SEO is alive and thriving in 2019! And… all SEO trends I see show this continuing into the foreseeable future. Quite frankly, as long people search for things using the Internet, SEO will play a key role. So yes, for you, the small business owner, it is imperative you pay attention to it.
Now I don’t mean that ‘you’ need to become some sort of SEO guru… although there likely will be some things pointed out here that you may be able to tackle yourself. You just need to know enough about it to orchestrate it for your business. Don’t just blindly hand the keys over on this one folks.
So, in the blog post that follows, we’ll explore current SEO trends and suggest action items to consider.
Remember, this advice is aimed at small business owners, not SEO gurus!
Let’s dig in.
➀ Shift From Keywords To Concepts
Keywords have always been part of SEO and likely always will. However, with the massive proliferation of content on the Internet, keyword SEO has evolved. It had to.
The days of keyword stuffing on your web pages are long gone. As are the days of using the same keyword over and over all around your website.
Ranking your website for specific keyword has become much more difficult… again mostly because of the sheer amount of content on the Internet in your subject matter. You need a proper SEO strategy.
So, without climbing into too much techie stuff here, how do you approach this? Aim to ‘own’ concepts… own a specific topic… a specific problem you solve for a specific audience. Sounds daunting… I know…. I get it. However, let me emphasize our recommended approach with a funny joke.
See the connection here?
You don’t need to outrun the bear (in this case the Google’s of the world), you just need to do better than your competition.
So your keyword strategy needs to about creating and refining content that positions you as the authority on a specific concept.
Yes you should do some research as to what search phrases people are actually using these days. Pretty easy to do. Just go to Google and start typing in one of your keywords. Google will immediately begin showing you samples of what others are searching for.
Pretty cool hah?!
So what’s your keyword strategy? What concept(s) do you want to own?
This leads us squarely into the next continuing trend.
➁ Content Is Still King... With A Caveat
In the early days of the Internet, the search engines seemed to clamor for more and more content… many times irregardless of the quality. So what did we do? We continuously fed ‘the beast’. And it worked!
Fast forward to today… not happening. Bad and/or thin content is seen for what it is and not rewarded by showing up high in the search results.
When it comes to content on your website, the SEO trend is to focus on the ‘fewer, better’ content.
So yes… create more comprehensive, highly SEO optimized content that positions you as an authority in your subject matter. Provide how to’s… checklists… answer FAQs… etc. Showcase your expertise and solutions. Strut your stuff!
Yes… clear the marketing clutter. Put a plan in plan to rid your site from dated, thin, off-topic or flat out bad content. Leaving this stuff hanging around likely weakens your ability to rank.
And yes… spread the high-octane content across multiple mediums… your website… social media… iTunes… using the preferred format of your target market… video… audio… or the written word.
➂ Strong Brands Bubble Up To The Top
We are talking about brand authority here folks. Yes, strong brands do tend to bubble up to the top of the search results. And why not… they likely are putting in the work to outrun their competition. Remember the bear joke?
The great part here is the previously identified SEO trends really play into strengthening your brand. The formula here (while maintaining the philosophy of ‘fewer, better’ content:
Consistently placing the right content in the right format on the right mediums. Make that content highly consumable and it will be consumed… linked to… and shared. This is good!
This generates the social signals and social proof that the search engines (and your audience) use to determine your prowess. Remember it’s one thing if you tell me you are the best at what you do, it’s quite another if someone I respect and trust tells me such.
So you can spend all this time creating epic, targeted content, search engine optimizing the ‘you-know-what’ out of it and still not get the respect and love you feel you deserve.
Hmmm… what’s going on here?
Just walk around any public place. People’s eyeballs are glued to their phones. To the search engines this equates to cash!
Keep a close pulse on this one as it will continue to evolve in the years ahead.
For now though there are a few actions you can take to get in the game here.
Make sure your website is 100% mobile-friendly… it should be designed with a mobile-first approach and tested on a multitude of the most common devices (phones, tablets, and desktops).
Make sure your website is fast! Website speed can really put a damper on the user experience. The search engines know this and act based on it.. so speed it up!
So in closing my fellow small business owner, SEO continues to evolve and so does the need for us to keep pace with it.
Doing nothing, although a choice, is not a viable option… that is of course assuming you would like to stay in business.
Don’t worry though… nothing to fear here. SEO won’t bite. Keep in mind, excellently executing a simple SEO strategy can bear huge fruit!
You got this!