No one has a crystal ball, but we’ve seen enough of the signs to create a roadmap of where we believe SEO is heading. This infographic outlines 6 ways you can prevent your site from being left behind yet again.
1. Don’t Just Sell. We’ve become really good at selling stuff online. Whether it’s a product or service, we know how to persuade our site visitors to act — or at least we did. If you don’t become an information resource related to your product or service with high quality, original content, you will soon become invisible. Those thin product descriptions that you created 5 years ago aren’t good enough to compete with fresh, authoritative and engaging content.
2. Listen to the Crowd. Well, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news? Your site visitors don’t believe you. They believe other people like themselves. So what’s the good news? As scary as it may be to some of you, allowing people to rate and review your products or services is good for more than just your SEO rankings. It can be good for your business. We can all grow from constructive criticism, if you go into it with an open mind.
3. Be Social. If your content is good enough to be shared, it’s good enough for Google. My colleague, Jody Biagini, wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about how Google is using their Knowledge Graph to take advocacy mainstream. Yes, that is a real thing. Yes, it is happening. Google is already pulling in social content from their “owned” social channels such as Google Reviews, YouTube, Google+, etc. Bing is already pulling in content that is being shared by your social graph into search results. It’s not good enough just to create good content, you must get people to share it as well.
4. Pay Up. SEO is an earned media opportunity. It takes time and effort to make that happen. Even when you’re successful, you are still competing for real estate on a search screen that is getting smaller and smaller. In many cases, particularly if your industry is competitive, you need to pay to play to even get noticed.
5. Design for the Mobile Screen. What is your mobile experience like for your visitors? Is it mobile-friendly? If it isn’t, Google could penalize you for it.
6. Diversify. Finally, the future is not set in stone. We don’t know exactly how Google will react to changing behavior. There is always a certain amount of uncertainty. So it’s important to ensure you don’t pin the success of your business solely on a single channel. Diversify your marketing spend and mitigate your overall risk to survive the next Google algorithm change.