In the firs two parts of this series, I gave an overview of the major changes Google has recently made to both its ranking algorithm and its willingness (or lack thereof) to share its data with users. Now I’m going to tell you what you need to do about it. Sure, the overall news isn”t good for companies trying to take advantage of all the free traffic that the big G sends there way. It is definitely more difficult to achieve high rankings than it used to be, especially for young, un established sites. Still there are strategies that can be employed in order to counteract the decline in traffic that many sites have experienced from this change. So if you site was one of the millions that saw its rankings and traffic decline over the last 4 months, this is what you need to do.
Throw Away The Fishing Pole and Pull Out the Net
Stop trying to rank #1 for the best term in your market. Chances are you are wasting your time anyway, so don’t waste resources there. Go instead for the widest variety of “long tail” search terms in your market, meaning the more specific phrases people might use to find your particular goods or services. This has three benefits:
- These terms are MUCH easier to rank for
- They are more likely to convert
- This segment of the search market is growing rapidly
Let’s take them one at a time. 1) Easier to rank for. It only makes sense that the more specific the term is, the more likely it is to rank highly for, as far fewer people are competing for it. 2) People who search for more specific information are far more likely to convert to the intended goal: contacting your firm, making a sale, signing up for a newsletter. 3) Marketing growing Rapidly. This is the inevitable result of both the changes at Google and the changes of people who are using it. As Google makes its rankings more random so to speak in order to draw more demand to its PPC business (my opinion of course), it will naturally lead to people not finding what they are looking for with general searches. So after doing their general search and finding garbage (with all those sites getting rewarded with a huge bounce rate) they will inevitably begin refining their search. This has been happening naturally as people get better at using Google and realizing that more specific searches lead to more specific (read that better) results.
Right now over 50 percent of the searches done Google are unique, meaning they have never been searched for before. This is the traffic you want to target, and the only way to do it is to tailor your site’s content for the greatest number of modifiers (words people use along with a main term) as possible.
This will not only get your traffic back up but will also help with your conversion rate. The truth is: this is the future of SEO. With Google both getting better at penalizing SEO tricks and its never ending desire to increase its own bottom line, this trend of negating the effects of traditional SEO practices will only continue. You didn’t think throwing up a Facebook page for your business, a Google Plus, Twitter and Linked In account that you never updated was actually going to work, did you?
How to tell if your SEO company is reacting to the new Google paradigm shift or simply continuing to peddle there old and outdated (but profitable) business model. Ask them what they are doing to keep up with the new Google changes and see how they answer. If they tell you to do more of the same: more link building, more social media, more guest blogging, more article marketing, more directory submissions — basically all the services they package together (and likely outsource) to sell on a subscription process–then you know you are dealing with an SEO dinosaur who is merely trying to keep their old business model going as long as they can.