How to rethink SEO in 2018
Digital practices are evolving at a high speed and SEO is not spared. This lever, which at the base was heavily influenced by tricks to more or less ‘deceive’ algorithms, must constantly reinvent itself in front of ever smarter search engines.
Organic visibility stat
The Organic visibility on Google is becoming more and more difficult to access. Beyond the major updates such as Panda, Penguin and Fred that challenged ‘bad’ content, SEO over-optimization, ‘bad’ link building and poor user experience, other regular updates of algorithms are design to improve the relevance of the results. However, it seems that Google now tends to systematically favor the general giants of e-commerce for the first places, including very specific markets.
At the same time, the space devoted to organic results is constantly being reduced in favor of other types of paid answers or internal to Google. Between the leading position 0 and the expansion of the space allocated to Adwords ads, as well as the knowledge graph and various services offered by Google from the results page (Google Flights, concert tickets, museum tickets …), natural results become secondary.
And this trend is not only seen on search engines but also on Facebook, with an even greater decrease in the reach of organic posts against the recommendations of friends and advertisements.
In such a context, the best strategy to adopt is to focus your efforts on what really interests your targets and not the indexing robots because it is this work that will allow you to be rated on them. Thus, SEO requires more and more transversal skills and rethinks in an integrated way within a comprehensive marketing strategy that will allow you to pull out your game plan on all the levers.
Mark the spirits: think ‘branding’
In a highly competitive market, it is ideal to reach your potential customers as early as possible in the buying process, that is to say even before they start their research on the internet. That they hear from you in a positive way to think of your brand when the need will be felt. With this in mind, branding is very important, even for companies that have not been interested in it so far. Determining your values, your competitive advantage, and your positioning, and conveying them through a differentiating message is now decisive. Even identifying a new niche in which you can thrive. The prescription is the best advertising a brand can receive and if your vision is right and challenges your targets to the point of inciting them to keep in mind or even talk about it will be easily declined on the various marketing levers, including the SEO.
For this purpose, it will be important to flatten your branding to make it remarkable. What could attributes make you stand out? With which targets could your offer be the most impactful? Whether it’s a product advantage, outstanding quality service, off-the-shelf communication or anything else that can create a brand attachment, tweaking your difference must be the basis of your strategy. And it is this detail that will be remembered.
Protect your brand-reputation
In the same vein, customer satisfaction must be sought and put forward. Because Google does not want to promote companies leaving behind traces of negative experiences. However, where big brands can still potentially have the benefit of the doubt in case of failure, the smallest companies are not allowed to make the mistake. And positive-minded customers are less likely to express themselves than those who are disappointed, nothing prevents you from encouraging them to also share their good impressions online. Your brand image capital will only get better.
Content Strategy: Quality rather than Quantity
Finally, the content still remains a cornerstone of SEO strategy. But not just any. The one that is valued by Google must, in the context of a fluid and enjoyable user experience, also provide a positive experience to the reader, without being written in order to optimize the site for keywords or phrases. As part of shopping sites, understanding the expectations of your customers, and the criteria for their purchases, you will know what information should be communicated and their hierarchy.
Regarding branded content, it must support your vision and your identity, while adopting an original and authentic angle of approach. Give free rein to your creativity so you do not just find yourself declining or even copying the good ideas of others.
Finally, concerning information content, so as not to multiply the topics that have already been widely debated by various competitors either directly or indirectly, the right strategy to adopt is based on the questions that your target audience ask and then fill in the gaps content available on the web by identifying those that have not yet been satisfactorily processed or that require more detailed responses.
In conclusion, the increasingly complex evolutions of SEO ultimately provoke strategic challenges on the part of brands that will ultimately stop the over-information and ultimately only keep the best.