Old SEO vs New SEO
Before we get into differences about how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) used to work versus how you can excel in today’s version of SEO, it is important to touch up on what SEO is. SEO refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in organic (or “natural”) search results, thus making your website more visible to people who are looking for your brand, your product, or your service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
So in regards to the old way of SEO, there were only two objectives to reach a higher rank on search engines. There were on-page SEO and off-page SEO. In other words, your on-page SEO meant covering your webpage with keywords and off-page SEO meant blasting the internet with links to your website wherever you could. It was like a game against the search engines. The name of the game was quantity. The content on websites was directed only at search engines, not at searchers.
In the new day of SEO, it is all about how the searchers engage with your website. Your website needs to have a purpose and be helpful to the viewers. There are no one or two keywords that cover all the search queries for a whole industry. When building a website now, it needs to be high quality and have a great level of depth to the content. People need a reason to stay on your website. You need to keep them interested by directing them to other parts of your website by doing more than just selling. A good website informs the viewer with relevant topics that will interest them. Search engines track statistics like engagement and time spent on your website. This helps your ranking on search engines much more than keywords alone.
According to Google, SEO is “about making small [meaningful] modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results ... [where] your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.”
Basically what Google is saying, you need to understand who are the people that are visiting your page and who are your ideal customers. It is imperative to create all the different buyer personas for your business to understand who you want to attract to your website. You need to find a way to give your visitors a unique and even personalized experience. Understand what keeps them entertained. Essentially, you need to recognize what they want to get out of your website. Wouldn’t it be great if for each one of those personas had content that your website displayed was actually unique – like how Amazon tailors what you see based on what you like?
Keywords are still very relevant in how the new SEO works. Researching what the most used keywords in search engines is crucial to direction of your content. Having the right keywords is like setting the foundation to optimizing traffic. All that hard work of creating high quality content and engaging your viewers goes to waste if you focus on the wrong keywords. You need to be able to speak the same language as your buyer personas so you can match the same way they would look you up.
Other significant factors that help your ranking on search engines include having a mobile friendly website, social media influences, and even loading speed of your website. In today’s time, people are looking everything up on their phone. If you haven’t made your website mobile friendly yet, you’re losing a big chunk of visitors. Get with the times already. Search engines can pick up on connections between social media and your website. It is important to have social media accounts linked up to your website to help legitimize your business in the eyes of search engines. In regards to loading speed, the speed and performance of your website will vary depending on what content management system you use.
- Providing unique experiences throughout your website to better engage users
- Surfacing unique content readily and easily
- Creating content that provides context and personalization
- Establishing a content strategy that focuses on creating quality, in-depth, and unique content
- Understanding your business’s buyer personas
- Having clearly defined business goals (other than ranking)
- Covering basic SEO to improve your site's visibility in search results
At the end of the day, it is hard to make the perfect website. There are all sorts of webmaster tools that show the analytics of visitors and their engagement. You can see where they come from whether they visit as an organic search query, a link from social media, or how someone might stumble upon your website. The trick is to use that information to your advantage and tweak your tactics in favor of what works the best.
We’ve have had a lot of success with our current clients and our customized approach.