The Basic Idea
In the ever-changing landscape of Social Media, SEO (search engine optimization), and technology, it’s safe to say that there is always something new to learn. Although you can never really read it all or know everything that is happening or try it all out, the following is a summary of a few things that business owners should be aware of. As always, I’ll give it to you in plain English.
Each search engine (the biggies: Google, Bing, and Yahoo!) wants you to use it instead of the other. Their job is to show you the best possible suggestions for website pages that will answer the questions you’re asking. Showing you good answers is what will keep you coming back to that search engine. The more traffic that goes to that search engine, the more potential it has for making money, so there’s the motivation for being a good search engine.
Google is still the 800 lb gorilla in the room when it comes to search engines so we will focus on Google in this piece.
The Google Search Shift
The days of simply knowing the right keywords to put in your blog and on your website are long gone. In trying to be your search engine of choice, Google is trying to better understand your search queries beyond just the words you type. It’s trying to interpret and figure out the intent of the person searching.
What is “Google Love?”
Through your website, the more help you give Google in understanding your product or service, the better chance you have of showing up in a search result in a high position. That’s what I mean by “Google Love.” The key? Your content. The content you put out there is the key to the whole puzzle. When I say content, I mean the words on each of your website pages as well as the articles and blogs you write.
What should You Write to Get “Google Love?”
The key to understanding what to write lies in how well you understand your target market. If you can answer the questions your target market asks through the content on your web pages and through the articles you write, you’ll get that highly coveted “Google Love.” That means that Google sees and understands your business well enough to suggest your website page as the answer to a search term.
First things first. If you haven’t yet identified your target market, that’s where you should focus first. Once you have identified and defined the details of your target market, you should know things like:
- How far ahead they shop for your product or service
- If they do research before buying
- How they spend their free time
- Average income levels
- Basic demographics
- What questions they generally ask
The more you know about them the better. This should give you a good starting point for writing original content. If you would like help with this process, give us a call.
Is posting curated content a good idea?
It’s my opinion that sharing some curated content is not a bad thing. Why reinvent the wheel, right? If you find a valuable piece of information that would benefit your target market, by all means share it with them. It can help you establish yourself in your field.
What you should do when posting curated content is give the information a short introduction. Tell your audience why you think this information is valuable or share with them any experience you’ve had with the subject – good or bad. Maybe you have a difference of opinion. Write the introduction, include the link to the curated piece and be sure to credit the source.
What you should not do is copy and paste the entire article into your blog as if it were your own nor should you drop just the link to the piece into your blog with no explanation.
With curated content, keep in mind that it will take your visitor away from your website and onto someone else’s to read the entire article which really isn’t ideal.
There are a few things that can spoil great content and your “Google Love”:
- A website that has no SEO (Search Engine Optimization) behind it
- A website that is not mobile-friendly (mobile-optimized)
- No Google Authorship
You may have the greatest content in the world on your website, but if it doesn’t have good, basic SEO behind it, the chances of Google finding that content are greatly lessened. Please have a qualified professional evaluate your website SEO. The good news is that getting basic SEO added to your website doesn’t have to be expensive.
Another great spoiler is a website that is not mobile-friendly. Again, your content may be top notch but people consuming your content on mobile devices won’t be very happy if your website is too tiny to navigate or if they have to pinch and pull the screen to read it. By the way, just because your website shows up on a smartphone does not mean that it’s mobile-optimized. No one is interested in trying to navigate a two-inch version of your desktop website. They leave and they don’t come back. Talk to a professional who is well-versed in the creation of mobile websites.
Google Authorship is simply a way for Google to connect your website content to you as a real person through a simple verification process. Websites with Google Authorship have advantages over those who do not.
You’ll need a Gmail account and a Google Plus personal profile. Once you have those two things, search “Google Authorship” to find step by step instructions. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, it shouldn’t cost much at all to have a professional do it for you and it can greatly improve the chances of getting “Google Love” for your website.