3 Ways To Adjust Your SEO Strategy In The Wake Of Pigeon

SEO strategies have to be at the heart of any business that wants to succeed in the online world in 2014. But SEO strategy means something different than it did one decade ago, five years ago, or even last year. If your SEO strategy places a great emphasis on link building, you may find that your SEO influence has waned recently. While links connecting to your content are important, it is content itself that is becoming the most important aspect of an SEO strategy and what pleases Google the most. Here are a few things that you can do in 2014 to improve your content offering and make Google happy.
Search Agents scoured the SERPs, investigating the effects of Google’s yet-to-be-confirmed-or-denied Pigeon update. While Google still has yet to offer any definitive remarks on the matter, no search marketer can refute that U.S. local SERP results have changed dramatically. Like every Google update before it, Pigeon’s landing certainly begs the question, what do we need to do to adjust our strategy?

Yelp and Google Business Listings are Dominating Local SERPs

Problem: Yelp and Google-owned entities are heavily competing with their main page counterparts.

Solution: Think like Yelp.

Engage with your customers. Yelp is all about reviews, ratings and comparisons. Add reviews or testimonials page(s) onto your site with your customer’s name, rating, date, and other relevant information – after obtaining consent, of course. Including a widget on your Yelp page can also remedy this problem.

Another fix? Improve your pages’ semantic markup. For example, the reviews on your site can be marked up as “reviews,” which can help stand out with star ratings in the SERPs like Yelp. Schema.org is the preferred data markup method by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

These fixes aside, managing profiles in Google My Business and Yelp are no longer optional if SMBs want to compete in local SERPs. In short, get chummy with Yelp and Google+ for SERP success. Customers are rating your business on these sites, so keep active profiles, engage with reviewers, and attempt to resolve issues for repeat business. Businesses should apply these same practices to other influential local directories such as TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, and OpenTable.

Maps Are Hyper Local

Yes, SERP maps seem to be getting more localized under Pigeon’s reign. However, Pigeon shouldn’t change your local content strategy, just the way Google ranks that strategy. The new local search algorithm has been tied to more traditional Web standards, so sites still need quality, natural content with a strong backline profile to build domain authority and rank locally.

 Here are some optimizing tips for new local searches:

  1. Make sure your business is verified, along with the right contact information, business description, hours, website URL, and more through Google My Business.
  2. Do you have multiple locations? Create dedicated local pages, each with unique, relevant content targeting your specific city/state in the meta data.
  3. Beware: Do not duplicate content across your location pages with the city/state as the only unique factor, as these duplications will not rank post-Panda. Each page should have standalone value to a user.

Optimize for the Local Carousel

Unlike local listings packs, Google’s local carousel was not affected by Pigeon, but remains a local ranking opportunity for businesses. Google derives these results from a combination of Google My Business and Zagat (a Google-owned property) listings, so maintain an active profile with a high-quality photo and positive reviews on both sites. Results are not sorted by name, rating, or price, but rather by the most relevant query result. However, the listing’s image and rating affect CTR, since we’re talking side-by-side competitors.

At the end of the day, Google’s going to change. Regularly. However, any impending changes will undoubtedly be instated to police the search engine in favor of marketers producing quality, responsible, creative content. The less marketers lean into exploiting new Google developments, and instead focus attention on improving content quality, the lower the likelihood of Google slamming those marketers with any future updates.

It’s pesky for SEO marketers but, ultimately with Pigeon, Google continues refining the user experience…with Google products.

Create Content That Answers Questions

With Google’s latest Hummingbird algorithm it has been announced that the company’s focus has moved away from keywords and on to content. This means that picking out keywords that your target audience searches for and stuffing them into any piece of content is not going to work as part of a successful SEO strategy. Google’s aim is for its search function to behave in a way that is closer to the way that humans behave. Humans do not stuff keywords into their daily lives – they have problems and they find solutions, they ask questions and receive answers. In order for your content to lead to improved SEO, you need to create content that answers the questions of real people. This is not as simple as creating a keyword dense meta-tag but it will be more meaningful to your target audience, and Google will like you more too.

Consider Long Form Content

The world is so focused on the influence of social media that it can be easy to forget that people also like to read long form content. While the power of Twitter and its 140 character platform has grown exponentially over the last few years, so has the eBook market. Contrary to popular belief, our smartphone and social media culture has not completely dominated our lives and we still enjoy getting stuck into a long read. And we are not the only ones – Google really likes it too. When you create a post about a niche topic that delves into thousands of words, not everybody is going to want to read it – but not everyone needs to. Just like great businesses, all great content operates within a niche. Creating long-form content for a particular niche demonstrates that you can provide useful and meaningful content for an audience, and Google will rank your content more highly as a result. For more information just make a list of websites.

Create New Content Regularly

Creating long-form content is a great idea, but if you simply post one 1000 word blog on your website every six months, you are going to see very limited SEO benefits. In order to compete with the multitude of content creators on the internet, you not only have to be answering questions, creating genuinely useful posts, and posting long-form content, you need to be doing this on a regular basis. It is a great idea to form a content plan so that you can ensure you are working towards content being posted at regular intervals.

Both your audience and Google will appreciate this and you will see improvements in your SEO over time if your efforts are sustained.

SEO 's Major is Not To Creat Content