We’ve tried many things in SEO. So many in fact, that specialists have blurred the lines between which practices are strategic and which ones are just plain manipulative. Regardless of the means, we all have the same end goal in mind – and that is to rock the SERPs.
And many businesses see the opportunity behind every SEO effort. We always see the traffic, increase in revenue, and chances to grow our brands. What we neglect to see, however, is Google’s mission. And that is to make the world’s information available to all users.
Google loves users – this is one universal online truth we must never learn to forget. Users include us, entrepreneurs and businessmen, running our own websites. So Google loves us too, because we are also considered users. However, our role for Google is a tad different than those of the surfing population. We are providers of data and information. This means that Google, along with other search engines, expect us to help them push through their mission. And when we do, we get rewarded.
Such is the law of the King of the online world – fair, just, and quality-driven.
Because of this unwritten law, website developers and SEO marketers thrive to uncover patterns and techniques that will help websites earn Google’s trust. Along this series of trial and error, we have also come across strategies that make Google raise the red flag – black or gray hat methods. Although there were casualties (websites who suffered loss in the Google trust department), we now know how serious Google can get. One moment you were at the top, the next moment your website becomes history.
Because of these setbacks in the pursuit of SEO or Search Engine Optimization, we have come to know several things Google hate:
And very recently, there have been speculations that Google is also starting to lower the ranks of:
I agree that the last one is rather uncalled for. But we have no real evidence – yet. However, some specialists say that the reason for ranking down smaller business is because of their inability to produce high-quality content in volume. Either that or big businesses are just getting better with their SEO campaigns – which is hardly a surprise since they do have the resources. With all that being said, my personal take is this:
Until proven true, Google should be regarded as unbiased and all ranking factors should still be considered objective.
Moving on, along with uncovering things Google hates, we’ve also come to know what it is that Google loves:
All of these things Google regard as quality measures. And if you examine them closely, most of these positive criteria have something to do with the way you deliver data. As I said before, Google’s mission is this:
If you focus all your SEO efforts in a way that supports Google’s mission statement then you are bound to get positive credit from the King of all Search Engines.
Which brings us to emphasize your key strategy this 2018 – CX.
What is CX?
CX or Customer Experience strategies are aimed to improve, innovate, and amplify the experience users get to enjoy whenever they visit your website. Shifting our focus away from spoon-feeding crawlers to actually generating content optimized for users will be your game-changing strategy in 2018.
The logic is quite simple. “If you think like Google, you will attract Google’s attention.”
In other words, like joins like. We’re not saying you should give up all your efforts on keyword and link building and just come up with a very intriguing topic of discussion. What we’re trying to point out is that when your efforts are directed toward users, all these things come out naturally. So instead of thinking, “What can I do to help crawlers locate my website?” it becomes “How can I give value to my clients?”
5 Step Guide To Create CX-driven Content
Any content starts with the topic. Without a well-defined topic to write about your content will feel scattered all over the place. Some writers say “winging it is kind of my thing” and although I respect those who prefer inductive processing, there’s a good chance that your end product will end up being vague and full of fluff because you were thinking about to write while writing. So I really suggest you figure out what your content should be about first.
To optimize for CX, ask yourself (or your writer) the following questions:
When you have finally decided on a topic or theme for your content, the next thing to work on is the content – specifically the body of your content. There are many things you should consider at this point. Like, how you should properly introduce your topic, where to place relevant points, how to make everything easily understandable, etc. But no matter how you go about it, just remember one thing – you are writing for people who are just as concerned about your industry as you are. There’s a good chance that whatever you’re interested in, interests them as well. Focus on those points.
Great content is never afraid to give users more than just one exit – because they know that they’ll definitely be back. Linking to external, authoritative websites is huge plus for Google and it improves user experience too. You’re providing them resources, saving them the trouble of having to search for them on their own. However, you and I both know that not everything that circulates around the internet is trustworthy so always verify your references. You wouldn’t want to lead users to bad or spammy sites – that will hurt your website’s CX a whole lot.
This is a very focal point. This is what will separate you from every other article out there having a similar topic as yours. Think about it. Why should users prefer your article? What is there to gain from your article that they wouldn’t find anywhere else? The answer is simple – value. Incorporate value in your content, make it about them, and make it as relevant as possible for THEM. Give real offline and online applications. Give scenarios specific to different industries. Create content that gets them at the micro level.
A good example is SEO. So let’s say I’m writing about SEO.
“The Best SEO Guide Ever”
Sure, it’s a powerful title. But who is it BEST for? What PART of SEO am I going to talk about? Is this for LOCAL or NATIONAL businesses? Should I read this if I’m running a RESTAURANT or DENTAL website?
And the questions go on. Again, if you really want to add value, make it about them – and specifically for them.
So you got your CX optimization on but I do hope you didn’t go all gung-ho and forgot all about the basics of SEO. Go back and review.
Did you use your keywords right? Are they in the right places – title, first and last paragraph, subheadings, etc.?
How’s your link structure? Are you giving people too many exists? Did you take advantage of internal linking?
Am I using websites with high DA and PA as references? Have I weeded out all shady or spammy websites?
And the questions go on. Just remember the basics and you should be alright.
Well, this ends your remarkable CX learning guide. Make sure to grab important takeaways before you leave this article. This year will be the year you change your game. Better brace yourself, 2018!