Modern Day SEO is user driven. Where not long ago,SEO and a high SERPs ranking could be exploited through a variety of unscrupulous technical practices; today’s SEO is inherently linked to user experience. Google’s search algorithm update of 2011, known as Panda, enabled relevant and quality content to rise higher than sites crammed with keyword spam. Google’s algorithm is of course undisclosed, the direct information from Google regarding the algorithm boils down to non-technical interpretations and generalities. What has become abundantly clear, is that Google has moved towards ranking sites based on real time results and user happiness.
So how can one use the current SEO landscape to their advantage? A good SEO strategy does not rely simply on one facet. Rather it is a multitude of different elements working together to promote your brand and business. Of course the use of keywords is still the primary driving force behind SEO, however there are other facets of a successful SEO campaign that need to be addressed.
Write Quality Content: Luckily for content writers, the recent search algorithm updates from Google have allowed writers to work to their strengths. No longer do words have to be strung together in a nonsensical fashion to get your SERPs ranking higher; writers can now target a human audience with their content. This means that writing original, informative, and engaging content is more important than ever. Not only does the content need to be good, it needs to be easily found. Having a strong and easily navigable site layout in conjunction with strong content will help users easily find the content they’re seeking. Quality content and a positive user experience are inexorably linked; if you can’t provide your target audience with what theyare looking for, your SERPs ranking will suffer.
Target Local SEO: Google factors in location data with its search algorithm, so it would make sense to establish your presence in a more localized area. Not only do consumers usually include location in their search parameters, emerging trends suggest consumers are gravitating towards smaller local businesses over high profile brands. Using Google+ Local directory is a great way to increase your visibility on SERPs, as your Google+ Local listing will be heavily integrated into Google’s search results.
Bring Social Media into the Fold: The power of social media within the realm of SEO cannot be ignored. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are having an ever increasing impact on business exposure. The use of hash tags has been an absolute boon for small businesses looking to build a local reputation, I.e restaurants, bars, etc. In addition, having a consistent Twitter following in conjunction with your website will have a certain impact on your SERPs ranking. Most importantly, social media offers a fantastic opportunity for customer interaction. Building a rapport with your customer base is essential in creating a positive user experience. Happy users are a pre-requisite for higher rankings, ignoring social media will only serve to hamstring you in the end.
While analyzing your click throughs and fine tuning your keywords are still a critical aspect of SEO, one cannot ignore creating a positive user experience. Google has made it clear that the black hat SEO tactics of the past will only be met with penalty. So don’t get left behind, start utilizing social media and creating quality content to promote that positive user experience.