SEO, Google and You
Nowadays, emerging companies and small businesses that want to increase their customers, sales, and revenue must understand that providing quality service and excellent products is no longer enough to stand out.
In terms of marketing strategies then, having the best website and the catchiest Instagram or Facebook pages might also not be enough. If it is true that good and engaging inbound marketing content is essential to make people like you, it is also true that a continuous content optimization plan is necessary if you want to always rank high in Google results.
A winning SEO strategy is made up of several marketing factors that need to be combined efficiently to be successful. But this is not enough: you must always keep up with the updates of the Google algorithms.
Search Engine Optimization: Ranking High to Stand Out
If you’re into business or are an emergent entrepreneur, you must have heard of SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, but perhaps you are not aware of how it works or how important it has become. SEO consists of an array of strategies whose aim is to increase your online visibility for relevant searches, in other words, people interested in what you offer (precisely according to what they are searching on Google).
How does it work? Google uses bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index (taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals) to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query.
Such search algorithms are designed to surface relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Things like content quality, keyword research, mobile-friendliness, or crawlability are all key factors to consider if you want your site and content to be optimized and rank higher in search results.
SEO has become a fundamental part of digital marketing, mainly because search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and it complements other marketing channels. A good SEO strategy is like providing your potential customers with a map to find you in the overcrowded digital world, where your business would otherwise risk to remain buried and invisible.
But now that you have to learn how SEO can help you and your business, how can you learn the main aspects of SEO? Let’s have a look at the key concepts you need to know to learn about SEO and inform your SEO strategy.
Google's new algorithm and its relationship to UX
On May 28, 2020, Google announced the introduction of a new set of metrics, called "Google Page Experience Update": this is the new algorithm developed to reward user experience on a website.
Google has defined that the Core Web Vitals, the set of metrics relating to speed, responsiveness, and visual stability that help site owners to measure the user experience on the Web, become a ranking factor that the algorithm takes into consideration for positioning sites and pages through SEO .
For years, the user experience has existed almost only in the realm of web design and front-end development. However, search engine optimization (SEO) professionals have thought about it recently - this comes from Google's series of updates, RankBrain in 2015 and, due in 2021, Page Experience.
So today, a successful SEO strategy is based on the correct use of various SEO factors, but also their regular updating. Here are some examples.
Keyword Research and Creation
People browse the internet to satisfy a need and are directed to sites and pages according to the keywords they type. It is therefore essential that you analyze and study the keywords that might be relevant to your business so that you will be able to create relevant content for your potential customers.
With the new Google updates, keyword research is increasingly semantic, approaching linguistic semantics: the search engine, therefore, interprets the meaning of words even more precisely. Always according to the statements made by Google, it can be understood that all those very detailed, very precise, and also very technical searches are improving.
Pillar page: why should you use it in your SEO strategy
Google's algorithm is constantly evolving to offer the best possible response to user searches and provide as detailed information as possible. This means that your website needs to be organized around different topics and long-tail keywords that are related to each other. It means integrating the topic cluster model.
A pillar page is a basis on which a topic cluster is built: a pillar page is a website page that covers a broad topic depth and links to the clusters of related content.
The two main types of pillar pages are:
- 10x content pillar page: The format of this type of pillar page is similar to a guide or an ungated e-book, i.e. it is a page that generally contains your owned media (the content you own and control). How to make the most of it? Create a 10x pillar page with a downloadable resource in it to facilitate a conversion.
- Resource pillar page: this type of page focuses on internal and external links to be a helpful resource in connecting the reader with the most relevant sources on a specific topic.
Topic cluster: the next evolution of SEO
Major search engines, such as Google, have changed their algorithms in a more topic-based perspective. A topic cluster is multiple pieces of content grouped by a shared topic and related subtopics: basically, this type of content offers comprehensive coverage of a specific subject. That enables visitors and potential leads to satisfy their search queries while visiting your site.
SEO is moving more and more towards a topic cluster model, within which a single pillar page has the role of a hub for a whole series of overarching topics and multiple content pages that are related to that same topic link back to the pillar page and each other.
In light of recent algorithm evolutions, topic clusters are increasingly fundamental. As testified by Anum Hussain and Cambria Davies, two Hubspot experts, the more interlinking are made, the better the positioning in the SERP, the Search Engine Results Page.
Keeping your website up to date and continuously optimizing your content to respond to Google updates is essential to your success. The right content optimization can generate more organic and social media traffic, as well as improve the overall user experience.
The key is to incorporate the right keywords, readable copy, and engaging images, while staying up to date. Your content is never done.