SEO, or search marketing, for small business owners and marketers is necessary for survival and long term success. But for many it's frustrating, confusing, and just when you think you understand SEO – search engine optimisation, Google announces a new update to their search algorithm, the latest being Penguin 2.0.
With Google continually making changes to their search algorithm, it’s difficult for marketers to know which are the best tactics for SEO. And as a marketer the last thing you want to do is spend your time studying SEO and changing tactics every time Google makes a change to their algorithm.
The purpose of this article to help marketers stay up to date with the latest, recommended best practices for SEO.
Matt Cutts, Head of Search Spam Google recommends marketers should stay focused on:
Creating a great site that your audience will love.
A site they want to tell their friends about, and bookmark.
A site they want to come back to, to visit over and over again.
He goes onto say… “if you're publishing high quality content then you have nothing to worry about.”
Google’s latest update Penguin 2.0 (Penguin 4) rolled out May 22, 2013. The purpose isn’t to continually change the goal posts to frustrate marketers, but to catch out those trying to trick search engines with what Google calls “black hat web spam.” Google is getting better at rewarding sites that focus on their audience, and penalising sites that don’t benefit users. Marketers that try to trick the search engines with web spam tactics like keyword stuffing and link schemes just to boost their rankings are being targeted.
Google is rewarding sites with:
Great user experience
So the question is, what should you do - what are the right SEO tactics?
Understand your audience.
What keywords and keyword phrases do they use when searching online?
What information are they looking for?
Design your website around user experience – not Google.
Clear calls to action and next steps.
The ability to share and comment.
Links to related articles and other internal pages that are the next logical step.
Publish content regularly
Weekly publish a blog article. Research links lead and customer volume to blog frequency.
Monthly publish ebooks, how to guides or whitepapers.
Quarterly publish case studies and documents that highlight results you've achieved for other customers.
Annually publish research and trends in your industry.
This may sound great from a strategic perspective - but the challenge for many marketers and small business owners is knowing what to write, how to write and finding the time.
Below I've shared links to related articles and templates that will help you implement recommended SEO practices.