Santa Monica, CA – Happy Holidays to all of our wonderful subscribers (and soon to be subscribers). We hope that you have found this blog to be a useful source of information and advice. As you know, it’s almost another year, and you might be putting another SEO strategy in place, which is why now is the time to act on the newest innovations that the New Year brings. Beware of staying stagnant with your SEO strategies, advises Ali Husayni, CEO of the SEO service company, Master Google.
After all, as we mentioned in January of last year, SEO changes as Google’s search engine does, which makes it all the more important to stay with the trends. And not to fear, Husayni still remains optimistic that no matter how it continues to evolve, SEO works and will continue to work in the foreseeable future, even with the added features introduced by Google+. Here are some of the changes in SEO that experts expect to see in 2012.
Unique Content, in Real Time: While Google’s search algorithms continue to emphasize the performance of a website, it is even more important to provide new content, especially content in real time. Content that encourages feedback is timely, every time, according to marketing strategist David Meerman Scott, during a recent interview with Socialnomics.net.
“Social media gives us the ability to communicate instantly, yet most marketers have not developed the communication skills to address real time,” Scott said. “Marketers have been trained with a campaign mentality, spending weeks planning, designing and executing in a sequential manner… [using a] new mentality, infrastructure and workflow to meaningfully participate in real time,” Scott says.
Spend more time not only thinking about your target audience and what kind of content they need, but when they need that content. Timely content encourages engaged feedback from viable sites, which helps your Google ranking, according to Husayni.
“If you want to be on the 1st page of Google make an effort to create content that will get the users involved in a conversation,” says Husayni. “Respond to every comment you get on your website. Be nice and offer guidance. When other users see how responsive you are, they will visit your website more frequently as well.”
Focus on User Quality, Not Quantity: This much is still true regarding users: if your site is getting good reviews from users, it will improve your Google ranking. If it’s getting bad reviews, the reverse. But remember, more clicks don’t necessarily mean more customers or higher customer satisfaction rates. Encouraging good reviews by interacting with customers is more important than ever, according to a Fall 2011 Constant Contact Survey study. Sixty percent of responding businesses reported that they enjoy engaging with all customers and prospects who post comments on social media platforms, whether those posts are positive or negative. Consumer feedback can lead, of course, to a higher customer retention and satisfaction rate.
Social Media Continues to Increase in SEO Importance: It’s true that social media is one of the factors influencing natural search rankings for Google. So, more than ever, you must consider social media as part of your SEO promotion strategy. Try to get inbound links from bloggers. If you release a new product, you want to have someone influential twitter about it. Be sure you have a Facebook presence.
Targeted Websites: Be aware of how your target audience does research and try to entice viewers like more traditional marketing strategies. SEO companies like Master Google note that Google is looking for those sites that are valuable to users. You also need to find the online communities that your target consumer frequents. This will let you reach viewers as a group rather than individually.
The Rise of SEO-Led Marketing Campaigns: Increasingly, all marketing will be driven by SEO. Radio, TV, and print advertising will all be part of SEO campaigns to educate the users about products and services. There is an audience that traditional media reaches, but you have half the chance of reaching as many of them as you would have 10 years ago, according to Paul Gillin, a respected social media marketing guru and Author of The New Influencers. After all, in the last eight years, we have gone through a shift in consumerism. We begin with a search engine, as Gillin points out in forum at the SuperGenius Conference.
“We used to go to a library and browse, now we expect it to be there,” Gillin says.
With a search engine’s place established by expert after expert, SEO ranking is at the heart of the campaign, rather than being an afterthought, and that is the new normal.
Geography is Even More Important Than it Was Last Year: Google Pages is increasingly part of Google’s search engine results. Google is also working on ways to incorporate the user’s location into results. As more and more people use GPS-enabled phones for searches, geographical considerations will play an even bigger role this year.
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