Recently I began the process of remodeling and rebranding my website, moving the domain to bayareaseosolutions.com.
Even as a SEO expert / consultant in San Francisco, the last time I thought seriously about my website was 2013 – the year I built it. So much has changed not only in terms of the services that I offer, but also with Search Engine Optimization marketing in general.
Google went through major algorithm updates, including the Humming Bird update and the addition of RankBrain. Humming Bird, which I predicted was going to happen back in 2013, has helped Google consolidate search results for similar queries through its sophisticated understanding of language.
When you search for a SEO expert vs a search engine optimization specialist, you shouldn’t get drastically different search results, and now you don’t.
RankBrain has taken into account more quality metrics – like user experience, time spent on page and SERP click thru rates.
All of this has made doing SEO marketing more of a challenge, but still just as exciting and full of opportunity. I hope that all of you will take moment to peruse my new website and check out the the many services I offer. I’ve listed the deep links below.
As I look forward to experiencing my new brand identity, I also want to take this moment to reflect on one SEO campaign story that helped me learn first hand which tactics and strategies lead to the most success when marketing organically on Google.
When long-form content became king
In late 2014 I was working for a email technology startup that hadn’t quite pinned down what its core product was going to be. They dabbled in offering many different cut out services, and one product which combined them all into a single, installable chrome extension.
None the less I was excited about some of the traction we were gaining on Google. We had a new domain so I knew it would take time to add enough content and links to make a difference. But we were also in a relatively new field. Within the first 3 months we had reached the first page for a number of key search phrases.
At the time I was focusing my effort on 8-12 800 word articles each month, with lots of internal linking and keyword rich anchor text. The on-page SEO for our top level navigation pages evolved the first two months before I finally settled on the right keywords.
We had a sister website which I used to cross link to content on our primary domain, and we landed a few guest blogs on relevant websites, each getting us a quality link back.
The day before Thanksgiving I was told that the company wanted to push a new Outlook email plugin and they wanted my thoughts on how we could capture searchers looking for Outlook plugins.
I thought this would be almost impossible, as Outlook plugin was not a phrase we had anywhere on the website. There was no current content to leverage and we were probably not in the top 100 for such a phrase.
I Googled “Outlook email plugins” and the very first article was a list based, long form piece of content: “The Top 50 Outlook Email Plugins.” Ok, I thought to myself, I’ll do a list of 51.
10 hours and 3500 words later, I put out an article that within 1 week ranked for 40 different “outlook plugin” related phrases. In fact if you Google “Outlook plugins” today, 4 years later, that piece of content is still #1.
This was when I learned long form content would be essential to SEO success going forward.
If there’s one piece of advice I could give to SEO marketers out there, it’s to create in-depth valuable, shareable content.
Not only is your ranking potential going to be huge, but it could last years. The right piece of content can save an entire campaign and make your life 10x easier. Plus, clients will be singing your praises long after you’re done.
Thanks for reading.