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The way we find information evolves every day. For example, many of us now use our tongues more and fingers less when searching for solutions. Keywords are a big business for search engines, which poses challenges for smaller companies. This POI roundup looks at some ways to still get a piece of the search engine pie without having to purchase the bakery.

Your Money or Your Life

Earlier this month, Google updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, placing more emphasis on pages that impact personal wellbeing (safety, financial, physical wellness). They call them Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages.

The Google document  associated with the updated guidelines says YMYL pages “should come from reputable websites and the content should be created with a high level of expertise and authority.”

New YMYL standards are not just for pages but also topics, according to the Google update. Search Engine Land includes an extensive side-by-side comparison of the previous rater guidelines and the latest.

For example, there is a greater emphasis on news and media pages and topics, and “Groups of people” is a new section included in the  guidelines.

You say tomato, I say rutabaga

Companies within the same industry often use different keywords that mean the same thing. For one of our clients, varying keywords posed an early challenge. The phrases their team used in-house did not match very well with what others in their industry were Googling. 

In a recent blog post, we dig into the research it takes to solve this problem. First, we evaluate the most common words and phrases used for multiple industries that the client serves. 

You can’t just stuff keywords into content and expect organic searches to grow. We develop a strategy for developing content around those keywords to attract more eyeballs to a client’s site. 

In time, there was a 224.47% increase in sessions and 181.3% increase in page views – thanks in part to judicious research and writing. 

However, the important takeaway from this is that the work is never finished. We recently brainstormed an entirely new strategy based on new reports and Google algorithm updates that we anticipate will make another positive impact on traffic growth for our client.

SERP Plus

Potential customers know your company name. They’re “thisclose” to pulling the trigger and they search your name one more time. What they see about you on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)  could help close the deal.

Consumers are busy and many won’t click through to your website, so what is on the results page really matters. SEM Rush says Google’s search result becomes your homepage and/or your business card.

What someone sees on the search results helps determine their next step. You have some control over what is seen on the SERP, especially if you use Google My Business tools.

SEM Rush’s post claims callouts – such as structured snippets on your services or offerings – help decisions form. Sitelinks to get visitors to the exact page they need is another suggestion.

It’s tougher and tougher to get click throughs these days, so make sure your search presence is clear and customer-friendly.

Super friends

The main focus of paid ads for one of Savoir Faire’s clients is a long-form  piece of content that describes the solutions they provide for several industries they serve. 

A recent piece from Search Engine Journal agrees that paid promotion is a great way to drive exposure to content. Pay Per Click (PPC) ads can deliver quick traffic to new content – traffic that likely has a strong interest in what you’re touting.

PPC and content also play nice together by sharing common keywords. If PPC ads are doing well, use that text to inform a blog post or even an e-book.

Topics versus keywords

Don’t expect your keywords, whether you’ve painstakingly researched them or not, to get you in the top five or 10 results on Google. Being seen early in results organically (not paid) is getting tougher. 

Remember, Google’s a (big) business and businesses like to get paid, which is why you see more and more paid results when searching for competitive terms. (These days most terms can be deemed competitive. Everything’s for sale online.)

Search Engine Journal breaks it down like this: 

  • Organic clicks are shrinking
  • Searches are becoming more complex
  • There’s an increasing number of searches

SEJ suggests a shift from keywords to topics. Focus SEO around topics to break through the clutter. Determine which topics your products fit into and then study the search page results around those topics. Then, insert yourself into that topic – many times! 

We don’t want to make this sound simple. You may not have an in-house SEO guru to take on this topics task. We’re here to help you move in a search-minded direction.

Podcasters to Youtube

Got a podcast or thinking of launching one? Be sure you get some video with your audio! 

Popular podcasters, such as Joe Rogan, utilize YouTube to expand their existing audience as well as make some money. Joe Rogan’s “Joe Rogan Experience” still streams on Spotify and podcast sites like Stitcher, but is now also on multiple YouTube channels. 

One channel features portions of the same podcast snipped into “highlights,” which creates an opportunity for higher revenue and increases the chance of more people discovering the podcast.

Some question whether YouTube is a podcast channel, as it’s primarily known for videos and podcasts traditionally are audio media. According to The Verge, the tactic seems to be working, as a recent Canadian poll finds more people searching for podcasts on YouTube than Apple and Spotify.

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