The improvement of search rankings is one of the number one goals for most small business internet marketing strategies. A remarkable 92% of online adults in the U.S. use a search engine at least once a day, and studies show that 75% of search users never go past page one of their results and that as many as 80% completely ignore sponsored results. Being seen on page one for a popular keyword is the dearest ambition of many, and understandably so. That’s where some of the best leads come from.
Google has come a long way from it’s research project days when the 10 4-GB hard drives being used to test PageRank were kept in a box made of LEGOs. It’s become increasingly more difficult to “game the system,” as it were, using search engine optimization to influence search engine ranking. Despite the growing challenge, many internet marketers have determined that it’s worth it. Compared to pay-per-click ad click-through, organic result click-through generates 25% higher conversion rates. But what’s the best way to influence search engine ranking, especially in light of Google’s most recent updates? That’s what we’ll tackle today.
When it comes down to it, there is nothing more important to better search engine rankings than the production of quality content. The trend has finally moved away from spammy, useless content (which is now penalized in search engine rankings by Google) and toward what we call “real content” which is geared not toward Google bots, but toward end users. This high quality content should still be keyword-rich (though Google will soon no longer make keyword data available) and should deal particularly with issues in the target industry of the site being optimized.
Simply creating content isn’t enough anymore. It needs to be sent out into the internet world, particularly through social media, so that actual users will find, read, and share it. The more genuine backlinks a site gets, the better. By genuine, we mean not purchased, not planted, but real and organic. By syndicating your content to interested users, you increase your chances of getting backlinks, thereby helping to boost your search engine rankings.
Of course, other factors like on-site optimization are still important, but the major emphasis is on the shift toward real, quality content. The answer is clear: for better search engine rankings, stop worrying about webcrawlers and start worrying about living, breathing users.