Google is by far the most dominant search engine, hands down. On average, the search engine receives an upward of 63, 000 searches – which when totalled up, numbers to two trillion searches per year.
This makes Google SEO a priority for business owners and marketers from all around the globe. So this leads us to the big question – what exactly is Google SEO?
Well, you might want to read on to find out:
What’s Google SEO?
By now you must have already come across hundreds of different definitions of SEO, with each one of them carrying its own flair or twist. But deep down, they all seem to suggest the same thing – mostly along the lines of, ‘SEO is a basic online marketing strategy that aims to improve your site’s visibility on different search engines such as Google, Bing, duckduckgo, Yahoo, Yandex Ru and the rest.’
Worth noting is that even Google has its own definition of SEO — which in the simplest of terms, is the process of making your site better for search engines. The definition may appear a little bit broad and somehow vague, but it does capture the very essence of SEO.
This definition still rings vague to some people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. For a more concrete definition of Google SEO, then you might want to look at it as the online marketing strategy that’s specifically aimed at improving your visibility or ranking in Google search.
Instead of appearing on the third, fourth, and the subsequent pages of Google, you’ll be simply aiming for the first page in the SERPs.
Keywords play a central role in this. Whenever an online user opens up the Google search page, the next thing they’ll do is enter a search query. As a business person and marketer, you’re interested in coming up with a list of all the keywords (including their variations) that are likely to make up the search query.
It can be anything, like looking for a web developer, painting company, or landscaping business in Singapore. So while optimizing your website for the search terms that fit the query, then you’re expected to come up with interesting pieces of content that focus on the list of selected keywords. And you’ll continue doing this until all the keywords are covered – and even with that, it’s crucial that you continue re-optimizing your site for the keywords over and over again until you’re finally able to secure a prime ranking in the SERPs.
In other words, Google SEO is a never-ending business. You don’t just produce a preset number of articles and call it off. For what’s worth, if you’re purposing to both earn and maintain a prime slot in the SERPs, you should be prepared to strategically keep working for it.
So basically, keywords help to shape up the kind of content you produce for your site.
Why should anyone direct the bulk of their SEO marketing strategy to Google?
Simple, Google is the largest search engine in the world – attracting more than 90 percent of all the searches in the world, and about 95% in Singapore. It’s at the centre of all searches. As a matter of fact, the majority of web users don’t even know if other search engines exist; ergo the term Googling, which refers to the process of querying your search term in the Google search bar.
It’s for this reason that Google is widely thought to be synonymous with SEO. Meaning, the first thing that pops up in people’s mind whenever you talk of SEO is Google.
Now Shush!!! Google Just released their New Definitive SEO guide for 2019
To clear all the confusion and the contradiction floating about in the internet echo-chamber, Google decided to step in and take a more innovative approach by sharing what’s working in terms of SEO, particularly with the search engine.
It starts by walking its readers through what it takes to secure a top ranking in their latest search updates.
How Google Approaches SEO
Google has admitted to spending the bulk of their time thinking about SEO. That’s because online searches are at the core of their business.
Google is also well informed about the other means that you could use to drive traffic to your website – and that includes, social posts, display advertising, and paid media to name a few. But even with this, they still rank SEO atop as the most efficient and cost-effective online marketing strategy to grow organically as a business.
As a business person or marketer looking to make the most out of SEO, Google suggests that you make an effort to stay on top of their latest search updates. The same applies to them internally.
Google has also admitted to owning more than 7000 websites that are currently being managed by a dedicated team of product and marketing managers from all across the globe. The company even goes ahead to point out that they make more than 200 changes on these websites per day, with each change putting their site at risk of hurting their SEO score.
They don’t favour themselves over the other websites listed with them. Instead, all their sites are subjected to the same SEO treatment as any other website or blog on the web. Which is to say their team has to follow the exact same SEO guidelines they’ve provided to webmasters in general if they want to rank high in their result pages.
It’s for this and so many other reasons that Google saw it fit to pull together a solid SEO strategy that strives to clear up any contradiction and misunderstanding you might have came across online while reading through any SEO guide. These are the strategies that the company has tested out itself and found to work.
So as web owner or marketer looking to start driving an insane amount of organic traffic to your website, we encourage you to read through the guide for a chance to learn straight off the horse’s mouth.
Best SEO Strategies as Laid down by Google itself
Start Small, For Big SEO Results
Don’t be over-ambitious. That’s Google’s first advice on SEO to web owners and marketers looking to secure a prime ranking for their sites in the search engine.
Google doesn’t over-complicate this important piece of information. All you have to do is focus on making small, but incremental changes to your site’s overall SEO strategy, and watch as it starts yielding big gains over the long haul.
Their Google My Business site for marketing is one of the websites that has managed to take advantage of this simple advice, and the results that followed were nothing short of incredible. First, the site was able to increase the amount of organic traffic they were driving by two folds.
The team managing the site focused on implementing fundamental best practices for SEO like using canonicals to show the search engine which URLs they needed to index.
Correlation doesn’t always translate to causation. But quite a good number of Google sites that managed to implement these simple SEO changes have managed to record steady organic growth.
Crawling and Indexing are two of the most important components of SEO. Though rarely talk about, if your website isn’t crawled and indexed by search engines, then there’s no way it will be showing up in the result pages.
It’s for this reason that you’re encouraged to adopt a site hierarchy that’s easy for both users and crawlers to follow. That way, online users will have an easy time finding your products and services. That’s besides making it easy for the Google search engine to understand the role of that particular webpage.
You can start by making sure that your site’s hierarchy is intuitive. One approach to take is by focusing on the navigation bar of your website. Depending on the nature of the site, you can come up with different headings for the site, with each menu item featuring a subset that’s intuitively easy to figure out from the user’s standpoint.
Comprehensive In-depth Content
In the old days of Google, all they did was analyze the HTML content of your web page to find out how many times you’ve managed to use a specific keyword.
Their algorithm was 100 percent focused on the content on your page. Which is to say, all that the Google spider did was visit a page to find out if the keyword appeared in the title tag, image ALT text, URL, H1 tag, and the description tag to name a few.
Nothing has changed as search engines still focus on keywords and other traditional SEO stuff. It’s just that their system has significantly improved, making their algorithm smarter than they used to be then.
So instead of them targeting keyword stuffing in the web pages they crawl, they focus on breaking down the content’s context.
Come to think of it – Google is all about showing the best content results to their users. And like you already know, good content or the best SEO result has nothing to do with keyword stuffing. Instead, what search engines (Google in particular) interpret as the best result is the type of content that strives to cover an underlying topic in greater depth.
Meaning, the person searching for something on Google should be able to find all the content they need in one place. So yes, with Google, quality takes precedence over everything else. So if you’re NOT willing to cover a particular topic more deeply, don’t expect the search engine to reward you with a prime ranking in their result pages.
What Google is currently looking in the Content They Rank High?
The first thing that Google looks into while ranking your web content is your content length. Speaking of which, lengthy content has been found to rank much better. So you might want to make sure that all the articles you post are at least 2000 words in length, unless otherwise. By doing this, you’ll be covering almost everything a Google search user might actually be interested in.
2. Evergreen Content
BuzzSumo conducted an online study about a year ago on the type of content that Google ranks atop. Through the research, they were to establish that a good chunk of the type of content people post online end up with zero backlinks. However, highly authoritative research and reference-able content end up gaining lots of links over the long haul.
They were also able to prove that authoritative evergreen content continuously gains more shares and backlinks as time goes, and as such stands a better chance of being ranked favourably in the SERPs.
Assuming there are a lot of people posting about the services of an SEO agency in Singapore – It could be anything, like the qualities of a good SEO agency in the country.
Instead of taking a more pedestrian approach as with the rest of SEO agency providers, you could provide a more detailed, step-by-step definitive guide that’s well researched and covers the topic in question more deeply.
When done correctly, this is likely to attract more shares and even get more people to link back to it thus earning you a favourable spot in the SERPs.
3. LSI Keywords
The Google search system is also concerned about the use of LSI keywords in the content you post.
The easiest approach you can take is by focusing on writing an in-depth 2, 000 words piece of content on the topic of your choice, and after you’re done, you can go ahead and incorporate a series of LSI keywords to it.
In which case, an LSI keyword is an all-encompassing term for a list of all the words or phrases that are closely associated with the topic you’re trying to cover in a piece of article. That includes keyword variations and synonyms.
For instance, say you’re writing about paleo diet; to make sure the article ranks atop on all the variation of the ‘paleo diet’ keyword, you might want to consider adding search terms such as weight loss, nutrition, grains, recipes, and cavemen into the article.
In other words, try to put yourself in the shoe of an average Google user. What alternative search terms are they likely to use while searching for the same piece of content?
It could be a synonym, poor wording, or something quite similar or somehow relatable to the topic in question.
Don’t stress yourself if you can’t pull the LSI keywords from the thin air. There are a number of tools that have been specifically designed for that – examples include the LSI graph
To use the site, just open it up using the link provided and then enter your target keyword into the search bar provided. The next thing you do is press enter and the tool will automatically generate all the LSI keywords associated with the search term you entered.
You can go through the list and pick a list of all the LSI keywords that make sense to you.
Alternatively, you’re allowed to search for the keywords on Google. In the result pages that show, scroll to the bottom and check out ‘searches related to…’ The bolded list presented features some of the LSI keywords you may consider adding to the content you’ve created.
Another viable option would be to use Google planner. You can start by opening the planner and entering your main keyword before clicking on ‘Get Started’. You’ll be presented with a long list of LSI keywords to use. Just go through the results presented and pick all the LSI keywords that appeal to you the most. Those are the keywords you’ll be randomly sprinkling in the web content you create.
In summary, great content is defined as:
- Something that’s totally unique, different and original in nature. In other words, you’re NOT trying to regurgitate the same piece of content that’s already filling up the blogging eco-chamber.
- Useful or helpful to the intended audience. You’re simply NOT trying to fill up your website or blog with all sorts of online pabulum. Instead, you want to provide your online audience with something they’ll appreciate or find helpful.
- Great content strives to offer answers to some of the common niche-related questions online users ask all the time.
- Well-researched, original content that’s comparable to none.
- Step-by-step, how-to guides and tutorials.
- Great content can also come in the form of video.
- Has a list of all the helpful resources.
Does Your Content Kick Butt on Mobile?
Your webpages load just fine on mobile. But there’s a huge possibility that they’re a pain to use. Or they could be loading like molasses, adding to poor user experience.
The point is that your users should actually be enjoying to view your content on the phone. If not, then expect them to hit the back button almost immediately for something else.
You have to make sure that your site is essentially mobile friendly. But how, you ask?
Simple, if you can’t find the devices to test the site out, then you have the option to use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool. Open the site and enter your site’s URL and let the site inform you if the site is indeed mobile friendly. More interestingly, the platform might even hook you up with some suggestions on how best you can improve your site for mobile.
Lastly, it’s crucial that you take your time to go through the Mobile Usability report as provided by the Google Search Console. The platform will show you how your pages load on mobile, together with the much-needed tips on how to improve your site for mobile or fix the non-responsive pages on the site.
Consolidate, where Possible
The internet is filled with sites that are almost similar in terms of the type of content they generate.
There’s no need to create multiple, almost similar website with almost the same type of content in a bid to target a specific group of customers or a geographical region. Google admits to have made the same mistake in the past, where they developed near-duplicate sites based on different campaigns and marketing goals. And the consequence for that hit them really hard that they vowed never to undertake the same approach ever again.
For one, users find duplicate content a little confusing, and so are search engines. And when search engines fail to index your site right after crawling it, then expect your Google search rank to tank down.
So instead of creating multiple microsites, focus on creating one great site that will be covering all the content you have. The topics can either be broken down as menu items or dedicated web pages that are specific in nature.
Let’s wrap it up
As with any business out there, all the 7000 websites owned by Google are subjected to the same SEO rules and standards. And it’s NOT like Google are doing a perfect job themselves. If anything, the company has admitted to making loads of SEO errors that have proven to be detrimental to their overall organic growth.
So yes, the point is to keep on improving on the SEO strategy you’re employing until you’re finally able to get it right. By focusing on some of the areas we’ve highlighted in this post, you should be able to come up with a solid SEO strategy that will be automatically adapting to the new SEO changes Google makes all the time.
That’s besides being able to drive powerful SEO results and having adaptable SEO strategies that you can apply to every single one of your websites.
With what you’ve learned, you should be able to put together your own SEO strategy. But just in case you’re stuck or wish to learn more about our SEO starters’ guide, you’re kindly reminded to consider reaching to us with your query and we’ll be glad to help.