The strategy of SEO has been altered forever by the myriad of changes in the Google algorithm and release of keyword data. Just last week we learned of the largest change in Google’s search algorithm in three years, called Hummingbird. Earlier in the week, SEO professionals learned that Google’s keyword (not provided) data would be headed to 100%, theoretically hampering the collection of keyword referral data collection. Add those two to the mix of multiple Penguin and Panda updates over the last two years and SEO has changed forever.
While SEO remains a critical building block for high performing organic search, it is no longer enough. SEO firms must stop thinking just about Search Engine Optimization and more about the entire web presence of a business. The Google changes require a broader scope to managing a business in search of better SERP rankings.
Web Presence Optimization or WPO melds the strategies from SEO, the marketing of PPC, content production and the engagement of social media communications to yield a strong web presence for a business showing their authority in a field or industry. Key factors in developing a Web Presence Optimization strategy include:
1. Search – The mechanics of onsite optimization and site architecture remain a base starting point to enable a website to rank well in online search. Most of the white hat SEO strategies available to a business will continue to improve the overall search rankings; however, with the constant upheaval in the search world, a business cannot rest on search alone.
2. Develop Local Listings – Claiming and developing the local listings for a business is a necessity. Sites like Google+ Local, Yelp and Yahoo play an integral part of where people search to find information regarding someone with whom they wish to conduct business.
3. Social Media Engagement – Developing an active presence on social media channels is an opportunity to grow a business and establish yourself as an authority in your field. The key to engaging in social media as a business is developing a strategy that fits within the marketing goals and hitting the key social media platforms that represent your targeted customer base.
4. Consistent, Quality Content – A business must produce fresh, informative content to grow their brand and authority on the Internet. Typically creating a business blog with consistent, informative quality content related to the core industry of the business will attract visitors to stay on the site and return for updated information.
5. Reputation Management – Managing the reputation of a business involves monitoring the mentions of a business online as well as being proactive on sites people use to review brand interaction. Not only must there be a response to any negative reviews in order to mitigate their impact, but also positive mentions must be sought out in able to increase their visibility online.
6. PPC – Pay per Click and online paid advertising can immediately enhance the visibility of your business either on search engines or within social media platforms.
This shift away from SEO towards Web Presence Optimization means SEO firms and web designers should shift their practice and strategies outside of the old SEO toolbox towards integrating search, social media PPC advertising and content production. WPO better describes managing the entire online presence of a business of which SEO remains an integral part. WPO helps you increase and successfully manage the digital footprint of a business resulting in greater authority and web traffic.