How has SEO changed?

18 Sep 2021


Nick Boyle

Nick Boyle

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The wonderful world of marketing is changing faster than ever before, and with that has come several alterations to SEO (otherwise known as ‘search engine optimisation’). This, of course, has been for the best, as previous digital marketers attempted to trick Google by using sneaky techniques to up their ranking. Since then, Google has grown stricter, cleverer, and there’s no pulling wool over anyone’s eyes anymore. Us marketers now have to devise an effective strategy that takes Google’s ever-changing algorithm into consideration, carrying out genuine research that aims to naturally improve rankings. So, we hear you ask, ‘how can I factor in the new and updated rules of SEO when creating my digital marketing strategy?’ Here’s how…


Say goodbye to keyword stuffing


Leave the gravy behind and put a stop to keyword stuffing. Traditional marketing tactics were all about relentlessly getting those keywords in there, no matter how unreadable it made sentences. For example, if you were selling a pair of green shoes, a serial stuffer may write something like this: 


“Green shoes are in season right now. If you’re looking to buy a pair of green shoes, we stock plenty of green shoes.”


Sounds rather jarring, right? If you were to try this now, you’d be getting a slap from Google. Modern SEO is all about using software like Moz or Ahrefs to perform expert keyword research, or looking for different ways to reinforce a keyword without actually repeating it. So, if we were to re-word the above statement, adhering to current SEO practices, you would instead write this: 


“Green shoes are in season right now. We have plenty of different collections, designs and brands to choose from. Click here to shop boots, trainers or sandals.”


Capeesh? There’s no easy way around it. Getting your keyword research spot on has never been more important. 


Top quality content


Being a good writer goes a long way, especially for hungry marketers looking to rank higher on Google. The key here is to produce content that’s engaging, shareable and, most importantly, credible. If Google can see that your content is appearing in guest posts, and being referred to by other credible sources through external linking, you’ll be given the go ahead. Content marketing is one way to build trust with your audience, which will eventually lead to increased web traffic – the dream. 


Fake link ban


Old school black hat SEO techniques included fake link building. This would involve inserting several spammy links into content as part of a desperate attempt to start ranking higher. In the white hat world, marketers now have to play by the rules and improve their position through honest graft. If you don’t, Google now has the ability to get you banned, which would be any business’ worst nightmare. Linking back to our previous point (see what we did there?), a better strategy would be to receive backlinks from credible sources, or through guest posts. 


Mobile-friendly web pages



It’ll come as no surprise that SEO practices now have to revolve around humanity’s best friend, the mobile phone. Quality content isn’t just about your writing technique, you also have to factor in the overall design of your web page and its usability rating. In this case, it would mean adapting a page to look good and perform well when appearing on a mobile phone screen. If mobile surfers are happy, Google will be too. 


Local search SEO


A surge in mobile surfers has changed SEO as we know it, resulting in a rise in specific local searches. This means that Google now takes an individual’s location into account when the user’s search intent is to find either a product or a service locally. Say you’re looking for a pet shop near you. Even if you don’t type, “pet shop in London” into the search, Google will automatically know to display local businesses in the SERP (search engine results page). Clever, huh? 


With this in mind, Mailchimp highlights the importance of building local landing pages for each of your business’ locations, being sure to include the address and contact information. But if you do choose to go down this path, make sure it’s not spammy and stuffed with keywords. Be sure to talk about the local area around you, such as landmarks, major roads and even postcodes. When it comes to keyword research, always factor in your local audience. 


Looking for some more advice around SEO best practices? Get in touch with our friendly team of digital marketing professionals today to begin building an all round brilliant strategy. 

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