Search engine optimization is one of those things in online marketing and promotion that is constantly changing, but many aren't changing with it. Many businesses out there still think that the way to high search engine rankings is tons of optimized content and much more link building. However, with the recent improvements to the search engine algorithms, great content and brand signals are favored over these older SEO techniques.
What are Brand Signals?
Brand signals are indicators that the website is run by an actual company, instead of being a website that's there simply to rank and to get found online for certain keywords. Search engines are favoring these signals because search engines are about the user, and want to ensure that the results they provide for queries are the best results possible. Older SEO techniques, such as link building and spun, optimized content don't always provide the best user experience and aren't organic. Brand signals are organic. Here are the brand signals to have that will boost your SEO and search engine rankings:
- Brand Domain Name - Exact match domain names, or domain names that are keywords (like www.contentmarketingservices.com), aren't as great as they used to be. Over the past few years, the correlation between an exact match domain name and a high search engine ranking has decreased. So, how do you get your website to rank high on search engine? Focus on building a brand. Facebook, Yahoo, Bing etc. aren't search engine friendly, but they rank high on search engines, and they are very memorable names.
- Employ Real People - Well, if you're a company, hopefully this is the case. But, show this off by encouraging your employees to join LinkedIn and to say that they work at your company. Search engines are favoring these social cues, so these LinkedIn profiles can show up among or alongside search engine results. Users like it when they can see a real face behind a blog post or web page.
- Provide Contact Info - A form just isn't enough, and it does look a little sketch and spammy. Perhaps with the form, you can include your company address, phone number, and a general email address. Once again, this makes it look like that real people are behind the company and the website.
- Register with Official Bodies - Stay away from those "SEO directories", link farms, and other places that claim to build links and credibility. Instead, show that you're registered with official bodies, such as industry organizations, local/state organizations, or that your company has certain certifications. Not only do those sorts of credentials make your website look better, but they offer better backlinks than thsoe directories and link farms can provide.
- Take Time with Your Link Growth and Content Growth - When your backlinks and your content grow in large spurts, then it looks spammy and of poor quality to search engines. There's no way anyone can create great content or earn that many links so quickly. Therefore, take the time to grow your links and content organically. This ensure that those links and content are of much better quality, and that this consistent, albeit slow, growth is authentic and sustainable.
What Do Users Want to Find Online?
It's great to rank high on search engines and to do what it takes to do that, but consider what users will be finding if you rank high and receive a lot of traffic. Will they find content and a brand that they want to engage with, or will they find SEO nonsense that's created for the search engines and not for potential customers? It's great to rank high on search engines, but keep in mind that search engines don't buy from you. Only people do.
You know what else is great for SEO? A strong keyword strategy! If you need help building a keyword strategy, then download our guide! Click the button below to do that now.