Three search engine optimization surprises for 2015. Search engine optimization is also known as SEO. It’s the Holy Grail of Internet marketing and operating online.
In effect you do certain bits and pieces in the background of your website and on your web pages to try and manipulate your way to the top of the rankings. So when somebody searches for your keywords term such as ‘fire extinguishers’ you would appear number one.
So, what are the surprises? First one is pretty big.
SEO no longer works.
Oh, have I ruined it for you? Or I might have actually helped you out. Most people have no idea how to do SEO so therefore outsource it to others who spam their way through it and get you in trouble.
By default any way of manipulating your way to the top of the search engine rankings (and we’re just talking about Google because they rule the search engine world) is against their terms of service so they don’t like it. So, they bring out filters and update things called Panda and Penguin and they continuously update them to knock you out.
One day you can get all the way up to number one and then, a day after a filter update, you’re gone. Even the mighty Ebay were punished for spamming. They had a Google filter update that knocked them out and I believe they stated in their accounts it cost them over $200 million in losses. It’s huge!
Now of course SEO has good practice. You need to research your keyword and you need to optimize the page for your keyword.
Google looks at websites one page at a time so you need your keyword term in your headline. You need it in the body of your text, but naturally just as it would occur so you can tell the search engines what its about.
You need it in your meta description and you need it in the background in what’s called and often known as the meta title. You need it in alt-texts and images.
But beyond that, there’s not much you can do other than be an expert in your niche and write naturally good content.
Google will be looking at other signals. Google will be looking through Social Media and it does trawl tweets.
Google can also read some of the words in videos. Yes! It can! Ever noticed how it magically produces transcriptions? Create videos, be everywhere they are looking.
Someone who’s creating real content for their passion would be natural and this would be obvious to the reader and to the search engine robot. This natural flow will show in everything they produce and they would be everywhere.
But, more importantly, the content will be so good that everyone will be talking about them and so naturally link back to their web pages and social media pages.
Forget all the linking and most everything you ever heard. Do not do it. Long term it’s going to get caught. Anything that works today will not work later.
You will get in trouble. Forget about it. You can get on with other work.
The second surprise is organic search or the use of search engines is dying.
Google is on the downward spiral. Now this isn’t going to happen overnight but people use mobiles. Google makes all its money from ads. Most of Google’s ads are served up on desktops and laptops.
Facebook has cracked the mobile ad world. Google has not!
When I use my mobile I don’t really search anymore I wait till I’m on a nice big desktop and if you do search on a mobile device, you don’t have all those lovely Adwords and Adsense ads everywhere to click.
Google’s not cracked it and people young kids do not really use search. They use other methods for finding out what they want to know. So, long term, you want to look elsewhere.
If you’re going to build a strategy build it across many platforms. Do not concentrate on one place.
The third surprise is that you need to pay to play. This is going to be very, very, apparent in 2015 on Facebook as well if you’re a company.
Google is a business. It makes money. Of course, they have a generous free search engine it’s not a write. It’s their lead generator. They put it up. You come and search. Companies pay to advertise and that’s how they make their income.
Now they make a lot of it at the moment and they’re making hay while the sun shines but if you are a business you need to know how it works and you must expect to pay.
Remember what we talked about yesterday? About knowing your maths?
As long as you spend less than you make in profits you’re going to do okay. With that in mind, you can pay as much as you like.
My company spends a fortune on Google Adwords and it frightens me how much we spend. I won’t spend that much on anything else but we make great money from it because we do it carefully.
So those are my surprises.
Tuesday Toolbox Tip
Our Tuesday toolbox Tip is for a piece of totally free software. It is a wonderful little gadget called Jing.
You can Google it at “download Jing free” and it doesn’t cost a penny. It’s from the great people of Techsmith who make Camtasia and Snagit.
Jing creates screen shots but the most effective thing is it can record video.
(By the way, sorry about the noise but a gardener has just appeared with a blower behind the camera.)
Jing pops up on your screen on your desktop. It sits up on the top or in the corner and it’s always there. You can make videos and talk over you demonstrating something to show one of your staff how to do something or a customer.
They even host the video for free so you can send the link to somebody. This is brilliant! Please get Jing. I always have it on every gadget I’ve got.
Something else that we use is Rainmaker. Rainmaker are the sponsors of the Marketing For Owners podcast. It is also brilliant. It is not free but its worth every single penny and doesn’t cost many of them. Go have a look.
See you tomorrow.