To be at the pinnacle of the internet (#1 for your keywords in Google) is the Holy Grail of business — achieve this and you’ll have more customers than you know what to do with.
It’s getting there in the first place that is the difficult part.
The main tactic for many years was something that we’d define as “keyword stuffing” or using “exact match phrases”. This was the practice of strategically weaving the key phrases that you wanted to rank for throughout the article.
This practice was pretty much spamming…But it worked.
If you are a divorce lawyer in Brisbane, ranking at the top of Google for the key phrase “divorce lawyers Brisbane” would give you waves of highly qualified leads every single day.
SEO teams used to write articles where they would inject those specially chosen key phrases throughout them… So a piece of content might look like this (keywords in bold for your benefit).
For divorce lawyers, Brisbane is a busy city. There are many unhappily married citizens in this city, so if you are looking for divorce lawyers, Brisbane is a good place to find them. Divorce lawyers in Brisbane are some of the cheapest in Queensland. We offer Brisbane residents who want divorce lawyers in Brisbane a full-service package…
Imagine a lawyer’s website that looked like this.
You’d think it was written by a 12-year-old trying to help his daddy — but this is what used to happen, purely because it used to work.
If you want — try this for yourself.
Type into Google “divorce lawyers” and then see what comes up. If you are in Queensland, it will come up with “divorce lawyers Brisbane” as the first option (which is the most popular search).
Try it with your own website or business — what does Google Autocomplete come up with?
As you can see, keyword or key phrase stuffing leads to some horrifically bad content, and it sounds like it was written by a piece of software… However, this is they way that Google used to work — they would take the keywords people were searching for, and match them with the keywords on your page, or pages linking to your page.
Then, whoever had those words on their page, or pages linking to them the most, won! This phase of internet marketing was incredibly easy to compete in, however, this has all changed now.
The Google Quality Control department has realised that it was very easy to manipulate this, and some websites at the top of the listings would actually have content on their website like the lawyer example above.
The world just couldn’t continue like this!
The user was suffering from an awful experience, and Google was enabling them!
What works now for SEO?
Google has their eyes on “quality” as the most important factor. To enforce this, they take into account certain metrics that are far harder to manipulate, such as these:
This is the time a visitor spends on your site before they leave. The reason for this is because if a website is awful, you’ll get out of there pronto, but if it’s good, you’ll stick around for a while to enjoy it.
Quality of links
If you have 10,000 links from websites that have no authority and no status — you will get penalised. Google can spot a fake from a mile off now. However, if you have links from high authority, relevant sites (which is a key part of our SEO implementation), then you will be rewarded accordingly.
Google “knows” what the searcher wants. So back to our lawyer example, if your lawyer website also contains information about conveyancing, Google will see the link and it won’t raise any suspicions. If you also have links for Nike shoes or weight loss pills on your lawyer website — Google will see that you are keyword stuffing and discount your rank accordingly.
With Google’s +1 popularity tool, they can judge in an instant whether your site is getting good feedback from public opinion. There are a number of other popularity indicators such as Facebook popularity, YouTube likes, StumbleUpon likes, visitors bookmarking your site and a torrent of others, but just know that the search engines are always trying to spot a fake.
Keywords and key phrases
Yes! Keyword planning, researching and analysing is still a powerful and essential part of an effective SEO strategy. The trick is to know how to do it “just right”, without raising the alarm bells of Quality Control teams in the search engines. Google is getting to be like a woman on a first date — a very good judge of character, who isn’t afraid to throw out the rubbish!
What can I do right now to improve my site?
1. Get rid of any keyword stuffed content.
If you read an eBook two years ago that told you to insert keywords all over your site — empty your cup, and start again.
2. Replace your old content with new, engaging, useful and powerful content.
Even if your website is at the peak of Mt Google for your search terms, if it looks spammy and is written for search engines, your visitors will click off the site as soon as they arrive, and you are no better off. Plus, you’ll no doubt receive your marching orders to the Google Sandbox shortly if your site has miraculously survived so far.
If, however, you implement a strategic SEO strategy with a focus on keywords, but the majority of your focus is on creating content that really benefits the reader, they will be far more likely to:
A) Buy from you
B) Trust you
C) Recommend you
D) Give you repeat business
It sounds like common sense advice, but the fact is that the search engines are not stupid — they are changing from a “keyword revolution”, to “user satisfaction as the absolute goal” — and they are changing who ranks where and for what, accordingly.
If your website isn’t pulling in the customers you hoped for, there is a good chance you need to update your online marketing strategy with a keyword plan, a content plan and an SEO plan.
We have over 15 years’ experience working through the different search engine upheavals, and we consistently get high volumes of traffic for our clients, higher rankings and with the powerful content we craft, conversion rates have nowhere to go but up.
Photo Credit (Wikimedi Commons)
Looking for an established SEO company in Brisbane to assist you with your digital marketing campaign and provide informed advice about keyword research and strategies? Bambrick Media is here to help. To speak with one of our experienced Search Engine Optimisation strategists, give us a call on (07) 3216 1151, or get in touch with us via our contact form for more info, a quote, or for further consults.