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What’s the Point of SEO When Google Keeps Changing the Rules?
I started working at Blue Corona on July 1, 2013. From that day until now, there have been approximately 11 Google updates of varying degrees. Some were officially announced, some were “unnamed,” but they all changed the search engine landscape. As a newcomer to the SEO world, I was puzzled by all these changes. Why do they keep switching things around? And what’s the point of doing SEO at all when Google just keeps changing the rules?
Rule #1: There Are No Rules
By most accounts, the biggest update upset of late was Google’s move to secure search for all users—which resulted in a loss of keyword data for those of us who count on it to strategize inbound marketing for clients. Since my Blue Corona SEO training had focused primarily on keyword research, I started to worry that maybe no more keywords = no way to strategize = clients leaving in droves = layoffs = despair = writing haiku for loose change = hitting rock bottom = eventually being forced to go back to school for an MBA. I shudder to think. It was all too terrifying to imagine!
Luckily, I am here to tell you that not only do I remain gainfully employed at this fine SEO firm, but I continue to increase traffic and leads for my clients using the same foundation upon which my training was based. How?
Change after change, update after update, SEO—quality SEO—continues to work because it makes substance and authority the most defining elements of a website. And substance and authority will always trump an algorithm update. The better your website content is, the better it will rank in search results.
Now, if you do things that Google dislikes, your site may still get penalized. But if you are smart about your SEO, the relationship between your website and Google should be copacetic. And being smart about your SEO mostly means making sure your site is giving visitors what they need. To do that, we recommend keeping the following two ideas top of mind.
Know Your Target Customer
Sometimes a business’ target customer is very specific, like people for whom money is no object, who want custom mosaic tile pools, and live in that company’s service area. Sometimes the target is more general, like people who have a plumbing emergency in the tri-state region. Whoever your target customer is, make sure your website is speaking directly to them.
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Writing to your target customer helps you get more clicks from qualified leads, instead of from randoms who are doing searches for exploding toilet videos or a used J. Crew tunic in the shade “pool.”
Publish Quality Content
We keep saying it because it never stops working: quality content is the key to attracting new visitors to your site. So while I may be an SEO campaign manager, at heart I’m really a writer, researcher, and marketer doing everything I can to build the best content possible on my clients’ web pages. Though we’ve updated some of our techniques, the core of what we do really hasn’t changed. At Blue Corona, our SEO team starts with these tasks to get content right:
- We get to know our clients’ business from the inside out. We ask, among other questions: What’s your value proposition? Who’s your target customer? Who are your competitors? What’s your visit-to-lead conversion rate? How much do you want to grow in the next year? Are you going to finish that sandwich? (Oh…that last one happened during a lunch meeting; it’s not a regulation question.)
- We research their industry like we’re writing a thesis on it. Did you know that rain chains originated in Japan and are growing in popularity here in the US? Or that it takes 48-72 hours for Tuberculosis skin test results to appear? Do you know the difference between FAK and EFFAK? I DO! Because I have spent hours researching these things.
If you can’t perfect the content on your website yourself, hire a smart SEO team to do it for you.
Google algorithms will come and go. They’ll make you think the sky is falling and that you never should have made a Facebook page and that there’s no point to anything and you might as well start wearing a tin foil beanie and making your own Internet from some old hard drives you have out in your garage. (If you start experiencing these symptoms, please call our hotline.) But the fact is that as long as you have a smart SEO strategy, your website will have what it takes to woo Google—and visitors.
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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