A lot has changed in the SEO world recently. There have been shakeups with sites complaining about losing rankings for this or that reason. It can really hurt a business depending on what the business and the industry it’s in.
But for all the change that’s happened in the SEO world over the last couple years the real goal of SEO hasn’t changed. That goal is to provide good information to people. That’s really all it is and ever has been.
As people, we all have questions about something. We might want to find out how to do something in our lives. Or maybe we want to find something that will make us laugh or that will enhance our knowledge on a certain topic.
That’s all SEO is. It’s creating answers to questions.
Where things get crazy is when you try to go beyond that and take your answers to the people by trying to figure out how Google parses through all the information on the Internet to give the best answers to searchers.
Google hasn’t perfected that process yet, but they’re the best at doing it…by far.
SEO in the past has had a focus on link building and all kinds of things. But my feeling is that you really shouldn’t focus on those types of things especially link building. Because as soon as you focus on that you’re going to lose focus on the simple strategy – providing an answer to your target customer.
Here are some steps to take to prepare for SEO strategy in 2015 and beyond.
Step 1. Identify Common Questions
The first thing we do when we’re looking to create content and attract a target customer is find the questions that target customer is asking in regards to the business’s industry.
For example, our target customer at Ghost Blog Writers are businesses. Specifically we’ve had the best luck with companies that tend to be small to medium size. They’re usually already using some online marketing techniques. They know how blogging works and they’re looking at a long-term blogging strategy.
You can find these questions in all places. You’re probably already answering a lot of questions already in person, on the phone and via email with your current customers. And more people that fit your target customer profile are asking questions on social media, in comment sections on blogs, in forums and in other places.
Read this post on the important difference between business-level and industry-level questions. You want industry-level questions for your blog, video, etc. content.
Step 2. Answer Those Questions With Content
So we look for the questions these folks are asking in relation to growing their business. And we answer those questions with blog posts.
But you can answer them with all kinds of things including blog posts, ebooks, videos and much more.
This is what Google wants. They want companies to focus on providing relevant content in the forms that people want.
Step 3. Create A Good Content Experience
Beyond answering the question you have to provide a good content experience. Google just came out with a new post about having mobile-friendly websites. This is another example of providing a good content experience. With people using their smartphones and other mobile devices to access the web it’s important to provide a good experience for them.
And it’s not really about Google. If your site isn’t optimized for a good experience on a phone then people are going to visit and then they’re going to leave. That’s obviously not what you want and it’s not what Google wants either.
Step 4. Create A Fast Content Experience
Another item Google has been pushing for a long time is page speed. Think about how frustrated you get when you bring up an article you’re excited to read only to have it take ten seconds to load because there is so much junk on the page and because the site has a poor host.
With web design you have to find a balance. It’s about giving your visitor what they need and working them through your sales process. But you can’t overwhelm the visitor with too many calls to action. That makes them want to leave and it can also slow down your site.
But there are only so many things you can do on the page to make it speed efficient. You need a good host that can make your site load fast and load all the time or most of the time.
Step 5. Diversify Your Incoming Traffic
SEO can be a great source of traffic, but you can’t rely on it alone. Any business that relies too much on one element will eventually get in trouble because things always change.
Back in 2011 or something like that a personal site of mine was getting great traffic and then things changed. It wasn’t a penalty or anything like that, but Google started showing more videos in the search results instead of just text pages. That change made sense, but it affected the traffic to that site in the short-term.
Now I look at social media as an additional source of traffic for that site. I try to post good content and share it on social so my audience will want to follow the account. I share the work of others. I try to form relationships.
And you can do this with email, direct traffic and a few other methods. SEO is just part of the equation for growing an online presence, but at the heart of it all is good content. Good content on your site can lead to a variety of incoming traffic channels.
Step 6. Look For Strategic, Complementary Partnerships
Finally, this is just a good business strategy, but I wanted to include it here. Forming partnerships with other businesses can lead to success for your business. In the basic sense if you partner with a business and you both currently have about the same number of customers then you’ll both double your customer base by partnering (minus the customers you already share).
Think about two software companies. One provides a plug-in website for small business and the other provides website analytics. They team up and help each other to promote their companies and grow together.
You can do it with your products. You can do it with your marketing and with your content. You can create co-blog posts or co-webinars or co-videos. And you can promote that content on each of your channels and you’ll raise each other profiles, which is an indicator to Google that you’re creating something worthwhile in your industry.
As I look back on this SEO strategy I realize it’s not really an SEO strategy as much as it’s a general marketing strategy or a business strategy. It’s about growing your business through various channels with content. I feel you can do that with the things we’ve discussed in this post. Find the questions your target customers are asking in relation to your industry and answer them. Turn your website into an online salesperson and you’re on your way to growing your business with the help from channels like search, social media, email and more.