Like everyone else in 2019, you have a website. Congratulations. You’re now one in 1.7 billion.
Of course, you could break that down into niches and sub-niches and your competition would get smaller. But the point is, you’re drowning.
Your PPC campaigns have plateaued. Your email campaigns are trickling. You’re desperate for something that will boost your traffic.
What’s left? SEO.
But wait, isn’t SEO dead?
SEO isn’t dead, it’s just pivoted with the times. If you want to rank on Google, you’re going to need a new set of skills. Here are the SEO skills your competitors don’t have.
Lately, we’ve seen websites that nab any old backlink they can. They don’t think it matters what kind of content their link sits in, they just hope that link-juice starts flowing.
They then sit there and scratch their heads when they get zero return on investment.
Google can now look at the quality and the relevance of the content of any page. If the content is copied work, it will certainly downgrade that content. And if your link is there, Google will cut off that faucet of link-juice.
Instead of getting as many backlinks as possible, reach out to quality sites. If you can make a deal, you can get a good quality link back to your content. And when that high authority content gets syndicated, your DA will soar.
So, you’ve ranked on the first or second page of a keyword. Congrats! Now you want to focus all your effort on ranking at the top, right?
Wrong. While, yes, 33% of traffic tends to go to the top spot, 75% of traffic goes to the first page.
Why would anyone click on links below the first one? Google’s surely foolproof in giving you what you want on the first try, right?
Not so. A little bit of investigation will show you that the first few pages of results are fairly relevant and full of rich information. They just don’t all follow the rules of Google perfectly.
And when someone is on their customer journey, they’re even more likely to click beyond the first link.
Your focus should then be on click-through rate. Make your link stand out from the rest.
Ask yourself, what are my customers and leads really searching for? And then give them what they want in the meta description and the SEO title.
You can test these descriptions and titles out using Facebook ads and Google AdWords before changing them on your site.
It’s no longer the year 2005. We’re not listening to podcasts on our iPods anymore. And neither are we stuffing keywords to get ranked on Google.
In fact, the shift has gone so totally away from keywords that people are wondering if they even matter.
The truth is, they sorta matter. But the focus shouldn’t be on keywords.
Yes, it’s what you rank for. But it’s not how you rank.
In 2019, Google ranks you by the quality of content and user experience. They also look at whether you’re answering questions.
If someone asks, “How do I rank on Google?” they should get links that answer that question in various ways. Why? Because the answer is complicated.
Therefore, you might rank for “How do I rank on Google?” if you write an article about the skills needed for SEO.
Readability is also a concern for Google. If you think quality means inscrutable, you’ll never rank on Google. This is why engineers need writers.
If you need a regular business to buy your especially engineered product, they need to understand the content about the product. If the content is at say a college engineering course reading level, clients won’t understand. But if it’s at a 9th-grade reading level, they’re bound to get what the device does.
Thus, learn to produce content that’s readable and useful to users.
In the past, we might have found keywords that match a certain volume and fulfill metrics. Often these keywords would end up being fairly similar in topic and serve the same purpose.
This wouldn’t matter because all you cared about was the metrics.
That’s old school SEO. Fast forward to today and you’re hard-pressed to find an SEO who still operates this way.
Instead, they focus on topic research.
This is a broad area. It’s bigger than keywords and volume metrics. If you do this right, you’ll target searcher’s intent and Google will recognize your content.
Say, you’re working with an airline booking company. You want to help people choose the best day to buy a flight.
You might write one topic specifically about that, but you need a whole basket of topics. How do you come up with related topics that still answer your client’s customer’s questions?
Topic association. Broaden your perspective on what users are searching for.
If they’re searching for the best day to buy flights, maybe think about price flexibility, when airline miles can be used, when you’ll earn the most airline miles, etc.
What happens when your topic is so broad you don’t rank for squat? Maybe you want to create an ultimate guide bit of cornerstone content. It’s useful content, but the search engine can’t figure out where to place it.
Why is this happening? Because Google still uses keywords as place-markers. They’ve still not gotten that good yet.
Here’s an example: The Ultimate Guide to Researching Flight Deals. Maybe you hit all the bases and answer all the questions. But as it gets shared about and syndicated, Google will only rank it for what people see it as.
To put it simply, you’ll rank for “researching flight deals” most likely. And the volume metrics for it are meh.
Use keywords intelligently after you’ve done your topic research. Place them in your meta descriptions and titles.
But when researching keywords, focus less on volume metrics, more on ease of ranking and CTR opportunities.
You can still create an ultimate guide, but call it “The Best Weeks and Months to find Flight Deals.” You’ll catch the people looking for “the best flight deals”, or “the best weeks to find flight deals”, or “the best months to find flight deals” all in one cornerstone.
As you can see SEO isn’t snake oil. It might be a constantly shifting target, but that’s where SEO companies come in.
Combine your existing SEO skills with the expertise of someone who can keep track. If you’re ready to boost your online presence, check out our services now.