In the beginning, there was keyword density, metadata, and other SEO tactics that were fairly easy to figure out and enabled you to dominate top search results. Sure, Google would continually tweak their algorithm and keep you on your feet. But achieving decent search results for your website was still heavily influenced by on-page tactics.
Then along came social media and, more recently, the Google Panda (aka “Farmer”) update. Almost overnight, SEO got a lot harder as Google got a lot smarter.
On-Page SEO Tactics
In the past, top search results were heavily influenced by what SEO experts call on-page tactics. Things like title tags, H1 headers, metadata … properties within the HTML code that basically told Google which keywords are important to you. Even if those keywords were only loosely relevant to the content of your website!
Therefore by applying proper on-page optimization techniques, even your crappy, boring, salesy website could still rank really well as long as the content was stuffed with keywords in the right places. But that’s all changed now.
Search is Moving Off-Page
With more people blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, and Linking In than ever before, today’s SEO is more heavily influenced by stuff that’s happening away from your website. Things like Tweets, social mentions, and backlinks.
The more people that like, share, link to, and Tweet about the content on your website, the better your search ranking is going to be in today’s more evolved search results.
People are now casting their vote via social media and, in turn, Google is putting ever-more weight in what others think about your content.
So What Does That Mean?
It means that websites offering unique content, insightful perspective, and useful resources (video, downloads, etc.) are going to rank better. In that regard, SEO hasn’t changed … Content is still king. But now, it’s King, Queen, and kingdom.
Nobody is going to mention, link, tweet, or share your website if the content is boring, preachy, or just a copy-and-paste job from a corporate brochure.
And that includes the bland homogenous syndicated turnkey content that automatically populates your website … and the hundreds of other websites (your competitors) that are syndicating the same stuff. (The Google penalty for duplicate content is another discussion entirely).
A Balanced Approach to SEO
To be clear, keyword frequency, title tags, and other on-page search optimization techniques are still very important. It’s just that they aren’t the only game in town anymore and don’t have quite as much impact as they once did. But on-page optimization is still crucial … because even great content needs a little help to get found.
The bottom line: Top search results in today’s SEO require a balanced approach of on-page tactics, unique and compelling content, and social media engagement.
In short, search results (pronounced “Google”) are smarter, more relevant, and harder to game. Google has evolved, allowing the good stuff – the content that people want to read and share – to rise to the top.
Need Some of the Good Stuff?
If you need fresh and compelling content that people will share and Google will gobble up, check out our SEO creative writing services. Whether you need fresh content for your website, blog, or your next press release, Juice Marketing has you covered.
And if you’ve already got great content but are having trouble getting Google to pick it up, maybe it’s time for a GoogleJuice Website Audit.
Either way, mozy on over and check out our VAR Channel Marketing Programs for Sage and Microsoft Partners.