing a problem and conducting research to understand, frame, and name the problem. This stage involves question-based searches that center around the problem.
  • Consideration: The buyer has identified the problem and is investigating the available options to solve the problem.
  • Decision: The buyer has developed a solution strategy and compiled a list of products or services to address the problem. They are narrowing down the possibilities to come to an ultimate purchase decision.

Most marketers focus only on the decision stage, but there are opportunities at each stage of this process.

Buyer Personas

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A map of your ideal buyer is vital, since it’s the only way to truly understand your buyer’s journey. You should understand their needs and problems, which will ultimately drive them toward your solution.

This can be done a number of ways:

  • Website and social media data: Your analytics should give you key data points about your audience. You can find everything from your audience’s demographics to the type of content they engage with most.
  • Surveys and feedback: The best way to get insight into your ideal buyer is by speaking with them directly. This can be done through polls, surveys, feedback requests, and other questions regarding their buying behavior at each stage of the buying journey.

This information allows you to connect the dots and create accurate buyer personas and mapping of the buyer’s journey.

Shifting From Keywords to Topics

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Much of the SEO community has begun shifting from keywords to topics already. This comes in the form of long-form content that connects to others across sections, providing a comprehensive overview of the broad topic. This approach addresses the new way that search engines are interpreting content.

For the purposes of this discussion, these long-form content pages typically target the short-tail keywords that have a higher search volume, ultimately addressing the awareness or consideration stages. Key decision-stage pages are narrow content.

These can be further subcategorized into pillar, target, and cluster pages:

  • Pillar page: This page covers the broad topic on a single page, with smaller cluster pages that link to it. This is focused on the awareness or consideration stage.
  • Target page: This page has a keyword or phrase linked to a specific product or service page. This is focused on the decision stage.
  • Cluster page: This page gives more detail about long-tail keywords related to the pillar page.

Putting It Together

The process to put all these pages together is simple. It begins like any other keyword research task, which is based on the keywords that a business is looking to rank for, and provides a starting point for what a prospective customer will search.

From there, you can begin to consider keywords outside of the obvious, such as synonyms and colloquial terms. This is the time to use keyword research tools, such as Google Ads, or consult customers about terms they may use to find a product.

Once this list is expanded, it can be narrowed down for better targeting. Irrelevant keywords can be filtered out, then relevant keywords can be sorted by topic and buying intent. For this part, be sure to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and consider what they would search to address a problem, as well as what keywords show intent to purchase.

This is when the stages of the buyer’s journey come in. Keywords should be categorized to each stage, using your judgement about what you believe the buyer is looking for. Categorizing is important, because it provides you with framework for what type of content is appropriate for certain phrases or keywords.

You’ll often distinguish patterns in the keywords along the buyer’s journey. Words like “cost” or “price” are usually found in the decision stage, whereas “how to” will be the awareness stage. These patterns will help you streamline your content planning.

Here are some examples of keywords at the awareness stage:

  • Fix.
  • Problem.
  • Troubleshoot.
  • Upgrade.
  • Optimize.
  • Prevent.

Here are some examples of keywords at the consideration stage:

  • Provider.
  • Solution.
  • Supplier.
  • Vendor.
  • Comparisons.
  • Software.
  • Features.

Here are some examples of keywords at the decision stage:

  • Pros and cons.
  • Benchmarks.
  • Reviews.
  • Ratings.
  • Pricing.

Once this is complete, you can group your keywords into pillar page, target page, and cluster page. This gives you insight into what type of content should be used, based on how competitive a term is, what the search volume is, what stage the buyer is in, and how profitable a keyword might be.

This information not only informs your current content, but it also helps you fill gaps in existing content. Check that the topics haven’t been covered before, and look for gaps resulting from keyword searches that aren’t currently being targeted.

Moving Forward

Traditional keyword research isn’t successful because most marketers only consider volume and competition. They tend to go for the terms with the highest traffic, but traffic doesn’t necessarily indicate buyers. In many cases, traffic indicates users looking for information about their problem, but are still weeks or months away from searching for a specific solution to that problem.

Because of this, current keyword research is a nuanced process that considers the needs of the buyer above all else. Used properly, keyword research can drive your content strategy to generate leads and convert customers, provided you address their needs throughout each stage.

Jan 12

How to Use Image SEO for More Site Traffic

SEO

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Keywords, content, and SEO tend to be the focus when you’re trying to direct more traffic to your website. Images are a powerful tool for traffic as well, but unfortunately, many marketers aren’t using them to their fullest potential.

Images are content as well, which can be easy to forget. In fact, images are an essential part of any content marketing effort. Users are also searching for visual content, so if you’re not using images as part of your SEO, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities.

How Do Images Boost Traffic?

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Images serve many purposes for your site, such as:

  • Aesthetics: Images make your site more visually appealing and easier to digest, which keeps people on your site longer and decreases the bounce rate.
  • Image search: Images pull traffic from image searches, which may direct a different audience to your site than other searches.
  • Social media shares: Images get more shares and engagement on social media than text-only posts. The more your content is shared, the larger your potential audience is and the more likely you are to get readers for your posts.

Optimizing for Image Search

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Images need to be optimized just like anything else. Optimizing images isn’t much different than optimizing other types of content, and they rank similarly. The first image on the image search results page is the equivalent of the first website to come up in a standard search.

Image search has more results, however, and people view images differently. Because of this, it’s important to optimize your images to be sure they’re close to the top.

Here’s how:

File Names

Cameras use a series of letters and numbers as the default name for images. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do much to boost your SEO.

Whenever possible, rename your images with a relevant title that reflects the content, which gives a search engine an idea of what it is.

Alt Tags

Image alt tags are metadata that help a search engine index an image. Editing alt tags not only improves your ranking, but it also boosts your SEO overall.

An ideal alt tag description is short, but filled with keywords. It should accurately describe the image for visually impaired users as well.

Compression

Your images should be as big as possible, but use as little storage space as possible, which can be done with compression. Tools like Compressor.io can be used to reduce the storage size and retain the quality of the image.

Now that we know how to optimize, let’s take a look at how to use image search to direct traffic to your website.

Use Your Own Images

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Stock photography has its purposes, but if you’re consistently using stock photos, it’s not going to help your site. Stock photos don’t accurately reflect your brand, and they give your site a disorganized look, which is then communicated to your visitors.

Original images, on the other hand, show your visitors that you put the extra effort into the look of your site and the overall image of your brand. Original images are also traced back to your site, which means that you’re more likely to earn backlinks when others use them for their own content. They’ll also show up earlier in the image search results, giving you an SEO boost.

If you don’t have the resources to create your own images, it’s acceptable to use stock images. However, you should be doing all you can to limit your use of stock photography and provide as many original images as you can.

Related Image Keywords

Just like text content, image content has a primary keyword that’s included in the file name and alt tag. You should still be using related image keywords, however, to give your strategy more variety and to target searchers who want to find your image but may not be using the proper keyword.

This may seem like extra work, but you’d be surprised at how different the images can be between similar keywords. When you cast a wide net with related keywords, you’re reaching a much larger audience.

If you need some assistance in coming up with related keywords, just look at the image keyword suggestions at the top of an image search results page. This will give you an idea of what others are searching, which you can use as part of your own strategy.

Relevant Images

Relevant images are images that are directly related to the topic. While this may seem clear, it’s not always the case. Many people use images that are unrelated to their topic to enhance their posts, which directs unrelated traffic to your site.

For example, you may use a pop culture reference that relates to one section of a blog post. Because of this, anyone searching for that pop culture reference will find themselves on your blog post, when they were actually looking for entertainment. When they discover the actual purpose of your site, they’re likely to bounce.

Infographics

Infographics are an excellent way to boost your SEO and create custom imagery that is easy for your readers to digest. They drive thousands of visitors to your site and help you establish yourself as an authority as well.

Not every bit of content needs an infographic, but they can help with content that is research intensive or contains a lot of data. By putting it in a quick, clear infographic format, you’re allowing your readers to quickly skim the information to get the answers they need.

Watermarks

Watermarking is common with artists and photographers, but not so much for business owners who create their own custom images. Watermarking can be used to copyright your images, which is always a good thing, but it has another purpose — traffic.

Watermarking your images tells people where the image came from using a link, so it gives you credit and tells viewers where to go to find similar content. This is a good way to get traffic to your site and social pages, no matter where the image is shared.

Conclusion

Image SEO is powerful, but few marketers are using it to their advantage. Keywords and meta descriptions are important, but images can give you that extra edge over the competition.

People always need images for their own posts or videos, so driving traffic from optimized images is quick and easy. If you put some effort into optimizing your images and combining them with your other SEO tactics, you should see an increase in rankings in no time.

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Dec 28

Understanding Google Ranking Factors in 2019

SEO

Google is responsible for billions of internet searches each day, as well as over 85 percent of the search engine market share, so the ultimate goal of a marketer is to find their brand high in the ranking. Without knowing the factors that Google considers in the ranking, however, it can be difficult to achieve this goal.

Google never publicly listed these factors, but it has confirmed that there are around 200 ranking aspects that impact organic search rankings. These include on-page, off-page and site-level aspects, as well as virtually endless technical SEO factors that determine your site’s ranking.

That’s a lot to consider, but fortunately, these factors aren’t weighed equally. Some factors are more important than others, and there are some SEO best practices on which you should focus before correcting the low-impact aspects of your site.

Here are the most important Google ranking factors leading into 2019:

Architecture

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In terms of impact, your website’s architecture is high on the list. While there are some factors that are more important than website architecture, it’s about more than just your ranking. Your website is what you want your customers to visit and return to, so getting it right is vital to your business’s success.

First, determine the subcategories you’ll cover on your site, then organize your entire site around them with clear strings of text at the end of your URLs. This makes it easier for Google to recognize you as an authority and determine your value to a user searching a target keyword.

Domain Security

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The first priority of Google is serving the needs of its users, which includes giving them a safe and secure experience. As a result, your domain’s security is a significant factor in your search engine ranking.

Google recognizes secure websites with the “https” at the start of the URL. This stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure, which is the process that transfers information from the site to the visitor’s web browser.

If a site has https, Google knows it’s secure and the information it’s indexing is safe for the user. With a normal http, Google is less likely to rank the site high in the results. Correcting this is as simple as getting an SSL certificate for your website.

Inbound Links

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Inbound links, or backlinks, are the hyperlinks that direct a user back to your pages from other pages on the internet. These are so important for your Google ranking that they can even impact the number of the search page you land on.

These links aren’t your only source of traffic, so they may not seem important to your site. Inbound links tell Google that others trust your information, however, since they’re linking to it from their own sites. Trust is important to Google, so a site that appears more trustworthy and links to other trustworthy sites is likely to rank higher.

Unfortunately, this can’t be achieved by linking your own pages to each other. Inbound links only work for Google ranking if they come from outside domains, and the quality of those domains influences the ranking further.

Because of this, link building has become a hot topic for marketers. This can be achieved by trading inbound links between other authorities in your industry, or writing a post on another website and linking back to your own.

Authority

The topics you choose form the foundation for the authority you’ll need for long-term ranking. Generally, the more content you publish about a specific topic, the higher all related posts about that topic will rank in Google results.

Over time, Google will recognize you as an authority on that topic, regardless of how well-written or keyword-rich the posts are. Of course, you should still work to produce content that’s readable, relevant and valuable, which will only attract more readers and boost your ranking further.

Keyword Intent

Though topics are important, keywords still factor into your ranking. Keyword optimization is one of the best things you can do for your SEO, provided you do it correctly.

In the past, Google used to prioritize the posts with keywords that were an exact match, but now it focuses on the intent of the keyword. What this means is that Google is trying to determine what the user is looking for, rather than finding the exact words used, so it can provide a better experience for the user.

This may seem a little bit trickier than including specific keywords multiple times, but a naturally well-written piece should solve these needs on its own. If you’re writing your content with the intent of solving a problem or providing valuable information to the reader, your content will be recognized by Google as an answer to the user’s question and rank it higher.

Structure

Your website’s visitors need to quickly find the information they’re looking for and get answers to their questions, but that’s not the only factor you need to consider in designing your site. The way the content is structured could mean the difference between your site ranking above or below a similar site with competitive keywords.

Ideally, you’re already using headings, subheading, images, bulleted lists and other methods of improving readability for your visitors. These additions to your content help your reader digest the information you’re providing and keep them more engaged with your content. Engaged readers stay on your site longer, which is interpreted by Google as “session duration,” a factor that also helps your ranking.

Meta Tags

Meta tags may not be something you include in your SEO strategy, but they’re simple and effective for boosting your Google ranking. Meta tags give Google an idea of the purpose of your page and how each aspect of the page works toward the topic and keyword.

There are several types of meta tags that should have keyword details:

  • Title tag: This is typically the title of your article and shows up in the HTML. Google uses this to create a blue hyperlink headline that shows up in the search engine results. Title tags are useful for content that doesn’t have a natural headline that describes its content.
  • Image alt text: Google doesn’t read images in the same way as text, so images have a limited ability to improve ranking on their own. Image alt text that describes the content of the page helps Google understand the image better, however, so it should always be included.
  • Meta description: This is the snippet of text that appears under the links on the search results page, which summarizes the content. A meta description doesn’t need to have keywords, but it will help Google better understand the content and boost the ranking.

Load Speed

Load speed is the speed at which your website loads when a user clicks on it from a search results page. There are many factors that can impact your website speeds, but Google will prioritize the sites that load faster.

Generally, pages should load in under three seconds to be considered fast enough for Google’s standards. Some pages won’t be penalized for slower speeds, however, and some need to load in two seconds or less to earn a high Google ranking.

Since the acceptable standards can vary, it’s best to do all you can to make your load speeds as good as they can be. Uncompressed images, different font styles and sizes and multiple types of media can hinder your website speed, and though you may not be able to correct all of them, do what you can to make your load speed as fast as possible.

Conclusion

These Google ranking factors are a good starting point for improving your ranking, but keep in mind that these factors are always changing. You may have noticed that many of these improvements affect your Google ranking and the value you provide for your visitors, however, so the best way to stay ahead of the changes is by consistently delivering the best experience you can for your users.

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Oct 08

Outdated SEO Practices You Should Retire

SEO





The internet constantly evolves. As search engines become increasingly skilled at delivering targeted content to their customers, SEO best practices quickly become outdated and threaten to drop your site low in the rankings.

Fortunately, these outdated SEO practices are easy to avoid once you know them. Take a look at the SEO practices that once reigned supreme but now put your site at risk, and find out what you should do instead for long-lasting success.

Focusing Only on Keywords

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Keywords aren’t the be-all-end-all of modern SEO as they once were. Sites used to be designed entirely around target keywords, but adapting to the new SEO tactics requires a different strategy.

Keywords listed in title tags, headers and meta descriptions aren’t readable, and worse, are now punished by Google algorithms. Instead, write enticing, interesting title tags, compelling copy for meta descriptions and intriguing headings that draw the reader further into the article. Not only is this content more readable, but it also ranks higher in Google, which searched for content quality and relevance more than anything else.

Prioritizing Rankings over Traffic

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Many businesses put the number one organic ranking above all else, which doesn’t help ROI and does little for the increasingly popular voice search.

Instead, featured snippets, long-tail targeting and other SERP tactics should be the focus. These not only have a higher ROI per hour spent, but they also aren’t as competitive and often bring you around to the primary keyword anyway.

Creating Multiple Pages for Keyword Variants

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In the past, it made sense for a site to create and optimize pages for each keyword variant to cast the widest possible net. This was mostly due to Google’s inability to differentiate between similar keywords and organize the search results accordingly.

Now, Google’s algorithms are capable of finding multiple pages that use similar content and keywords, and they penalize you for it. This doesn’t mean you need to simplify everything, but it does mean that you should eliminate multiple pages for every variant with the intent of keyword optimization. Instead, focus on the user experience with your site and the optimal funnel, which will get you high marks in search engine algorithms.

Link Building to Improve Rankings

Many businesses attempt to move up the search engine rankings with link building, but this outdated practice no longer works with modern SEO. Now, searcher task accomplishment, user experience and valuable content get the ranking.

As Neil Patel states, the golden rule of SEO, regardless of algorithm changes, is searcher task accomplishment. Google’s first and foremost concern is giving searchers exactly what they’re looking for, which can’t be accomplished with SEO shortcuts. Google wants to reward sites that help the searcher with what they searched for initially, uncover other possible needs and address them. Ultimately, the goal through this is to find the sites that lead to more action and engagement.

All of this can be accomplished through high-quality, relevant content and an optimized user experience. If Google’s main goal is to go above and beyond to serve the needs of searchers, your site experience should focus on that as well.

Obsessing on Keyword Placement

Spending a lot of time and energy putting keywords in the H1 and H2, the headline tags, as well as the URL or repeated multiple times throughout the content, works, but only to an extent. For example, you want to have your keyword in the title or headline, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffed into every area.

Instead, focus on getting value out of the keywords and their related topics. Make sure that the content explains the subject, topics, words or phrases that Google is likely to associate with the keyword. You can scatter your keyword all over your site and links, but if you don’t have related content that Google may recognize, you won’t rank as well.

Ignoring Mobile Site Optimization

Designing for mobile sites isn’t new, but many businesses are still behind the times with sites that are far from mobile-friendly. Even if most of your audience uses a desktop to view your content, you could be missing out on loads of mobile traffic.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Software that isn’t supported or common on mobile devices, links that are too close together and cause accidental clicks and text that doesn’t have a readable zoom are enough to move a user away from your content, so that’s a great place to start. Google also offers a guide to mobile-friendly sites to ensure you’re on the right track.

Churning Out Low-Quality Copy

The old rule for SEO used to be quantity over quality, but now, Google will penalize you for it. Low-grade blog fillers, stuffed keywords and other tactics are a flag to Google that your writing has no relevance, so it will direct users elsewhere.

On top of the effects on SEO, low-quality copy just isn’t good for business or marketing. It’s less likely to draw visitors in, less likely to convert visitors and less likely to bring them back, actions which are much more valuable to a business than a ranking on a search engine.

Offering Non-Strategic, Shallow Content

Content strategy and content marketing have become a considerable investment for businesses in recent years, sometimes with the idea of drawing links to a site that aren’t relevant or helpful. We’ve all seen this with “clickbait” articles that include information that has nothing at all to do with the original site.

On the other hand, link bait that offers high-quality content that draws others to link to it and draws attention, as well as creates a positive brand association, is far more valuable for your site. This requires information that’s interesting and makes others naturally want to link to it, which is best accomplished through content that solves a problem effectively and enhances the value of another’s site.

Ignoring Other Search Engines

We’ve discussed these tactics at length in regard to Google, but that doesn’t mean other search engines should be left by the wayside. True, Google has the most comprehensive set of resources for SEO and is undoubtedly the most popular search engine, but if you’re forgetting about the likes of Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, you’re missing out.

These search engines are a major source of organic traffic, so don’t neglect their tools in your planning process. They can easily supplement your SEO efforts and often provide even more data to work with, giving you a thorough understanding of your total SEO picture.

The Best Way to Update Your Outdated SEO Practices

As discussed, Google is only concerned with solving the searcher’s problem. Whether that’s through related keywords, related topics or other tactics, all Google cares about is directing users to sites that are useful, valuable and relevant.

Because of this, the key to modern SEO is creating a website that people want to use by offering value and solving problems. This isn’t about shortcuts or cheating the system, which will only change tomorrow. It’s about caring for your customers and focusing on helping them, rather than artificially inflating rankings. Put a little effort into that, and you’ll start to see long-lasting results.