Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SEO 101: To Compete, You Must Evolve

Does your SEO specialist speak exclusively about keywords? If so, he/she might not be serving your best interests. It should be an SEO specialist's duty to evolve with the times. Unfortunately, too many so-called "specialists" are working in outdated paradigms. Do not make this mistake: to compete, you must evolve.

For years, the strategic use of keywords has been a central SEO practice. On this very blog, we've written about how keywords can help you clarify your business offering, and how the ever-prevalent hashtag is essentially a key SEO strategy based on keywords.

And yet, the nature of search is changing. Keywords might still be an important element of an SEO campaign, but true organic SEO is evolving to match the changing nature of search.

This change is reflected, most obviously, in Google's most recent algorithm. In this new algorithm, the importance of keywords has been minimized in favor of more specifically informative phrases and sentences. In this way, Google is acknowledging not only the changing nature of search but the importance of mobile search--a venue that is more likely to see longer search inquiries.

Instead of searching for "denim", for example, a savvy (and stylish) mobile user is more likely to compose a more specific, and perhaps more esoteric search, like "raw sanforized denim."

Even then, Google's new algorithm is evolving to meet even more complex searches. Instead of specific phrases, many users (mobile and traditional alike) are asking specific questions; instead of searching "raw sanforized denim," for example, many users today are simply asking Google, "Where can I find the best raw sanforized denim?"

By paying attention to the unique specificity of your product or service, you can dramatically improve your visibility on Google. Instead of thinking about keywords, however, think about questions. What question(s) does your product or service answer? Once you've answered these questions (for yourself), you can begin to compose your answers.

An example: 

A client of Stepmans PC, Ultrarev, sells performance automotive parts, a highly competitive industry with many websites vying for the attention of buyers. In an attempt to attract more Google visibility, Stepmans PC has urges Ultrarev's copywriters to compose text to answer specific questions about automotive parts.

Now, Ultrarev might not be able to compete with the huge auto parts sellers based on keywords alone. If you perform a Google search for "weapon r intake," for example, the top results are dominated by big names (and paid ads).

And yet, the first page offers a clue about how Ultrarev might compete with the big names: the results are also full of tutorials about weapon r intakes.

In other words, people are seeking weapon r intake guidance. To meet this demand, Stepmans PC cleverly advised Ultrarev's copywriter to compose text to answer a simple question: "How much horsepower does a weapon r intake add?"

If you ask Google this question, Ultrarev appears on the first page results.

This is the value of working with a organic SEO specialist, like Alex Stepman of Stepmans PC, who understands the evolving nature of search. We're proud to have Alex sponsor our blog: his guiding intelligence has set this blog's tone. We hope to be informative and up-to-date, just like Alex.

So make sure you're SEO specialist is up-to-date. If not, we suggest calling Alex now: 215-900-9398. Learn about what you might be missing.

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