Blogs by date "11/01/12"
Tags: web presence , web presence optimization , seo , website optimization
There's no doubt that the best practices of search engine optimization (SEO) are evolving. In essence, SEO is being redefined as a more holistic approach known as web presence optimization.
Web presence optimization is the cohesive effort of optimizing all online touch points a business or brand uses to connect with its audience. So in addition to optimizing a website for better search engine exposure (traditional SEO,) we also integrate various forms of social media and content marketing into the mix.
Search Authority Hinges on Social
There two primary ways in which social media is impacting search.
- Social signals (e.g. Likes, Shares, Tweets, and +1's) give content greater search engine value. Think of these signals as votes of credibility that tell Google that a page is worthy of better rankings. I like to think of this as "social authority," which can directly influence SEO.
- Social content itself appears in the organic search results. For example, Tweets, Google+ posts, and LinkedIn profiles can all be seen in the organic search results. These social properties can help increase a brand's search visibility.
Just look at the screenshot below of a Tweet that was ranking in the #3 spot in Google.
The fact of the matter is, Google finds value in socially favored content. It's legitimately trusted by real humans and not manipulatively promoted by building links. Social media is an essential aspect of any brand's web presence. And with search becoming more socially integrated, it's become a more unified approach (aka web presence optimization.) Just take a look at Google's Search plus Your World. It's a clear indication that social prowess will begin having a more profound impact on search engine visibility.
Google's SERPs Showcase Great Content
It's becoming more and more common to see great content appearing in the organic search results. That is, top-notch articles, blog posts, and videos are ranking in the top spots over highly optimized webpages. Take a look at the organic search results below for the keyword "granite refinishing." Notice how the first three listings are informative pieces of content that are not directly selling anything.
Again, this is Google ensuring the quality control of its search results by ranking more neutral and info-driven pieces of content. With respect to the latter focus of social signals, the top three listings shown above have probably earned a fair share of likes, tweets, and other social signals.
As a result, creating and marketing exceptional content is pivotal for any SEO strategy. Not only does great content have the capabilities to see top rankings (thus naturally inbounding traffic to a website,) but content marketing can also offer some degree of SEO link value when appropriate utilized.
Constructing a Cohesive Strategy
SEO become less of an effort of on-page website optimization via keywords and link building, and more an effort of real marketing. The new recipe for success hinges on superb content that facilitates social engagement. In short, brands should be focusing on web presence optimization - a means for online brand building, SEO, and website optimization practices as a whole. This foundation to this approach is content marketing coupled with social media. These two practices are paramount to achieve better rankings in the organic search results.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is a content manager and SEO specialist at the Web Presence Group, a web presence optimization firm based in Peoria, IL. Tyler offers over 5 years of experience in the SEO profession and stays abreast the latest changes in the industry and the best practices of organic search marketing. To learn more him and his expertise, you can connect with Tyler of Google Plus.
Tags: 2013 , engagement , seocial , social media , keywords , content , strategy , seo
Search engine optimization (SEO) is rapidly evolving. The fact of the matter is, Google is not a big fan of SEO's. This is primarily because the core function of SEO is to manipulate Google's search results for the benefit of clients, or the SEO practitioners themselves. As a result of this cunning manipulation, the quality of Google's search results has diminished.
So Google continuously changes its search engine algorithm for quality control and to keep the impact of SEO subtle and maintained. But aside from the more minute algorithm changes that occur on a frequent basis, Google is striving for a greater evolution of its search results that will significantly impact the roles of SEO's and search marketers.
In a nutshell, the big changes for SEO are already present. It will be the onset of 2013 when they really start realizing their full potential.
So what are these big changes that are evolving Google search? The momentous changes center on social engagement (namely via Google Plus) and the profound impact real social interactions will have on SEO.
SEO is NOT Dead. It's Becoming More Social
Have you heard of this catchy buzzword floating around: "SEOcial?"
That weird little word, in its very essence, underscores the new form of search engine optimization. Instead of optimizing a website's content for keywords, SEOcial is all about optimizing your content (articles, webpages, blog posts, videos, etc.) for social engagement.
Awesome and engaging content that gains the likes, tweets and +1's of the masses is what will win the SEO game in 2013.
Not to say some of the more old-school SEO practices of keyword optimization and link popularity will be entirely dead - these techniques just wont be as powerful as the latter social media signals and natural sharing of exceptional content.
How to Prepare Your 2013 SEO Strategy
In short, the brands that produce top-notch content, and share it persistently with the right audiences, will achieve better positioning in the organic search results. In a sense, SEO is becoming more like actual marketing in that the focus has shifted from gaining the respect of Google (via keywords and links) to gaining the respect of people (via relevant, awesome content and social engagement).
Creating Amazing Content That Gets Ranked
Your 2013 SEO strategy will center on the development of superior content. To get your creative juices flowing you should be asking yourself:
- "What types of content (e.g. videos, articles, etc.) would my target audience find engaging?"
- "What social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Google Plus, etc.) does my audience participate on?"
- "What topics of interest (e.g. Tutorials, Reviews, etc.) are relevant to both my brand's offering and my target audience?"
The answers to these questions will build the foundation for your SEO content strategy.
Partner With Insiders to Produce Killer Content
The inspiration and insights needed to create killer content will be best gathered by the people who are knowledgeable and passionate in the brand. By teaming up with insiders, you or your content creators can learn, incubate, and develop superb ideas that promote profound results.
If you're doing SEO for your own business, insiders are the people of your company that know the in's and out's of your USP's, products/services, and target market. If you're doing SEO for clients, the insiders will be the clients themselves and their marketing personnel.
Again, SEO is becoming more like real marketing. Think of the content you create as a marketing and advertising tool that spreads brand awareness. As that awareness grows, so will your brand's social authority (which can have a direct impact on SEO.)
Diversify Your Content Portfolio
There are many forms of content that you can produce to engage with your target audience. Spanning from videos to podcasts, infographics to articles, there's a lot of ways you can communicate and promote engagement.
You can even take one form of content, such as an article, and re-purpose it into another form, such as a video. In the SEO profession, we call this spinning. Spinning content is typically frowned-upon because it's generally seen as an effort of spinning the same article several times to generate greater link popularity. However, spinning your work into entirely new forms will help make the most of your resources while diversifying your content portfolio.
The Last Word
As you have learned, the best practices of SEO in 2013 will emphasize great content and engaging your target audience with that content. Just look at Google's search results. Local organic listings with Google Maps (heavily based on the social media network Google Plus) are dominant. Additionally, the types of content that you see ranking are videos, articles and blog posts - which are all enhanced with a little picture of the author (authorship rich snippets.)
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. He offers over 5 years of experience in the SEO profession and handles a spectrum of campaigns on both a global and local level.
Tyler is well-adept in the latest changes of Google and advocates Google Plus and other social mediums as an integral component to any organic search marketing (SEO) campaign. You can contact him directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can connect with Tyler on Google Plus.