Though SEO has long been heavily keyword driven — searches are populated by keywords that users search, after all — what has become even more important in SEO is simply providing great content — articles, photos or infographics that people will enjoy and will ultimately comment on and share throughout the web.
Why? Because although keywords are roughly 25% of the battle when it comes to SEO, links from reputable sources have quickly grown to about 40% of what factors into how a website is ranked through searches, according to SEOmoz. Though SEO was initially driven by computers and how those computers determined the best end results for its users, it has evolved significantly since that time. Now, particularly with the advent of social news sites like Reddit and Stumbleupon and social media in general, search engines have begun to increasingly shape their algorithms towards people. Which means that despite how important things like keywords and link-building are in helping Google’s algorithms determine the best search results, it is those other factors — like how many highly trafficked websites link to that content, or how many people share that content on their blogs — that help Google determine the best results for the end-user.
Because of that increasingly shifting search environment, developing more and more great content has become perphaps the most important SEO strategy. Here’s why.
Social Media Will Drive SEO in the Future
A lot of people have criticized Google for making search results on the search engine increasingly reliant upon Google + because they think that it unfairly impedes upon the way in which search results are determined.
But Google is right in that social media is the future of SEO, and will ultimately help search engines determine the best content for its users. Already, social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter have become an indelible part of the web, integrating into blog commenting systems, applications, and just about any other web-related thing that one could possibly think of.
And it is because of that ubiquity that social media will inevitably become a huge part of the way in which search engines determine the best content to feed its users. Already, search engines like Bing are integrating social media into the mix in order to help its users better determine the best search results, and which items to click on.
Because social media is driven by great content, placing a heavy emphasis on social media will automatically drive all of that great content to the top — the content that is most commented on and shared by social media’s hundreds of millions of users.
Great Content Is Long-Term
Beyond that, developing great content often forces you to think long-term. What’s relevant now, but could also still be significant in the future?
One way to express that which has become increasingly popular is infographics. Developing great infographics that cover a topic that is currently relevant — think Facebook Ads v. Google Ads by Wordstream – but that can also be shared for months if not years to come is very important. In order to do so, you could either hire a designer to put one together or, better yet, create it yourself using resources like Visual.ly or Infogr.am.
But writing content with a long half-life is important too. Often times, blogs will focus on writing posts that emphasize the here and now which, while shareable in the near-future, aren’t really posts that a few months or even weeks down the road people will want to share. Obviously, daily blogs that are constantly updated need to focus on writing this sort of content in order to sustain an endless stream of visitors (and to keep advertisers happy).
But blogs that write less often have the luxury of being able to take a step back and write things that might matter for much longer. Are Facebook’s new changes that important to Facebook right now? What about a few months down the road? And what sort of impact will it have on other social networks?
Posts that answer those questions will always be endlessly more shareable than those that don’t.
Though, currently, traditional SEO strategies still work, and they still work very, very well, there’s no telling when that will all change. Who knows, Google could announce next week that they have given up on Google + and are instead moving forward with Facebook and Twitter integration.
The best strategy, right now, is to simply develop content that matters and that users will care about (and comment on, and share).
What is your SEO strategy?
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY Social Media company specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.