As originally published in The Daily Memphian.
Google is the Big Kahuna of search engines. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches a day and 1.2 trillion searches worldwide each year. Small and large businesses alike have enjoyed a relatively long and happy relationship, digitally speaking, with Google. Google’s recent updates, however, have been upsetting for some, thought-provoking for others and excellent fodder for water cooler conversations by the masses. “Is Google dumping us?” “How can we get back on page one?”
Google’s whole purpose – as it crawls and indexes the web – is to find relevant results. The continuously evolving Google is honing its processes to reveal the best, most relevant websites (results) for the queries requested by users. Google is focusing on the user’s intent, which is therefore also the best practice in improving your SERP (search-engine results page) ranking and getting back to Google’s page-one results. Here are three ideas you can incorporate in your search-engine-optimization plan.
Design a friendly and responsive website. eMarketer reports that mobile e-commerce will be responsible for $2.32 trillion or about 67.2 percent of e-commerce sales by 2021. Enhance user experience with a site that’s easy to navigate on a phone or tablet. Awkward, hard-to-maneuver websites will never attract the sort of traffic and user interaction necessary to win top Google placement.
Optimize your website using search-engine optimization (SEO) best practices with a bit more emphasis on being relevant. What does your user want? Are they looking for the best ABC store or the closest ABC store and what language might they use to ask? Apply this knowledge to your keyword choices and pay special attention to optimizing your meta descriptions and headlines so Google’s enhanced algorithm, RankBrain, can match your website to your targeted user.
Develop a content-marketing strategy unique to your goals and publish quality content. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as, “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” Quality content is more than well- written; it is written with the intent of speaking to your audience for a purpose. Use the E.A.T. acronym in creating all of your content. E.A.T. stands for expert, authentic and trust. Case studies, podcasts, blogs, vlogs and videos are all forms of content that can showcase your E.A.T. capabilities.
Let’s take a deep breath. Google isn’t unhappy with anyone, except maybe Amazon. Google is a technology company – it doesn’t have feelings – yet. Sure algorithms, keywords and links are important, but if you keep the user top of mind, you and Google should get along famously.
Tricia Warren, Marketing Strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.