This statement may come as a shock to many people but…search engine optimization does not equal Google.
The first thing you have to do to use them is to realize these applications are “mini search engines” in their own right.
The Periscope broadcast from 11 February 2016 that discusses this blog post is on YouTube and below.
So…what applications am I talking about?
Most of you reading this post have smart phones, I assume. When you search for a restaurant, do you search through the browser, or through Yelp?
If you want to plan a trip, do you search on Google or do you go straight to Trip Advisor? If you want to hire an interior designer, do you search online or do you go to Porch or Angie’s list?
When you want to buy a crafty gift, do you look via a search engine, or do you go straight to Etsy?
If you are like most people, you go straight to the application and search there. You skip the web entirely. Or else, you use the web as a backup to searching within an application itself.
There are several points to take away from this.
- Over the past 8 years of smart phone usage, users’ habits have changed…and so should your search engine optimization strategy.
- Search engines tend to return aggregated search results in response to these changing habits.
- For example, a search on best women’s bicycles will return reviews of bicycles and articles about choosing a bike.
- The results will not show specific products or a specific bicycle company…unless it is an advice page from that company on purchasing the correct bike.
- It is hard to rank organically in the number one spot because of these changes in user behavior and search engine results.
The next question then is, what strategies can you use to work around these changes to optimize your presence?
There are several strategies you can apply.
- Pay for advertisements that will place you at the top.
- Create valuable content that solves a problem for your users/clients that brings them back to your site again and again.
- Technically optimize your website.
- Research the demographics of your target market, and put yourself on the social media on which they spend time. Think creatively.
- For example, the demographics on Pinterest skew heavily towards females-who-are-financially-comfortable. If you are a concrete contractor, put up a board of your best work.
- When these women build their dream house on a board, they will use your photos and drive traffic to your website.
- Put yourself on sites specific to your profession or that support business.
- By this I mean the various associations like for home builders or interior design (etc.), your local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and any professional association that is worthwhile for you to join that allows you to put your name and website link on it.
- This builds your credibility and creates high quality links to your website.
Think beyond search engines and one company, Google, in particular.
Search Engine Optimization Does Not Equal Google.
It is a lot of work. However, social media sites and professional sites give an opportunity for you to network with potential clients.
You get to hear their pain points and find the problems they need solved. When you set up a presence on these mini-search engines, you not only broaden your potential audience and client list, you also get to build links to your website.
Don’t you love win-win? I know I do.
If you would like to get found online, then check out my SEO services and start working with me today.