This month's newsletter focuses on the changing world of Google. I have selected articles that speak to the new changes on Google.com that impact unpaid search placement.
I invite you to read on and find out: can you still place organically on Google.com, what's the buzz on Google+ Communities, and can you ever wean yourself off Google AdWords.
I think you'll find the information candid and interesting reading regardless what business you're in.
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Can You Still Place Organically on Google.com?
This is the million dollar question isn't it? In today's search arena can you and should you even work to improve organic placement or should you instead just concentrate on pay per click advertising. Personally, I think that the answer straddles both sides. This is what I recommend for organic placement and good website visibility.
Do Everything Right Consistently
- That means improve the quality of your content on your website. Write with your reader in mind.
- Make sure you are blogging under your own domain so you get the spider benefits.
- Look to add new articles, white papers, and thoughtful insights regularly to your website pages.
- Syndicate some of your content on article syndication sites.
- Do a monthly e-newsletter and archive it back on your website.
- Get going with social media and try to become an active part of a community.
Invest in Pay Per Click Advertising
- Put money into Google AdWords. Don't break the bank, but make sure you have a presence and are using it to your advantage.
- Make sure you are using conversion tracking and have phone calling enabled with your programs.
You've just got to cover your bases in this changing world of search engines. You simply can't go wrong with these approaches, they are simply sure to pay off in the long run in regards to organic placement, link building, and website visibility.
Are Google+ Communities Better Than Google+ Business Pages?
Some interesting things just happened in the last month, Google got very serious about Google+ and has started requiring Google users to enable Google+ integration. Now add to the mix Google's new addition of Google+ Communities!
I would definitely keep an eye on Google+ Communities, from my perspective. For some businesses, creating a Google+ Community for their business may allow more interaction with users than the typical Google+ Business page. For now, Google+ Communities look like a great option for merchants or brands with a strong following but not yet for the typical small to medium sized business owner. To see some examples take a look at this very interesting article on Google+ Communities from Website Magazine.
Google+ Communities are not like Facebook Groups, nor are they like a Google+ Business page. They are a hybrid and much more interactive than a Google+ Business page. First, you can invite people to join your +Community versus hoping someone will discover your Business page. Second, you can do video hangouts and others can post to your wall, share +1's with other community members, post and hold events, and easily share content. Also typically, a Google+ Community page will have a moderator and a higher degree of interaction than would a typical Google+ Business page.
Think of your Google+ Business page like your business card or brochure and your Google+ Community like a free and wide ranging forum. The real power, from my point of view, comes into play with the ability of Communities to share +1 activity in the Google.com personalized search results. For those owning Communities that is a very, very powerful tool and may be the next big thrust for SEO and web visibility to be leveraged in 2013.
Can You Ever Wean Yourself Off Google AdWords?
I had a business client just ask me the other day "when will my SEO kick in from my newly designed website so I can wean myself off Google AdWords?" First, we did not design the site just to clarify. Second, we had not been performing any type of web visibility services for this client. My first question to him was "where did the content come for all of your 2,000 store products?" To that he stated that he had copied and pasted the content into his own store shopping cart from his manufacturers' information.
To dig deeper, he and I selected one page on his site and ran the product content through Copyscape Premium. This online tool showed us that 46 other websites had this same exact content or very, very close variations of it. Sadly, I told him that until his content was unique he would never be able to move his business off Google AdWords.
In today's business climate on Google.com, unique content and a unique position in your marketplace is key to being a candidate for work to improve organic search placement. If your content on your store is not unique, there is absolutely no reason to pay a blog writer or an SEO firm to improve position without first correcting the issue that is the biggest obstacle to your success -- duplicate content.
It sounds so easy, just write your own content for each product, but from experience I know that wordsmithing a page to have it pass as unique and using a tool like Copyscape Premium to verify its uniqueness is a time consuming process, but the rewards are huge. This particular client was spending $50,000 per year on AdWords to drive business to his website. An investment in quality unique content may be an investment in the future.
If you are in a similar situation, it's time to take a hard look at your own website and KNOW where your content came from before you purchase any website visibility improvement services.