There’s a new SEO trend on the horizon that will change the way we look at how we optimize our web content.
The SEO game is changing. In a younger time, SEO was all about keyword optimization, data metrics and improving your page ranking. These aspects are still just as important now as they were in the past, but Google has been hard at work changing the way SEO functions with search results.
The results you see from a typical Google search increasingly reflect the data that Google has gathered from you, with the user’s previous search history having a larger impact than ever before. Providing results based on personalized metrics and past history changes the rules to a game.
So with Google’s personalized search results rewriting the playbook, how do you keep up in the SEO game?
The answer may surprise you — don’t start with SEO. In a world where search results are customized based on your preferences, the paradigm has shifted from the age-old process of finding viewers and making them fans. Instead, the name of the game is to build loyalty with a user base and then leverage your audience to improve your performance in search, while employing a few of those time-honoured SEO optimization tricks in the process.
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In marketing terms, it’s hard to find a concept as critical to success as loyalty to a brand. Outside of selling real estate and sports cars, money isn’t made from a customer making a single transaction. According to a joint study by BIA/Kelsey and Manta, 61 percent of businesses reported that over half of their revenue was generated from repeat customers rather than new ones. In the business world, profits come from repeat customers paying top dollar for your product and refusing to settle for anything less.
Building loyalty is great, but how can a struggling start-up turn click-hungry web junkies into raving fans? There’s no guaranteed way, but you can definitely improve your odds by adhering to the following standards:
- Delivering on expectations: Humans are habit-forming creatures, and we like structured routines. Delivering content at regular intervals that your readers can depend on will provide them with a structure that gives them faith in your brand. This also applies to the next point:
- Quality over quantity: The days of mass-produced blogs are out. Nobody wants to sift through dozens of blogs to find the single diamond in the rough. Producing steady, quality content that has value to your readers will help ensure that they keep coming back for more and are willing to listen to what you have to say.
- Focus your content: Broad content doesn’t translate well to creating a passionate fan base. The wider your range, the less targeted your content becomes. Know who your readers are and deliver something that resonates with them.
While loyalty building may be the new, cool kid on the block, the old methods of optimizing your sites for search aren’t dead just yet.
SEO is content marketing, and as such, a certain amount of volume is required when trying to reach the top. Sure, quality is better than quantity, but you won’t boost your page ranking with a mere one or two blogs. The trick is to find the balance between putting out content at regular intervals while still maintaining the quality that your loyal fan base has come to expect.
Image from Quicksprout
As any old pro at SEO management will attest, the heart of SEO is knowing your keywords and keyword strategies. Not only will popular keywords bring more viewers to your page, but also analyzing what keywords are most popular can provide titles for future posts that your readers will find relevant and useful. To this end, it’s important to acknowledge that SEO relies on data and measurable metrics to function. Data collection services such as Google analytics or other paid platforms are invaluable for providing a veritable goldmine of data that you can use to your advantage.
The Winning Combination
While SEO is still a necessary part of page optimization, a shift is occurring that promises better results for pages that establish a following before scrounging for the highest page ranking possible. Your pages should be focused toward your target audience with strategically placed keywords designed to set your page apart — but with Google’s new algorithms that emphasize past behaviour and loyalty, any business wanting to stay ahead of the game should also focus their efforts on generating a strong fan base that will stand behind you no matter what ranking you have on the web.
How has your business utilized customer loyalty to improve your search performance? Tell us about it in the comments below!