It is no secret that blogs make up a large portion of a businesses’ incoming traffic, and with it, fresh leads on a regular basis. Blogs attract loyal customers, drive value for your brand – and beyond blogging alone, all of this is done by skilled online marketers with an eye to on-page search engine optimization, social media attractiveness, and of course; email marketing.
Cohesively using all of these channels to work together to your advantage will surely keep you on top of your businesses’ desired search rankings – and the purpose of this article is to outline some proven ways to leverage all of them for an improved search rank overall.
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An Ever-changing Landscape
Nowadays, blogging has become an integral part of ranking with popular search engines, and an online marketing mainstay. And whether you are marketing your business to other businesses, or consumers, there are almost always a number of opportunities still available that you may not have considered.
The web is always evolving, and with it, so are Google’s numerous algorithmic updates along with the introduction of new ones. Google is releasing more new algorithms as time progresses as well, with new ranking factors springing up often.
As a result of this constant barrage of systemic search changes, it is your task as an online marketer to take them all into consideration and apply methodologies you learn along the way to the content you are consistently producing.
One systemic algorithm update change or the introduction of a new one means you have new hoops to jump through, and you can never fall behind these changes on the hamster wheel that search has become, or play favorites to one algorithm or another, for fear of all of your hard work being for naught.
Strategies have been coming and going with each update; some that worked so very well in the past may work so less today, and others that may not have been worth the time are only beginning to really shine on rank reports. Online search is quite possibly one of the largest moving targets online marketers face, even beyond the demands and desires of any single given demographic.
Adapting to the constant changes that Google insists upon also may not turn over the results we may be looking for immediately, but they are always taking shape. One such algorithm that has actually been around for over a year and is now becoming a hot trending topic among online marketers is the Google Hummingbird Algorithm.
We have been aware of the Google Hummingbird algorithm for quite some time, as it rolled out in 2014 and has been slowly working its way into the search framework, one article at a time.
Those that jumped onto the Hummingbird bandwagon may not have seen results immediately, and as a result, may have experimented with a number of ways to implement it, because Google never hands out a handbook, online marketers have largely been left to their own devices to figure out this algorithm, and all of the others that precede and proceed it.
Thankfully, discussions around this and other algorithms have been heating up, and there has been a lot of mindshare among search engine optimization professionals. Seeking to help one another combat the onslaught of search rank factor changes, it appears as though the world’s search savvy has cracked the code of the latest (and not so recent) Google algorithm updates and introductions.
With this in mind, we have assembled this list of tips to help you and your organization improve the search ranking of their company blog. And of course, personal blogs, too. It is our hope that this information will remain evergreen, however as we know by now, Google is a tricky bedfellow and it is increasingly difficult to know what moves Google will make next.
One such algorithmic addition to Google’s suite is that of the infamous RankBrain; an algorithm that could replace all others. RankBrain is Google’s effort to introduce a thicker, more robust “machine learning” method of discovering search context.
Because machine learning is involved, and it is sifting through our own public hive mind to determine context, it could even be impossible for Google itself to understand where things are headed to.
How Digital Marketing Agency Services can Enhance Blog Ranking in 5 Easy Steps:
These five steps are what digital marketing agency services employ and are an integral part of helping your blog climb to the top of global and local Google searches. Of course, if you have identified any additional factors you think are obvious and we did not cover them, we are sure our readers would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below. Only through a little solidarity are online marketers going to be able to build one another up; here are our five suggestions to throw into the hat. What are yours?
1. Classic Methods of Strict Keyword Targeting are Dead
As the Google Hummingbird algorithm continues to mature, so are our requirements as online marketers. In recent years, Google has been working hard to answer online search users, questions in the same natural language that they would be (ideally) asked.
Long gone are the days of querying Google with simple keywords instead of a natural question, as the Google Hummingbird algorithm is now able to swiftly analyze query and content context on the fly. As a result, Google now places a great emphasis on content value as opposed to how keyword-rich it is.
While this does not mean, by any measure, that you should abandon keyword targeting as in the days of old, it does mean you will need to update your strategy along with the algorithm update.
Quality content is now a serious ranking factor and it has been for some time. Some people are only beginning to feel the burn, so a turn to quality as a more serious focus is of paramount importance.
2. Share, and Share Alike
Social factors now play a much larger part in how content makes it into Google search rankings. A strong social media presence is no longer a simple luxury for brands with larger marketing budgets; it is an absolute must.
And social is the real long tail; the average social media consumer is not ready to buy right this minute, the prospect of purchasing your product or service may be stewing around in their minds, percolating, however, they aren’t directly seeking you out just yet. Yes, the social consumer is your next consumer and is a driving force behind tomorrow’s customers.
Increase your brand visibility by creating incredibly useful, noteworthy, share-happy content. Content that makes the sharer useful by proxy, too. Always put value in the lead, and never repeat a pitch.
3. Relevant Links above Link Quantity
Once upon a time, the more links we had pointing to our website, the better, right? Well, now, the folks that have been following that old methodology are clamoring to Google’s disavow tool in droves.
And it should have always made sense that Google would one day catch up with the internet’s doldrums of low-quality links, so those search engine optimization professionals that took a short-sighted approach have done quite a bit of damage to their customers, and even their own businesses.
Today, link quality is important. Google can smell a rat, and they want us to grow our link profiles naturally. That means they can detect elements of good and bad links:
- You’re getting a whole lot of links, rapidly, and in short order
- Links you receive are not from websites who share a similar theme
- Links have a meagre domain authority at best
These three indicators will give Google the self-ordained license to punish your website; low DA links are all too easy to purchase and implement, and all that much more of wasted investment and pain to disavow. And this wonderful ability was brought to you by 2012’s Penguin webspam algorithm.
4. Don’t Buy it, Earn it
If you build it they will come, is for dreamers; you’ll need to promote your content along social channels if you’d like your content to have much effect overall. Links are earned when you write clear, concise, and useful content.
You cannot fake it, you cannot pay an unskilled writer $20 per article for it, and you will need to know your subject matter through and through, and write it yourself. In the least, hire an expert who is familiar with your subject matter as much as you are.
If your content is useful, people will share it, and link to it from their own websites on their own, willingly. Like we said; you can’t fake that kind of engagement and guest posts don’t count.
5. If You Haven’t Already: GO MOBILE
If you’re an online marketer, you already know that more web traffic passes through the fingertips tapping touch screens on mobile devices than it does desktop web browsers, so if you haven’t gone mobile yet, shame on you.
Responsive design allows website layout to conform to smaller screens on the fly, and different types of content shine on different platforms because mobile content is consumed under different circumstances as regular desktop content. Exploring your website analytics can help identify which content is affected by which behaviors, so you can optimize appropriately.
Search engine optimization is increasingly becoming a long tail strategy, as it should in this blogger’s opinion. There are no quick rises obtained through nefarious means that last too long these days, which means we as online marketers will have to work harder and create more valuable content.
The future of the web is genuine authenticity, and it is in everyone’s best interests to get started today.