Continuing our recent discussion about ensuring your company’s visibility in Google searches: at the end of April, Google made changes to its search algorithm – and those changes are affecting many websites, but both positively and negatively.
Fortunately, Google provides ongoing tips in its Webmaster Central blog to help companies put forth “the best user experience” – especially useful for those who can’t invest in regular, professional oversight of their websites (Google makes an estimated 500 changes annually to its search algorithm to combat those attempting to ‘trick’ the search engine into giving their sites higher organic rankings, via keyword stuffing, paying for links, and an assortment of other shady practices).
Google: “Focus on Building Useful Sites with Compelling Content”
The algorithm change is further reinforcement for the advice B2B marketing and PR firms like ours have been hammering home with clients for a while now: the gains that can be made by generating and sharing content.
Content on your site should be useful and educational versus commercial.
Content should be fresh and original, and, generated and posted continuously.
Blogs are one of the most expedient ways to keep website content fresh, given that much of the content on most sites is evergreen (for a reason).
Original content enhances your organic rankings – but that’s not the only reason to create it. The same information you develop for your site surely has multiple other uses – for existing customers, as sales support material, as the basis for a webinar, published article or white paper, or e-mail blast, etc.
To keep your site ranked as high as possible, Google offers these further tips:
- Keep track of algorithm changes on the Webmaster Central blog.
- Make sure you’re aware of your top keywords and keyword phrases – how people search for your product or service – and how these may change over time.
If you’ve never generated a list of potential keywords and run a traffic report, do so. Now! Google makes this relatively easy to do yourself with its traffic tool. And make a point to rerun the report at least quarterly, to stay abreast of and leverage those search terms in your online marketing.
Knowledge of keywords can be incorporated back into your standing site content (content optimization being one step of the SEO process) and can be a springboard for new marketing ideas.
While you’re at it, set up a Google Alerts for your key terms, seek and follow the online conversation and get involved in pertinent blogs, forums, etc.
Doing so will set you up for interaction with members of your industry and prospective customers — those people searching for and talking about your area of expertise.
- Use social media. Share links to your site content on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, SlideShare, etc. Get professional help to at least get you started on these platforms (if you’re not there already). Learn how other B2B companies are using social media.
- Google advises companies to go beyond the search engine requirements and drive traffic to your site in other ways, such as through ads special promotions and the like. Many B2B companies have no trouble with this tip – but may not be using “drive site traffic” as a clear objective.
With so many tools available at the touch of a button, there’s no reason your company can’t step up its online visibility even in small increments.