During 2012, changes to Google’s algorithm (Panda and Penguin) concentrated on working out the authority of web page content. They really got better at identifying genuine, original high-quality content .This meant that those who were paying for backlinks or were simply concentrating on keyword stuffing, could have found themselves being penalised.
During 2013 with the “Hummingbird” update, Google became better at understanding searches in the form of questions or conversational searches. Now, instead of simply looking to match individual keywords or phrases, they can interpret complete sentences and their context.
The mantra in the world of SEO has always been “Content is King“, but this is especially true now. The algorithm changes mean that only original content written to satisfy a genuine need is likely to create good search results. Great content will also be shared on social media and so will generate “conversations”.
Does this mean that SEO is dead?
Absolutely not! Although keyword data is now not being displayed in Google Analytics it is still what helps to drive search results.
It is still important understand the phrases that people use to search for content related to the products or services you are selling. This is because if you have the phrases that people are searching for (called “long-tail” searches) in your content and also in the most important places on the pages, you will improve your chances of ranking higher up search results – but only if your page contains useful information on the topic.
1. Make sure you write original content.
2. Aim to educate or entertain your potential customers, not to just to sell to them.
3. Find out what your customers are likely to be searching for and write content to satisfy their requirements.
4. Provide comprehensive resources on your website for your area of expertise. Try to make your website the go-to place for information on your sector.
5. Remember that content doesn’t just need to be articles. You can also add infographics, downloadable pdfs, white papers or video.
6. Think about adding Tutorials and How-to sections to your website.
7. Adding genuine FAQs can be an excellent way to ensure you are writing for your readership and responding to their needs
8. Remember that content is king – but only if what you produce is unique, useful (and ideally also uses the same phrases or keywords that your target audience are likely use in their search).