In a recent blog post right here on iSpionage.com, you read that Google has gone dark on certain specifics of their keyword data—data that online marketers once relied heavily upon in order to build a successful SEO campaign. Google turning off the lights on keyword data has left a lot of individuals lost (see comments on any internet marketing blog…including this one), and panicking about what to do, and where to go next.
First things first, take a deep breath, because it is all going to be okay. Just because Google eliminated some data that online marketing professionals have been using for a while now, doesn’t mean that Internet marketing is going away. And, thankfully, organic listings are not going away either. I dare say that this bold choice by Google is simply helping Internet marketers help themselves by forcing them to commit more heavily to providing quality to consumers.
Instead of worrying about the loss of keyword data, or any other potential change Google may make in the future, here are a few ways you can step up your game in order to really keep up with Google. While reading these suggestions, keep in mind that Google gets billions more searches today than any other search engine. In fact, according to
comSore.com, Google holds 67% of the search market share. Whoa! Google knows what they are doing when it comes to providing quality. And as both searchers and marketers, let’s love it; instead of getting too worked up about it. Great ways to change your marketing strategy to keep up with Google
1. Trust Google – I can’t stress this enough, and here’s a quick example to illustrate my point. You know how sometimes as a kid you were 100% convinced that you knew more than your parents, only to grow up and figure out they have a lot more life experience than you, and they were actually right about most things. It’s kind of like that with Google. Google has teams and teams of experts that work day in and day out researching, beta testing, and tweaking algorithms in order to provide relevant content to searchers. These tweaks (more commonly known as Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and the like) can initially frustrate SEOers, and require some strategy changes, but will eventually result in providing higher quality.
2. Commit to Quality – It used to be really easy to implement a few black hat SEO practices and then sit back, and watch websites skyrocket to the top of Google. Thankfully, it’s not so anymore. Remember, good marketing doesn’t equal cutting corners. As such, let’s revel in any update that rewards real life, genuine, quality content and punishes short cuts, bad practices, and cheating. The more marketers keep providing quality content to their users, the more they will automatically be on board with Google.
3. Content is Key, Even with Regards to Link-building – While link building definitely still holds a huge place in a website’s Google rank, it’s not as easy as it once was. In fact, an anchor text link on a no name nothing website that nobody reads, or a spammy looking blog comment is not only bad form, but is seriously frowned upon by Google, and may get you into big trouble.
Google looks at the popularity of the website or blog where you post linked content, and they even track how interesting that blog post is to humans through metrics like authoritative link references and social shares. That means, if you have purchased, or built-up a blog in the past that nobody reads and have been posting links on that blog just with the purpose of getting a link, you better rethink your strategy. If you want a link that Google will love, then start producing content that people will find useful, want to link to, and want to share on their social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and especially Google+.
When producing content, also feel free to get creative. Remember content can include anything including blog posts, images, videos, animated whiteboard videos, Infographics, and whatever interesting and creative idea you have floating in your head. Go wild. Test out your content on your audience to see what works best.
4. Focus on business results, not keywords – This might seem like a totally crazy idea, especially since keywords have been at the forefront of Internet marketers brains for years, but switching your goals to include producing stellar business results, rather than finding the right keywords will yield excellent results. Instead of simply searching for keywords with the highest amount of searches, and then tailoring content around those keywords, look at organic traffic as a whole. Consider what produces quality online sales, what helps with lead generation, how to boost interest among branded communities, how to generate assertive brand mentions, and more. Focus on getting results, not on landing the best keyword.
5. Track at a page level, rather than a keyword level – Yes, I just said to focus on business results rather than keywords. You may be wondering how to even do that. Besides setting business-results driven goals, you’ll also want to make sure you have some way of tracking those results. Instead of tracking success on a keyword level, track success on a page level. This will help you determine what pages of content people are interested in, giving you a broader idea of what works and what doesn’t work. In order to do this successfully, you will need to generate loads more content than you are used to.
6. Make it about your customers – Again, Google’s end game really does seem to be about making the end user happy. That means your end game should be about your customers as well. One of the best ways to do this is to get in touch with them. Send out a survey to ask what they think. Ask questions on your social media websites. Give them a call on the phone. Talk to them when they walk through your door about what they like and what they dislike. The more you truly know your customer, the more you will be able to provide an online advertising strategy that really moves them to action. Get in touch.
7. Go social – Social media is playing more and more of a role in marketing each day. If you are old school and not interested in social media, then plan on kissing a bunch of your customers, and potential customers, goodbye. Take the time to get on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn (when applicable), and interact with your fan base. That being said, keep in mind there is definitely a strategy when it comes to social media marketing. As such, consider hiring a full-time in-house social media strategist, or outsourcing your social media to a company that keeps current on all social media trends. That way, you are bound to have a strong social media presence, but you don’t have to spend all of your time on Facebook, instead of spending your time building the company that you love.
8. Monitor the competition – One of the ways to keep up with the Joneses is to spy on the Joneses, in a professional, tactful, non-creepy way, of course. Find out what your competitors are doing, and what is working, and what is not working for them. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize software that gives you useful data about your competitors. In fact, that’s one thing that we here at iSpionage specialize in providing. Contact us. We’ll help you out with this one.
9. Use Google’s tools – One great thing about Google is even if they limit access to data we once had, they still provide us with a plethora of other tools to help make us successful. Use those tools. Check out Google AdWords, Google Webmaster Tools, the Keyword Planner, Ad Preview, the Traffic Estimator, and so on, and so on. If you can’t find what you are looking for on Google, consider branching out to sites like iSpionage.com, Moz.com, SEMrush, and more. Each site offers a unique set of tools that will help you in your online marketing endeavors. 10. Analytics, analytics, analytics – Finally, remember to track every move you make, learn how to understand the data you gather, and then act on the results. You may think you are producing great content, only to find out that no one is really interested in it. Similarly, you may post some content, or run and ad, and have no idea how it will perform only to find it going viral the next day. Your analytics will tell you these things, so pay attention to them. Track all of your marketing efforts and pursue whatever options make the most sense.
Hopefully, this list gives you a better idea of where to go from here. Yes, it’s true Google has gone dark on some of the data they once provided, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Google is simply providing an opportunity for marketers to provide better content for the end user. Go forth and conquer!