With some buzz lately around what Google is no longer recognizing in terms of SEO (like press releases and guest posts), and with Google limiting the information we can glean about what keywords people typed in to find our sites, figuring out the secret to successful SEO has become a challenge. Many of you may feel like it’s all in vain these days, but I’m here to tell you: it’s not.
Here are a few pointers about how to keep on Google’s happy list and help more people find you through search.
1. Shift Your Thinking. Head of Webspam at Google, Matt Cutts recently said that using guest blog posts for SEO purposes is over. Too many people misused this marketing tool, and now if you post to another blog, it won’t necessarily help you rise in search results.
However, you should still use this as a strategy, but shift your mindset. Focus on expanding your reach, not pushing your website up search results. Writing a post on a site can help you reach new potential customers. And the keywords in the post will still be useful for people searching for content like what you’ve written. So all isn’t lost.
2. Be Smart About SEO. Stuffing a web page with 25 keywords isn’t going to make Google like you, so don’t do it. Write for humans. Write copy that appeals to your audience, and use keywords where they make sense — sparingly.
3. Pay Attention to Analytics. If you see a dip down in traffic to your site, consider what you’ve done recently. If you’ve tweaked your keywords or started writing guest posts on a less-than-reputable blog, this might be Google’s way of telling you to back off. On the other hand, if certain posts you write send more traffic your way, write more like them.
4. Read What’s Happening. I’m in the marketing industry, so of course I pay attention when Matt Cutts makes another decree about what Google does and doesn’t like. But as a business owner, this is important to you, too. Read blogs like these so you don’t waste time on an SEO strategy that is sooo last week.
5. Diversify. If you’ve got great content on your blog, are guest posting to reputable blogs, are publishing newsworthy press releases, and so on, chances are your content marketing strategy will pay off. It’s more beneficial when you have many eggs in your basket and don’t focus on a single one.
6. Tune in for next week’s free webinar, “SEO 2.0 for Small Business” on June 17, 2014, at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern, where you’ll get great advice about how to smartly use SEO to increase leads and boost sales.