Recently blogger Erin Everhart declared:
“Yes, you are still responsible for driving organic traffic. That isn’t going anywhere. But because the way to drive organic traffic isn’t anything like the way we used to drive organic traffic, SEOs have to become more cross-functional. These days, when you say you “do SEO,” you really do about a million other things that historically aren’t considered SEO.”
SEO is now about providing a relevant and unique user experience that is focused on answering common search engine queries.
It’s about understanding what people are looking for, what they need and whether a website fulfills this need. Our experience shows, this starts with optimising a website so it can be found by Google and continuously improving website content to connect with more potential customers.
SEO experts need to provide the best user experience for website visitors. No single technique is capable of securing a first-page ranking on Google.
Today’s SEO game is about creating fresh, relevant, continuously updated content to frequently drive visitors back to a website at the same time as enticing new audiences to have a look at what you have to say.
With this in mind, we decided to look at five fundamental pillars of SEO – keywords, content, social media, websites and local marketing – to compare old SEO techniques with new methods that are now widely used.
Old– Previously, the focus was exclusively about a single keyword focus for ranking data. SEO experts would find a keyword that they wanted to rank and focus all their efforts on that single word.
New– While keywords are not entirely dead, they are evolving. Says SEO expert Jayson DeMers: “The diminished significance of optimising for keywords is causing many search marketers to wonder whether targeted keyword research is still worthwhile.”
The focus should now be on the target market. What are they looking for? And what is their intent? Think about long tail keyword search results as well, which refers to infrequent queries to a site.
Old– Social media was not a factor in search engine results. As such, while social media was undertaken, it wasn’t done for SEO purposes.
New– Some social media signals are now clear ranking factors on Google search results. While social media remains a way to generate traffic for a website, it also allows for engagement with a company, which can build authority and engagement with customers.
As we have previously highlighted, Google’s own social platform, Google+, is also becoming a vital part of search engine rankings. It was also recently revealed that Tweets will be included in Google’s search results.
Old– When writing content, the previous technique used to be keyword stuffing- placing as many keywords into the content of a website to get the most hits. Because of this, content would be duplicated to get the most hits possible. There was little to no care for the quality of content as quantity was the name of the game.
New– Nowadays, content needs to be engaging. If it can tell a story, it will rank. Content is also about answering a searcher’s intent and providing them with a unique experience. In a piece for the Huffington Post SEO expert Jonathan Long adds about SEO content: “Create something so good that other websites can’t help but share it and link back to your website.
Old– Before recent changes, websites used to be text heavy, unresponsive and held little regard to smartphone and tablet users.
New– The design of a website is now vital to SEO. A site needs to be engaging and easy to use. It needs to be responsive and, increasingly with the uptake of mobile web-readers, mobile friendly. Be sure to read our previous article on the importance of creating a mobile-friendly website.
Old– Local SEO used to involve underhanded techniques such as setting up numerous “virtual offices,” which was used to make company’s look like they were in various locations. Similarly, fake reviews were also very prominent. It’s easier than you might think to spot a fake review website.
New– Today, local SEO is all about transparency and honesty. It revolves around real businesses with real customers. This boils down to brand engagement. One way this can be achieved is by encouraging genuine online reviews and direct interaction with customers.