How To Keep Up With Google This Year And Improve Your Online Content

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FEBRUARY 2017

The world of search has an ever changing landscape. What it is today has totally evolved into something bigger than just 2 years ago. It is for this exact reason that marketers need to spruce things up a bit in 2017.

But before they do some major sprucing, let us take a quick look at the current search scenario because Google has made many changes to its algorithms and marketers should be all too familiar with them.

Changes in Google

  • Google is a huge repository of keyword data. We all want a piece of this keyword data but we never will. Instead, Google has given us search volume ranges which may not be very accurate but will do. Today’s users’ searches are wordier than ever before. The searches today total about 1 billion unique searches accounting for 35% of search terms. Marketers should target long tail search terms. The longer, the better.
  • Google now favors increasing the click-through-rates for paid ads. The average searcher does 3 searches a day on his computer. It is estimated that only 1.19% of those searches click on ads.

In terms of results, it is almost dead even between organic searches (51%) and Google’s properties (49%) – Google Maps, Earth, YouTube, Ads, etc. while 40% of all those queries are not clicked at all.

  • And finally, the top 5 sites on Google: com, wikipedia.com, facebook.com, amazon.com, stackoverflow.com

So that’s just a few of the changes done over around two years, but it’s a lot to chew on. And so marketers move on with online content 2017 with a more focused strategy on

  1. Diversify your sources

Rand Fishkin of Moz encourages businesses to have a balanced distribution of their content. It is important to get traffic not just from Google but from other sources. You basically identify with other search engines that’s not Google. If you employ video marketing strategies, it is good to post your videos on your website first, get the search traffic, the links and let the video sit there for your subscribers to use it. Then later, put the videos on YouTube. Why? Because you know YouTube is 2nd to Google as a search engine.

But remember, you can’t be in all platforms but diversifying with what you have right now is key if you want more visibility.

  1. Use other non-Google search channels

Be visible on the right platforms for your SERPs.

  • For videos: YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook
  • For e-commerce: Amazon, eBay, Etsy
  • For Local Business: Google Maps
  • For News: Google News, Yahoo News
  • For Podcasts: iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud

Take for example e-commerce. 44% of online shoppers visit Amazon to search for a particular product. That’s a big amount of users and businesses should take this opportunity to be found.

  1. Change you keyword targeting strategy

Nowadays, it’s much harder to land on the first page of SERPs because Google’s pages are getting more and more competitive. And we all want to land on page one because it has a higher CTR.

You should focus your keyword targeting strategy to finding how users are searching these days. It is not just looking at their queries but what they want in their queries.

  1. Link building is still important

In fact, in off-page SEO, link building is the key. But for you to stay ahead of your competitors, you will need a well-organized plan. Link building is not an instant success because it takes time. So balance your efforts (and budget) with your long-term and short-term investments while at the same time regularly generating links.

Don’t be disheartened with your long-term investments which costs more (they’re there for a reason) and have a slow ROI. Good news is they still earn you links. Guest posting and sponsored content give results more quickly but might put you at risk of being spammy.

Balance these long-term and short-term strategies to get that assurance of authority.

  1. And finally, zoom in on better UX

User experience should be the top priority of marketers this year together with better online content 2017 and beyond. Google knows what searchers want and so should you.

It all comes down to this: your SEO should focus on user experience. This means having valuable and comprehensive content  with an easy and enjoyable experience on your site in all devices possible.

It’s an experience that users feel at home with and would want to keep coming back all because they weren’t annoyed, dismayed, tricked or even disappointed.

Conclusion

In 2017, content is still king but engagement is the ace up your sleeve. Google will still give results to users’ queries based on answers that the users are looking for, which content engages them and which ones have more authority. Google has made a lot of changes over the past 2 years and will still do more changes this year and beyond. Get your SEO and link building right to be ready for whatever Google throws at us.

So, don’t fool the lowly internet searcher. It has never worked before and it won’t work this year. Just give them what they want – answers to their problems in a user experience that will be remembered to earn their trust. In the end, you earn Google’s trust. And isn’t’ that what we all want?

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 19 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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