Tag Archives: SEO

4 Ways to Make Your Small Website’s Visibility Competitive with Big Corporations

Today, practically every business across the globe has at least some kind of presence online, with the biggest corporations already having years worth of content and a large base of loyal customers. As a result, it can be difficult for the websites of smaller businesses to compete with those of the big corporations, but it’s still not impossible.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, has nothing to do with who has the largest volume of content or the longest online presence. Instead, it has everything to do with who has the content that is the most relevant to the individual web searcher. Therefore, there are certain strategies you can use as a small business owner to get your website to compete with your biggest competitors:

  1. Specialize In A Specific Niche

One of the biggest reasons the websites of big corporations are as visible as they are is because they offer products and content in a wide variety of niches, and thus can appeal to more search engine queries. There’s no way the website of a simple small business can compete with that.

Instead, you have to make your website competitive another way: by zeroing in on a specific niche and then pumping out content in that one niche alone. While this may minimize your relevance for a number of popular keywords in the general business you’re in, it maximizes your relevance for that one niche. In the long run, this will translate to greater visibility.

  1. Focus On Gathering Reviews

Gathering positive reviews for your local business pages and on directory sites are guaranteed to give your website a huge boost in popularity. This is because people will always feel more comfortable searching for or buying products from a business that is clearly receiving a positive reception from past customers. Even just two or three five star reviews will make a noticeable difference in daily traffic volume.

  1. Analyze Your SEO Campaign

Right now, your competitors are turning out loads of daily content and filling up that content with popular keywords and phrases to rank them in the top five or so websites related to your business.

seobild-1024x720

The only way you can hope to compete with that is if you know what the big websites are doing and then outmaneuver them. A service that will analyze SEO for you will allow you to directly compare your website with your top competitors and see what keywords people are using to find them. If you can then include those keywords in your own content, or anticipate which variations of those keywords are likely to become popular in the near future, your site will become more relevant on search engines.

  1. Establish Yourself As An Authority Figure

Each of the corporations you’re competing with right now have legions of loyal customers, so you’ll have to build customer loyalty to your own brand sooner or later. The only way customers will become loyal to you is if they feel they can trust you, and trust comes from building awareness about your business and then delivering on what you promise.

This means you not only must sell high quality products and services, you also need to use any means possible to raise awareness about yourself: running a social media campaign, starting a blog, selling eBooks, and distributing podcasts and videos are just a handful of examples of what you can do.

Maximize Your Reach

While there are no shortcuts to improving your site’s visibility on search engines, by building a strategy that revolves around the tips in this article, you’ll be able to outpace your competitors in at least a few key places.

…………..

Google’s Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on SEO

Google's Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on SEOThe first sign that Google was moving a step closer to having a truly intelligent approach to searching came with the release of its knowledge graph in 2012.

Although Google has been working on the issue for years (Adam Bunn of Greenlight noted in his 2013 SEO Brief that this is Amit Singhai’s “oft-stated ultimate goal”), it was the release of the Knowledge Graph and subsequent release of Hummingbird in 2014 that really started to shape the next generation of searching.

In fact, according to Bunn’s SEO whitepaper (available in full here http://www.greenlightdigital.com/blog/whitepaper/the-greenlight-seo-brief-summer-2013/) the way Hummingbird worked represented the “biggest overhaul to its search engine since Caffeine.”

Although Bunn also notes that research showed that very few rankings actually changed in the month following the silent release of Hummingbird, the most interesting point of note was the way Google was working with synonyms.

Hummingbird Takes Flight

Google's Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on SEO 2

Describing it as the “biggest structural change” but the one with the “least impact for marketers,” Bunn noted that Hummingbird introduced a new layer of interpretation between the user and Google’s search algorithms.

Instead of taking words in a literal fashion, the new “query revision engine” would take synonyms such as “place” in the phrase “the best place to eat” and interpret them in a more literal sense before the algorithm was free to retrieve the best results.

Echoing the impact of Hummingbird back in 2014 was Search Engine Watch’s Eric Enge. Noting six factors that were likely to influence SEO in the future, Enge observed how Hummingbird was able to pick up on a “conversational” style of searching and surmised that exact keyword matches will no longer be a major deal.

Google Develops a Brain

Google's Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on SEO 3

If Singhai’s ultimate goal was to create a true artificial intelligence at Google and Hummingbird moved us a step closer to that, what’s the landscape like now? While Hummingbird is still flying, the latest evolution at Google is RankBrain.

Gradually kicking into life in 2015, RankBrain is Google’s attempt at creating an artificial intelligence machine that actually learns on its own. Essentially, what RankBrain does that no other previous systems have done is that it teaches itself.

As outlined by Terri Greene of Intouch Solutions, Google processes three billion searches each day and 15% of those have never been searched before. These queries are usually long-tail and extremely specific and it’s RankBrain’s job to interpret them.

This system cuts out the need for human intervention, speeds up the processes and helps Google return more relevant results to the user. While this is hugely impressive, none of it would have been possible without Google’s Knowledge Graph and the work of Hummingbird.

Indeed, as Greene states, thanks to RankBrain’s ability to interpret and predict patterns of behaviour, it’s likely “enhance Google’s Knowledge Graph results.”

Swap Keywords for Content and Context

Google's Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on SEO 4

So what’s the upshot of a search engine that is in the embryonic stages of artificial intelligence? What it means for SEO marketers is that high quality content and best practices will become even more important.

According to Gianluca Fiorelli at Moz.com, it’s almost pointless to ask how you can optimise for RankBrain because its aim is to interpret non-understandable queries. However, what he does suggest is that “semantic SEO” practices should be employed so that Google can understand that context of a site’s content.

And that, in a nutshell, seems to be the key. Google’s quest for artificial intelligence is about making searches more contextual, more relevant and, importantly, more personal. Having the ability to interpret unique, conversational or non-understandable queries is something we do as humans and that’s what Google is aiming for.

Indeed, as Fiorelli notes, RankBrain might not mean much for SEO right now, but it’s giving us a “glimpse into the future” and that future seems to be a world were marketers need to think about context rather than simply keywords.