If you have a business website, you obviously want it to rank well in the search engines, particularly Google. In the past, this was pretty much done with keyword placement.
It still is to some extent; however, the Hummingbird update for Google search has put those who stuffed keywords into their website copy in a real bind. Many got banned and more than one SEO company had to close up shop.
Not only that, but Google is moving toward NLS or Natural Language Search. If the user has a smartphone, they’ll talk, not type, and it will be in sentences.
So how do you get ranking in Google without getting censored? The answer is REO – Reader Engagement Optimization. In a word, content marketing.
Ok, that’s two words; but they go together like ham and eggs!
Using a blog for content marketing
Blogs are great places to generate content that attracts readers. If your site is set up properly, Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines will get “pinged” every time you post. They send out their little bots to see what you’ve done this time. (Since a static site doesn’t send out these auto-pings, indexing happens far less often.)
Here’s the deal, though. The content must have useful information. Remember that Google is out to provide the best content for information seekers. You’ve got to know who your readers are, what they want to find and the questions they’ll ask to find it.
And then answer those questions.
Case study: How a grandma in Arkansas got Google’s attention with content marketing
As an example, we just started a site for my wife’s sewing business in the last quarter of 2013. To date, she has gotten over 3,500 hits. How? First, we created quality, non-spammy content for her pages. They don’t read like ads or spam.
(And there aren’t any ads at all on the site, either.)
Then we started a blog where she gives sewing tips and ideas. Getting “hits” is great. And while 5.500 hits doesn’t sound like a lot, it can be for a small, local business. Remember, this is a home-based business with little budget for marketing. The thousand hits meant people were finding her.
But more importantly, she’s gotten clients.
I’m not going to give you the site address; I want you to see if you can find it. Type “who does alterations in Fayetteville, Arkansas” in Google and see what you get. You’ll find her on the first page, near the top. It’s easy to spot. It will be the only one with a photo included with the results. (Another hint, BTW)
One new client showed us how she found Mary. She pulled out her iPhone, pulled up Siri and said, “Find me a seamstress.” That’s all.
And because the phone knows her location, it targeted local seamstresses.
Guess who came up first. Yep, Mary’s Sew & So!
We did the same thing with our church’s site, although we do post more often, on a weekly basis. As a result, its gotten over 2,600 hits during the same 3 month time period.
What does that mean for you?
Understand your prospects’ needs, find out what they want to know and HOW they’ll ask for it, and then create quality content to address those needs and questions. Become not just an expert, but a likable expert that people can come to know, like and trust.
You’ll like the way you look on Google!
How are you optimizing your site for your readers?
PS. People that love your content, share your content. Could that be useful?
Steve, I like the way you put this into post-hummingbird context, and give a small business example. I am helping my brother with a new site for his custom framing business. I plan to help him with blog posts. He is doing the social media himself, and he set up the website. Neither of us are tech savvy. We put our heads together and came up with quite a few great ideas for interesting, informative blog posts. I feel this is very important, as I have been reading everywhere that good, fresh content is key to getting a decent place in search results. I will use some key phrases, but I love your approach of Reader Engagement Optimization. I am going to write about pertinent topics relevant to his business that his customers are interested in. (Social media is great for finding out what kind of things the customer wants to hear/read). My question is that I noticed that you said “If your site is set up properly, Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines will get “pinged” every time you post.” I was just wondering if there was a resource you could point me to that could elaborate on this point. Thank you! .
Steve Maurer says
Wishing you the best of success on your venture. Sounds like you have a good plan of action.
Make sure that you get your brother a Google+ account and link it to the site and blog posts. This will help him build up authority on the topic of custom framing.
If you can, I would highly recommend you build your site with WordPress. Install a good quality SEO plugin. I use Yoast SEO for WordPress.
Yoast creates a search engine friendly sitemap. Every time you create a new page or post, the sitemap is updated and a ping sent to the search engines. This is a signal to them that there is new content and they need to come over and check it out.
When creating your site, make sure it’s mobile device friendly. Many of my wife’s clients (the website mentioned above) find her site on Google using a smartphone and tablet. Make sure it looks good for them too.
Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, reply to this and I’ll try to help you further.
Again, I wish you the best of success,
PS. We ran some figures on her income since we put up her site. Her income for the first three and a half months of this year was more than all of 2013 (last year). You can do it!