If you have a blog, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a priority, and you may be spending a lot of time trying to stay on top of all the requirements for good SEO.
But, did you know that you/your brand are the new SEO?
Let me explain.
Currently, BackLinko’s article on Google’s 200 Ranking Factors, is still one of the most viewed SEO posts on the web because everyone is trying to make sure that their site or blog shows up in top search results. In particular, the top of Google search results.
But, as Google’s algorithms are continually updated, fine-tuned, and implemented, the future of great SEO is shifting.
No, it’s not quite time to throw out all the current SEO guidelines or for SEO experts to start thinking about career changes. But a shift towards newer priorities is fast arriving.
Google has always been open about their desire to be able to offer their users complete answers for all search inquiries. With that priority in mind, they are moving fast towards offering users more complete results within the Google interface.
These complete, on platform results, are apparent in the new “snippets” feature as well as the “people also asked” section that now accompany all search results. Google’s goal is to dissuade people from clicking off Google to go to websites or elsewhere.
It’s becoming even harder to get traffic from Google. They want to keep your traffic!
“Google is using information they scrape from your sites to answer the query before any click can happen (and before any value can accrue to the work’s creator.” Rand Fishkin
But there is a way to fight back and re-engineer your SEO strategies.
Your new focus needs to be on making sure that you and your brand are known so that people search specifically for you by name.
As I mentioned above, you and your brand are the new SEO.
- Invest in On-SERP SEO – the practice of growing the influence you/your brand has in the search results themselves, even when you’re not drawing a click
- Prioritize keywords that have high CTR by using the CTR metrics from Keyword Explorer (or other, similar tools)
- When Google attempts to answer queries in the SERPs with featured snippets or scraped answers, optimize to win those positions, and then provide a strong reason for searchers to click through to your site (by providing some, but not all of the information, or by offering a compelling hook to what else you provide)
Use other channels – brand, social, content, press+PR, community building, etc. – to grow your branded search demand and brand recognition (so searchers will query for your name rather than a generic keyword and will be more likely to click on you when they see you in the SERP)
- Target search queries and create content that serves searchers who need to do deeper research vs. those who are satisfied with a brief answer or a simple bullet list.
I highlighted the suggestion that I think is the best opportunity for small business’.
Why do I think that working on becoming “known” is small business’ best (or perhaps easiest) bet?
Small business’ often don’t have the resources to compete with the big boys in regards to deep content.
But, we all have the ability to get out there and become known. Whether that be accomplished by Social Media, Review Sites, or local community opportunities and more.
So, it’s time to get creative and get known. Don’t wait until Google completely owns web search.
What are your thoughts on this shift in search? How are you going to face this challenge? Let me know in the comments.