What it takes be the dominant result when customers “Google” you



Today’s business reality is that when the need for a product or service arises, the overwhelming first step taken is to search for that keyword phrase via an Internet search engine (Google, Bing, etc.). In truth, no one but Google knows how to always be the #1 result, and no one can guarantee that placement. However with proper search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and tactics, you can dominate your Google results. Dominating the results means showing up at the top of the search results page, and appearing in as many types of results as possible when your key phrases are searched.


“As methods and players have become more competitive, SEO tactics have evolved, and in many cases turned 180 degrees from past best practices. What got you on top before can get you in trouble, or even dropped now,” says Kevin Hourigan, President and CEO of Web design, Web development and Internet marketing agency, Bayshore Solutions. “It is essential to keep up with the SEO practices that will help your business rank high and often in search engine results or your business seriously risks online invisibility.”


Kevin shares  some insights about what it takes to keep your business on top of the search engine results when a potential customer is searching for your product or service.


Why Is SEO today different?


The algorithms that Google and other search engines use to determine where to rank your business and when to show it as a result to searchers are always evolving. The search engines’ main goal is to show relevant results to a searcher – so they can quickly find what they are looking for. Years ago a preponderance of keywords appearing on a Web page indicated its relevance to the searcher’s intended query. As both searchers and search marketers advanced (and as unscrupulous SEO tacticians found ways to game the algorithms), search engines have become much more complex in the way SEO tactics are weighted and rewarded or punished in the results.


The SEO basics of proper keyword use, tagging and site-mapping are now joined by achieving the right volume and quality of links to your website through a multitude of online sources. Now the power of appropriate link strategy in SEO is a pivotal key to success. Thus, the “bases that need to be covered” for competitive SEO results is much greater. Relying on the SEO tactics of yesterday amid the search dynamics of today is a sure path to failure.


How do I get the right links for SEO?


Successful SEO today revolves around an advanced strategy of content marketing. The more relevant content you can give to searchers for your products, services, company reputation, expertise and proof of performance, the better chances you have of ranking high and showing up when they’re searching for you.


This means re-evaluating what you consider to be your “secret sauce” in the content you will offer freely online. The hard fact is that most of the information you would hold close is already available online from your competitors. It is very important to offer content they (not necessarily you) deem valuable in exchange for even their contact name and email address. Really look at this to consider when, where and why you want to keep such roadblocks up, and remove them wherever you can. When you can share as much information as possible to help a potential customer reach their best decision, you win by being the one that has developed that trust and relationship during their research phase. Also, you stand a very good chance of taking them out of the competitive market by being a click (or less) away as they are experiencing your content.


When packaging your content for distribution in as many relevant online places as possible, make sure that you are building in links back to pages on your website.  It is equally important to embed calls to action for further information or inviting a conversation. Make it easy for the recipient to be in control and to reach out to you.


What content should I develop?
The right array of content items is different for each business’s SEO strategy. Some important content items to optimize and use in your SEO mix include:
  • map listings and business profiles
  • your corporate blog,
  •  videos, podcasts and slide casts
  • articles, e-books, whitepapers, worksheets, checklists, buyers-guides
  • case studies of successful projects or service delivery
  • Client testimonials and reference links
  • social media and bookmarking channels profiles and engagements
  • optimized press releases
  • reviews on consumer websites and group forums


When a customer searching for your product or service sees a search engine results page that shows not only your main website, but many of the above items pointing to your business, they are instantly impressed with the credibility, breadth and depth of your expertise. They are also more likely to begin their relationship with you through your online content offerings that address their search questions.


How do I get started?


Smart content strategies are often interconnected in that the development of one item can feed or inspire one or many others. A very helpful habit to develop in your optimized content marketing is to develop a format and distribution matrix. Use this matrix as a framework to evaluate the content items you already have or are considering creating and ask, ”With some slight adjustments, what other formats can this item address?”


For example: Can your blog posts be expanded upon to create an article or white paper? Could you video these and post them? Could these then be recorded as podcasts? Do you conduct customer satisfaction polls? Could you extend these to encourage online reviews? Can you record these as video testimonials? Can these trigger the development of case studies and also press releases? Do you have a list of frequently asked questions about your product or service? How many formats could the answers be addressed in? And how many different distribution channels online could these apply to?


These are focused disciplines that often draw upon advanced skill sets. For sustained best results they require dedicated resources either in-house or with an Internet partner. Content marketing and SEO are two facets of the same system that need to be in synch with each other. When done properly, you can own your search engine results pages, and achieve superior lead generation power.



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