SEO – What Does Google Really Want?

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SEO – What Does Google Really Want?

Winning at SEO is less a mystery than it appears to be on the surface.

The better adjective is “Frustrating.” SEO is frustrating to everyone – the website owner and the optimization experts.

The website and Internet world is fraught with complexities, contradictions and change.

The industry is made up of highly autonomous techies, who by their own admission, would rather be engaging with a keyboard than other humans.

I could elaborate on industry personality types, but I’ll save that for a future article.

It is, however, necessary to understand that most SEO technical experts are better at SEO than they are at communicating, with their client, how SEO works. The lack of effective communication has resulted in a perceived sense of trickery and mystery. Sadly, many would say it feels as though the mystery is leveraged to take advantage of the lay business owner.

By the time you have finished reading this article, I hope to have eradicated the mystery and empowered you to feel a little less vulnerable as you seek to improve your search engine page rankings (SERPs).

What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is the combination of highly technical on and off website tactics used to help Google and other search engines find your website and webpages (aka content) and index them according to relevant keywords so that searchers can find what they are looking for within a few micro seconds.

At the surface, most people think SEO is some shrewd marketing tactic (shrouded in mystery), wherein the people with the deepest pockets get a leg up over their competition.

Well… there is some truth in that sentence. Organically, SEO is a set of (Google approved) tactics a website must implement if the owner wants the site to be indexed properly in Google’s “digital library” of data so that searchers can find it when they are looking for it.

If we drill down to the next level, we can begin to understand it is all about the content. Google indexes everything based upon content and the keywords that describe the essence of the content. The more relevant and abundant your high-quality content is (about a particular topic) and the better it is optimized, the better your page will rank when you have effectively implemented the host of required SEO tactics.

There really is no mystery around Google’s objective. It is very simple and it is fully “searcher” centric.

In response to the searcher’s query, Google’s objective is to return very specific, very accurate results at the top of the search engine results page.

The web pages that end up at the top of a search query have affected some very specific, very strategic tactics to get there. They have provided a lot of quality content related to the search words and phrases, including having content linked to other highly credible, highly relevant online content. These top spot web pages also contain many links from other websites (backlinks), social media posts, online content, directories, citations and more.

Insight into the strategies 2015’s highest-ranking websites use to stay on top.

Quality Content and Optimization is Required for Google’s Survival and Competitive Advantage

Therefore… it is for you, as well

Content has never been more important than it is today and the need for it is only going to get more intense.  Not only does it have to be created in volume, what is on your site has to be great and it has to be relevant.  Content is no longer considered a “marketing strategy.”  Content Marketing is a term of the past because now content is the norm – it is a basic website best practice.  Google can’t survive without it and because of this, neither will any website.

The content on your web pages is never going to be enough.  You must have content that expands on that content. It has to be juicy and relevant.

We are constantly writing how-to articles and teaching our clients how to create better content. We provide our clients with additional resources and information on “how to do it” themselves.  We “tell stories,” share results, give them tools. That’s what they want – BUT, they don’t follow-through and implement it, so they hire us.  That’s what you have to do too.

Your prospect and clients’ loyalties will grow because you are providing them with high value and information before they spend a penny with you.

Social Media

If you have low social volume and low quality or low quantity content and backlinks on and to your site, Google is not going to rank your position highly because it isn’t giving their customer what they are looking for.  If people aren’t talking about you on social media, sharing, liking or linking to your site from social channels, Google may suspect you are using Black Hat on the channels you are using and assess your site to see if there are signs you are using backlinks or keywords that aren’t relevant.

Bounce Rate and Social Signals

When your listings, testimonies, citations, social posts, content, videos, images, etcetera are what comes up when your keywords are searched for, you are going to be the link the searcher clicks on.  If what is on your website or page isn’t what they are looking for, they will bounce off quickly and this bounce rate negatively effects your social signals, only hurting your ranking further.

Want More 411 on SEO?

Want a deeper dive into how SEO works?  We break it down for you here – What is SEO?

How This Affects You

You cannot make up for a lack of content and blog posting by doing more backlinks, more heavily optimize keywords or increasing efforts on other types of SEO. SEO tactics must be completed in balance with all of the algorithm requirements. Currently, the minimum best practice blog posting frequency is one post per week. The most recent studies show that coupled with good social signals, websites that traditionally post one article per week nearly double inbound leads when they increase new postings to 6 – 8 per month.

On site technical optimization, strong, relevant content, social posting and links referring to your website provide the “juice” to get you to the top of the SERPs.

Content is no longer a marketing tactic.  It is a basic fundamental requirement for a site to achieve a level of ranking that allows their business to be found online.

We recognize that this is a lot for a small business and it isn’t cheap to do it well.

Unique Client Strategy

We create each client’s strategy with their goals and their budget in mind. We create an action plan that achieves their goal within the desired time frame and their financial budgets.

SEO services are sequenced according to priority and the need of each individual client. We don’t ask our clients to pay for particular strategies before it makes sense to implement them.

Monthly Client Reviews

With monthly client progress reviews and strategy reviews, we make recommendations when next phase pivots or tactics should be implemented.  Google changes and increases the requirements frequently, which increases the importance of these reviews and conversations.

SEO: A Permanent Budget Item

In the past, every serious business owner made investments in Yellow Page ads ($500+ per month for the smallest ad, 20 years ago) and grand office space, lots of staff for research and other tasks that have now been automated.  It seemed we had gained those budgets back. But we didn’t. Today, we have to shift that spend to SEO, content creation, and evergreen websites that continually reflect our brand, culture, expertise and essence to our market.  So the old spend hasn’t really been saved, it has been transferred to this.  These requirements are not only labor intensive, they require a tremendous amount of experience, expertise and constant education as the industry evolves in real time.

We Are Serious About Your Business

The results you enjoy today are more than the sum of the many hours spent on your account. To continue delivering excellent results, our team members must stay on top of the industry’s constant shifts and changes. Your ongoing success is dependent upon the culmination of effort and the sum of each of our experts’ accrued experience, depth of knowledge and countless hours of weekly education and research.

We leverage powerful analytic and reporting tools so that we can optimize and tweak your results as opportunities arise – in real time.

We Are Serious About Your Success

We are business and online experts and strategists with a wicked knack for results.

We have the talent and the bench strength required to catalyze your online success.

If we can’t make a measurable, quantifiable difference, we won’t ask for your business.

Contact us. You have nothing to lose.


Consider this…

56% of your buyers will search for your solution on line.

50% of those will buy local.

Who’s getting your business?

Give Us a Call.

We’ll provide a complimentary SEO analysis for you so you can see for yourself how you are doing in the search engines, what gaps you should consider closing and what opportunities are awaiting you.

SEO Report Card
Jillian Vanarsdall
Jillian Vanarsdall
Founder of Blue Iris Marketing. An inbound marketing agency assisting businesses, from start-ups to high-growth firms, to phenomenally tell their unique story in a noisy digital world. Our services include inbound marketing, Wordpress web design and development, SEO, and social media.

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