5 Best Modern SEO Practices

5 Best Modern SEO Practices

Google search results are changing, the are not what it used to be. Just look at the results page, not just organic result pages, there are now local maps, images, videos and social cues as well — and its effect is more than what you can think of.

If you rely heavily on search engines for page-views and sales, as many businesses do, Google search results will drastically affect how your customers find you. If your business needs to be noticed and clicked, take into account the following five very most important search engine tips and seo practices.

1. Local SEO Is Very Important

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There’s a good probability that a large chunk of the Google searches you perform will display Google Places listings – and consumers are taking notice. SEO software firm SEOmoz did some eye-tracking case studies on Google’s SERP (search engine results page). The results show that users heavily gravitate toward any of Places’ listings, whether they’re mixed into organic lists, concentrated in a group of seven or even listed in the middle of the results page. The heat map above shows the activity around a Google search for “pizza.”

If your business relies on local listings, concentrate on scoring a seat at Google Places. You can do this by using following seo practices:

Citations: Ensure that your correct business information is listed in as many (reputable) sources as possible around the Internet. As always, consistency is king. If you write “Blvd.” instead of Boulevard on your Google Places page, make sure your other listings reflect the same.

Google Places page optimization: Just like your website, make sure your Places page is properly optimized. Include categories that match exactly, and point your Places page back to a city-specific landing page if applicable.

Reviews: Google will only display reviews from Google, but getting reviews from aggregators like Yelp, Superpages or Trip Advisor will help increase your presence.

2. Search Without Social NOT possible

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The separation of search and social has officially ended. Social cues such as Twitter shares, Facebook likes and social bookmarking heavily influence search rankings. Essentially, search results are personalized for each person. With any SEO campaign you put into motion, include a social aspect to it to facilitate information sharing.

3. Have keywords focused on Real People not Robot

All_Organic_Keywords

People search in Google because they have a question. Anticipate those questions — whether about the best style of yoga pants or where to get the lowest mortgage rate. Your keywords and the content on your pages should reflect the answers to those questions. Keyword research is tedious, but it’s arguably the most important aspect of SEO. Transition away from thinking of keywords like data, and put more of an emphasis on the person who will be typing in that keyword.

4. Content is King

Website-content

Google is not stupid — it can spot paid and spam links. For the most effective long-term SEO strategy, move the focus back to great content, both on your website and across other sites. Guest blogging is great, for instance, but to get a leg up on your competition, target blogs that aren’t direct matches to your industry.

For example, a client of my company sells golf carts, so we wrote a blog post about the most tricked-out golf carts for tailgates, and the link we got back was one their competitors didn’t already have.

5. Focus on the Base Structure

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The Big Three (Google, Yahoo and Bing) have worked together to develop Schema.org, a set of website standards that will tell search engines what your site is about, making it easier for those engines to read the site’s data and index accordingly.

By using rich snippets, for example, you’re able to tell Google what information to feature in SERPs: product reviews and prices, upcoming events, recipe cooking times, etc. The added data will increase your click-through rate because users are able to preview more about the link before they commit to the click.

What are some other things you see that are affecting searches, and what are you doing to improve your rankings in these areas?

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