When thinking about an SEO strategy for your business there is a lot to consider and it is an ongoing process. It is very important that you stay up to date on the latest updates to the Google algorithm and the manner in which websites are ranked. These revisions continue to change and evolve on a regular basis. Long gone are the days when you simply needed to have the keyword embedded within the content of a page multiple times, or simply adjust meta tags and titles with every search term possible. Search Engine Optimization requires a more holistic and consistent approach in order to keep up with constantly changing  updates. Google AI continues to evolve and behave more like a human in order to produce the best results for queries and searches. The latest helpfulness update surely emphasizes this trend. Here are some best practices when writing and developing content to put yourself in the best position to rank for those keywords that are most important to your target audience.

Produce People First Content

Think about content that users would find useful and what problem you are helping them solve. Your content should clearly reflect the first hand knowledge and experience you can provide. Potential clients and customers want to do business with people that they trust and that provide value. Every piece of content should have a clear goal and audience in mind and demonstrate that narrative. People also ask and related Google searches are also great tools to help find common queries to specific terms within certain industries. Doing a quick Google search around a specific topic will give you an idea of the opportunities to be found. As well as other sites like AnswerThePublic, SEMRush, and Google Ads keyword tool.

Providing A Good User Experience

From site speed to navigation to on page elements like CTAs, forms, etc. You want to give users the best experience possible. Consider what you want your visitors to gain from visiting your site and the goal. What path do they need to take in order to convert and get the answer they are looking for and/or their problem solved? Will they feel like they learned something? Reflect on how to best organize blog posts in clusters, complete a content audit and have content around specific topics organized, interlinked and easily accessible. Along the same lines, remove or update those blog posts which are not performing well as low traffic post and pages are a sign that the page has minimal value to users. Adding tags and a search bar will help users find what they are looking for more efficiently. In addition, you are demonstrating that you are an authority around that topic, again providing trust for potential clients.

Reviews, Local Search and Directories

A recent study shows that over 95% of people search the reviews for a business or product before deciding to purchase or engage in a business deal with a company. There is also a direct correlation between the content in the Google reviews and helping companies rank for specific keywords in the local map pack. However, please note that you should not try to make up reviews as Google’s algorithm will pick up on this and penalize as a result. Reviews on landing pages have shown to produce a higher conversion rate as well and can easily be incorporated into your website. Your information across all local directories and social media like Yelp, Facebook, Manta, Apple Maps and of course Google should be consistent with NAP (name, address and phone number) and match what is listed on your website. Having a page with contact info, address, hours of operation, service locations etc. is recommended as provides one place with all information easily accessible.

Write For People First Not SEO

In summary, your website as a whole should have a purpose and the primary focus should be clear. Putting yourself in the shoes of the user, in addition to thinking like the user and how they might find and interact with your website, will help you get found and engage with potential clients and get the desired results you and client had wanted. Do not write simply to get ranked within the search results. Think about those search queries and questions that potential users might query in order to provide content that clearly demonstrates a solution to their pain point. Your content should be geared towards offering a solution, solving their problems and providing value.  

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