How to Optimize for Google Search Results
Google is, hands down, the emperor of the internet. There are no competitors. Comparing Bing or Yahoo! search engines to Google is like comparing any tablet to the iPad. They might work, but they are still known as “not the iPad.”
Now search engine optimization (SEO) is important to get your website showing up in search results of any engine but it can be the biggest challenge to achieve front page placement in Google. After all, this is the search engine that everyone focuses on because it is the search engine that most people use.
Although Google offers many services, the #1 service provided to end users is information. Google is consistently growing, changing, and improving the way that information is found and displayed and that is why SEO has become more trouble than it’s worth.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Think about what Google wants.
Google wants to give end users the best answer for their query.
Results might be organic listings of relevant websites. Or it could also be the exact answer. (Search for any math question and you’ll get a built in calculator with the answer already displayed.)
Using GPS, mobile phone users can simply search for “Italian food” on Google for a list of Italian restaurants in a 10 mile radius, with the option to call or get directions to any of the options with just a tap of the finger. Technology is awesome like that!
Google wants to give end users the best answer for their query. (Yeah, it’s worth repeating.)
This can work for you, or against you. Consider the phrases you have been optimizing for. Is your business—or website—the best answer for those searches?
Optimizing for Google search results isn’t the same thing as SEO anymore.
Once upon a time, SEO was about meta data and tags; backlinks and page authority. Those days are long behind us now and optimizing for Google search results is a little trickier because the strategies focus on what you should have been doing all along.
Focus on branding first.
This is the direction where SEO is headed, and even if we aren’t there yet it is important to know that user engagement and authentic interaction can’t be faked. Google is getting more tactical in the approach to filter out spam and useless results and shine the light on brands that are active and valuable.
From tapping into social media activity to the popularity of a blog post, the front page of Google search results provides end users with the results they wanted. You no longer have to scroll through to page 10 to find the results that you really wanted. Instead, you can turn to page 10 for examples of aggressive SEO—AKA what you shouldn’t do.
So take the hint and focus on user engagement!
In order to be viewed as a valuable solution for relevant queries, shift your attention away from SEO and prioritize the things that really matter. Increase conversions on your website for a higher ROI. Plan marketing campaigns strategically to pre-qualify new traffic and lower your bounce rate. Ignite user engagement and interaction on your blog. Optimize your entire online presence and then you’ll increase your chances of making the cut to get on the first page of Google.