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Google’s SEO guru, Matt Cutts has recently commented on the fact that Google is changing its algorithm to guard against websites are that are over optimised. You could say that it’s an attempt by Google to get back to the original spirit of the Internet. It’s all about information, giving the person who logs on the right information at the right in order to make an informed decision. This decision could be a purchase, but it could also be a comparison or indeed a public service selection.
Whatever it is, it has to the most efficient way for them to get the answers to their questions. Search Engine Optimisation services play a part but there’s more to it than that.
So, what is over-optimisation? It’s pretty much exactly as it sounds. It’s where a website has focussed on getting traffic to their site instead of providing relevant content for the visitors when they do get there. This may have been influenced by the obsession for many in the industry 10 years’ ago to focus on ‘hits’ as their primary method of calculating the effectiveness of their site.
In what may be the best example ever of the old phrase, ‘you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’, Google has realised that horses (or consumers) have been dragged to online watering holes all over the world only to find that what they came looking for is just not there. If you’re trying to sell products, services or indeed you want to get a message out there or provide information – remember one thing. Google is not your target audience.
The obsession with ‘number one’ led many website owners down a long and unfamiliar path which is some distance from their regular business aims. In other words, offline, they meet clients or speak with them and in terms of what their product is and what they can do. They help a customer make up their minds with anecdotes, facts, tips and so many other techniques used to close a sale every day all over the world. Google has now changed tack and the focus is about replicating this experience in the online world. So, how can you re-energise your web presence in the face of Google’s new approach?
- You should create a strong brand online. Focus on your main message and emphasise this throughout all aspects of your site. For example, if that message is ‘customer service’, ensure this service ethos is well represented.
- Social media has a lot to offer you and keep in mind Google’s relationship with Facebook likes, shares, tweets and G+ shares.
- Always focus on the user. This one speaks for itself. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what would they like to read/see/listen to?
So, next time you’re thinking about getting new visitors to your website or thinking about search engine optimisation services, just make sure their journey was worthwhile and they find what they need.