With Panda, Penguin and all the other Google updates, SEO practices are changing, and understanding how to modify your marketing strategy starts with recognizing how it’s all changing in the first place. It’s easy to get set in your ways and feel comfortable with your current strategy, but this isn’t going to be sustainable in the long term. It’s important that marketers realize that what used to work, doesn’t anymore in order to find long-term success.
Fortunately, understanding this “new age” of SEO isn’t as time-consuming or overwhelming as it may sound, so the sooner you can get started the better and easier changing your mindset will be in the future.
How SEO is evolving in 2015
So how do you know what you should be avoiding and what you should be doing now? Let’s look at what was recommended in the past versus what is recommended by search engines now so that you can adjust your SEO strategy today.
QuickSprout recently published an excellent infographic that outlined old SEO versus new SEO. Following are some of the shifts in the industry QuickSprout pointed out as well as a few of our own.
Old versus New SEO
Past: In the past, the goal was to focus on keywords to get rankings on the SERPs with the goal being grabbing (and keeping) that spot on page one.
Present: Marketers should focus more on how people engage with a particular brand, product and service. In the end, putting a focus on this should improve your ROI and rankings by increasing shares and natural linking across the web, but ultimately the focus needs to be on how your brand is viewed as opposed to its ranking position.
Past: Piggybacking off of the SEO mentality of the past, marketers would focus on one major keyword. They would research to find a keyword where they wanted to rank, and then focus on that term and that term alone.
Present: It is now all about what the searcher is typing into the search engine. The focus should now be on keyword intent and search searching user needs. It should also be on long tail searches. This is where semantic SEO comes into play and getting creative with search queries becomes more important.
Past: In the past, content was supposed to be written for readers, however in reality, content was ultimately written for a higher search engine ranking. Not much regard was given to content quality or relevance.
Present: Today, marketers should be providing content that focuses on its targeted audience and gives real value to that audience.
Past: Much like the content section discussed above, marketers would build in keyword rich links wherever possible and on as many websites as possible. The more variety they used, the better, so this often included placing links on directories and forums.
Present: Today, only quality backlinks will work. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to build relationships and build links from relevant and authoritative sources. This does not mean that directories, forums, and other link building tactics are no longer an accepted practice, it just means that marketers need to be much more selective.
Social media attitude
Past: In the past social media wasn’t leveraged for brands and services much because social signals were not a ranking factor for Google and other search engines. Because the SEO mindset was all about rankings in the past, social media didn’t have much of a place for brands.
Present: Today, social media is on par with SEO for the majority of companies. Although social media is technically still not a ranking factor for Google, the opportunities to connect with your audience and increase visibility have grown immensely. According to an article by online marketer Jeff Bullas, 72% of all Internet users are now active on social media and 47% of Americans say Facebook is their number one influencer of purchases. In addition, Twitter has over 215 million active monthly users; Pinterest has 20 million active monthly users; Instagram has 150 million active monthly users. This should make social media a top priority for marketers today.
What it means to you
It’s important to make sure your company is evolving along with search engines and constantly thinking about these changes as you create your marketing strategy. In other words, your SEO methods should be fluid, not static. Porter Creative can help you evolve your marketing strategy to maximize your social media and SEO opportunities that make the most sense for your company, brand and products. Give us a call today to be your marketing partner in 2015.