...Ask What You Can Do For Google.
How Inbound Marketing Content Can Rank and Rule
More than 1.1 billion people use Google search each month to make 114 billion searches. According to comScore, Google holds 67.6% of the U.S. search engine market share. Because 89% of buyers use search engine queries to make purchase decisions, Google ranking has a significant effect on online marketing. This means that marketers looking to rank highly in organic search have to worry a great deal about what Google is looking for.
The Internet basically belongs to Google, so yes, optimizing your content according to Google’s rules is crucial. However, it’s still your original content. Inbound marketing is centered on pulling people where they naturally want to be. Providing helpful content and informative answers to specific questions positions your brand as an industry thought leader – a source people will keep revisiting for more great content. This is a win-win situation because, while your targeted content creation fuels your brand, providing useful content is exactly what Google can do for its users (think: rank!).
Inbound marketing experts understand that awesome content is a must; but, that’s not all it takes to rank highly in Google. You need to conduct proper SEO (search engine optimization) that abides by Google’s rules. Search engine optimization is the important process of incorporating keywords and inbound backlinks into your website, which will indicate to a search engine that your site addresses a given search query. Google updates its algorithms frequently, so marketers need to remain on their game in order to perform effective SEO. So, what are the most recent updates and how can we play by these rules? Let’s dig in:
Hummingbird - (September 2013) rewards websites that deliver a consistent customer-focused experience, in that they provide information that answers the actual question that the individual has typed in.
Penguin 2.1 - (October 2013) removes bad links that are spamming search results.
Panda 4.0 - (May 2014) penalizes poor content that is not actually informative but rather just overloaded with inaccurate keywords.
Pigeon - (July 2014) - improves search results based on your physical location, improving location from the user to local businesses based on the query.
Marketers need to use keywords strategically. If Google believes that a site is packed with keywords that draw traffic but don’t really relate to its actual content, that site will be penalized and buried under pages of more relevant results. It’s important to keep an eye on all of the keywords you’ve created and see how they’re ranking. For example, if you include a long-tail keyword in your blog, such as “inbound marketing strategies for small to mid-size companies,” create related inbound links and conduct on-page SEO that relates to that term. The beauty in this tactic is that a visitor wouldn’t necessarily recognize this phrase as a keyword since it’s used in logical places – not squeezed into unrelated content. Remember to use keywords in moderation, include some specific long-tail keywords, and use legitimate, topic-related backlinks.
The great news – and key takeaway – is that inbound marketing inherently works in a way that corresponds with Google’s algorithm changes. Google’s ranking qualifications reward inbound marketing practices, especially because inbound and Google ultimately share the same goals. As Chris Marentis, writer for searchengineland.com, stated, “Companies that continue to modify their SEO strategies and marketing efforts to coincide with Google’s algorithm changes will win in the end.” These are true words and, although it may seem like pleasing Google is the be-all and end-all, the fact is that working with Google, using inbound marketing, actually empowers your brand. Your content, your strategic efforts, and your genuine mission to help others are rewarded. It’s your Google, so keep doing your thing.