Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy, is the founder of Kalicube and a regular conference speaker on SEO. This episode is about all you need to know about the strategic approach to search engine optimization. We talked about the three needs Google has – Understanding, Credibility and Deliverability – that you need to satisfy so you can win the SEO game.
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The key to a strategic SEO approach is to satisfy three things: Understanding, credibility, and deliverability.
However, we often overlook the importance of optimizing our online presence for branded research. We are not being “empathetic to the beast,” as Jason Barnard would say.
As digital marketers, our job is to ensure that whatever people see when they search for our brand is an accurate and positive representation of our brand.
What Makes an SEO Approach Strategic?
A strategic SEO approach is like playing chess. There are tactics and strategies.
First you need to know the rules, then you start to learn how not to make stupid mistakes. After that, you learn how to make cheap tricks that you can apply to other people. And, eventually, you’ll realize that other people are also playing cheap tricks on you, and that’s where you need to learn how to avoid it.
Basically, you need to calculate 20 steps ahead in advance. Which is pretty much like brute force analysis. You also need to learn how to start strategizing from a very large overview of various situations.
When it comes to search engine optimization, you really need to have that kind of overview. This is where a lot of people get wrong.
Where We are With Google
These days, Google is not like the way it used to. It is more advanced and better at understanding the user’s intent and needs. But back in the day, you just get the result depending on what the site says and that’s just about it.
Furthermore, you can do things like put the same text color to the same background color, and Google couldn’t analyze it nor render the HTML to see how it looked to the users.
Another interesting thing about Google is that it’s historical positioning does matter.
In 2015, browsers stopped using Flash and it was no longer installed as a default. Therefore, people must use other applications that are similar or a higher application that’s compatible with browsers. Those who still used Flash on their website have lost their visitors dramatically fast after it is no longer available on Chrome.
The downside of losing Flash is that the visit length has dropped and the page has become uninteresting. The lesson to be taken here is you need to have to adopt the change.
Changes That Came to Google
The biggest change in Google is that it keeps getting smarter. From just word counting now it’s been counting links. That’s a huge leap forward compared to the 90’s.
Another great thing that Google did is that they knew they came from 1998 and just didn’t have the right technology for it. So instead, they built their own technology to get where they want to go.
It’s amazing being able to store a huge amount of data, being able to analyze that data, and being able to query that data very quickly.
Back in the day, you would need to update your website and wait for Google for two months before the rankings change. So, you wouldn’t know if you’ve made much progress on your website. That’s because the machine would gather data and stick it in the big light and that is called Google dance.
In 2012 they developed all these technologies and the knowledge graph. And in 2015 it became a part of the algorithm.
Google just wants to understand the world, the same way a human being does. And it’s getting better in understanding its users simply because it can understand language. On top of that, Google has voice search that is progressing effectively.
So, you can tell that Google is not as it used to be. You just don’t search for keywords anymore.
The Three Basic Google Needs
There are three basic Google needs, and these are:
Let’s start off with understanding. You need to allow Google to understand what you’re trying to say. Otherwise, you’ll just be stuck at the gates.
Google needs to understand three things from you. It needs to know who you are, what you offer, and what audience you can serve.
There are things that you can do to help Google understand you. First thing you need to do is write clear content using semantics, add schema markup on your site, upload relevant images and videos, and anything that can serve a better communication with a machine.
Understanding is the foundation of what Google needs. Without understanding, the algorithm can’t evaluate relevancy and your content is stuck at the starting gate.
Once Google has finally understood that your content offers a relevant solution for your audience, the race begins.
There will be competitors that will offer the same solution and they’ve also done everything to help Google understand them. But remember that the search engine wants to provide the best solution to its users.
This is where credibility plays a crucial role.
What happens is that Google tries to understand you and your competitors; so, it has options to offer to a user.
Now, Google needs to evaluate which one has the most relevance to the user. And since Google’s aim is to provide the best answer, then it will deliver the relevant content to the user as quickly and efficiently as possible.
RememberL Google’s top priority is to deliver the richest, engaging, and satisfying result to the users. If your website has all of the qualifications, then Google will provide your content to help a user solve their problem or to answer their question.
But in today’s standard, featured snippets, videos, local results, and other rich elements, deliverability can be a game changer. That is why digital marketers have no choice but to look at SEO as a part of a wider digital marketing strategy.
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