Sustainable SEO Success

16 Apr
April 16, 2014

Sustainable SEO Success: understanding how to leverage Google’s continuously updated intent-driven search platform

It’s the Direct Result of the Science of Neuromarketology

Who should you listen to when it comes to understanding how to gain and maintain search engine success? One clue is how well that entity itself performs on these search engines. One of the pillars of this integrated marketing agency’s long-term success is consistently placing their websites on the first page of organic search engine results. You might expect that from a top-performing online SEO agency and a top integrated marketing agency in the Southwest, but seeing is believing.

Here are some examples in the education arena, from two very different universities we work with. (Call us at 480-478-8500 for examples in your industry).

1. Open a browser…
2. Go to Google
3. Search “Arizona Tech University”. Our client is UAT.
4. Now search “Health Science School” and “Health Science University”. Our client is ATSU. Note that both U’s are on the front page of broad search intent categories.

Hopefully this gives you a clear sense that our integrated marketing agency is one to listen to when it comes to SEO and SEM marketing. As a top Phoenix advertising agency owner, I wonder at SEO agencies giving advice when their own companies do not rank highly.

5. Now search advertising and marketing agency phoenix or phoenix marketing and advertising agency or dynamic marketing agency with Phoenix before it or after it. Note: research shows potential clients usually search for advertising and marketing agencies with a geographic perimeter to the search.
6. Answer the question…what agency do you see above the fold in all the most meaningful search intent strings for an integrated marketing and advertising agency in the Phoenix metro area?

Seeing with your own eyes that FabCom outperformed the multitude of competitors should give you the confidence that in reading on you will gain valuable, highly relevant intelligence on the subject of SEO/SEM.

An SEO Surprise
Our integrated marketing agency got a bit of a shock late last summer. Suddenly, our client’s online search metrics for Google, which we measure and monitor continuously, showed significant improvement. Pleased, but puzzled, we sat down to see what we could figure out. We knew our SEO strategies and tactics hadn’t changed, so the best answer we came up with was, “Google must have made some small tweaks to their algorithm and we reaped the benefits “. A very likely conclusion since Google routinely makes small adjustments to their complex engine algorithm about 500 times a year. So, we went merrily on our way, happy to be doing an even better job as an online SEO agency for our clients.

Fast forward one month: Google announces a new search algorithm named “Hummingbird.” Designed to be more precise and provide faster results, the new algorithm is based on semantic search, focusing on user intent versus individual search terms. However, at the same time most reports indicated that Google’s announcement of Hummingbird came a month after the new algorithm went into use.

BINGO! Our marketing agency’s SEO results for clients improved significantly at the same time Hummingbird began to fly.

Unlike previous “Penguin” and “Panda” updates to Google’s algorithm, Hummingbird is a complete replacement. Google’s search chief Amit Singhal told the media that Hummingbird is the first time in 15 years that Google has completely replaced the entire base of its search algorithm. While only 10 percent of searches were affected by the Panda update, and 3 percent by Penguin, Hummingbird affected upwards of 90 percent of searches.

Google’s intention with the Hummingbird re-engineering was to improve the user experience by generating:
· Increased speed of providing search results
· Increased accuracy of search results

Instead of simply matching certain keywords to its index, the new Hummingbird engine prioritized interpreting the intent behind a user query. This prioritization means more accurate search results that reward quality content on smaller sites that previous versions of Google’s algorithm may have inadvertently decided were less authoritative than the content that was on larger sites. This was the reason larger sites previously dominated results for searches. Because Google chose to focus on providing more accurate, more intuitive results for users, they have helped level the playing field for all websites which provide quality engaging content, not just the content on the largest websites with the most amount of content.

Google’s increased focus on quality engaging online content with the new Hummingbird engine is the reason that FabCom “overnight” went from a top integrated marketing and advertising agency to a clearly superior SEO agency. (Actually, our capability to land customers on the first page of search is really a proprietary methodology we have been developing now for six years). New Hummingbird recognized that the superior quality viscerally engaging content we developed online within our clients’ websites to ensure better conversions made those websites the most “attractive flowers” on the Internet and pushed them to the top of organic search results.

Hummingbird is just the start of Google’s user-experience-focused algorithm improvements to fine-tune search results by better understanding the intent of a query not just the individual words in the query. This makes it clearer — and more critical — that a page’s content more accurately answers the user’s search query. In other words, Hummingbird is more adept at recognizing concepts and relationships of the search string to the users’ behaviors, demographics and psychographics, not just obvious keywords appearing on the online website.

Our pre-Hummingbird success as an SEO agency was driven by understanding the importance of clearly, specifically showing how a page’s content most directly answers the question being asked by the Google (or other search engine) user. As a research and strategy centered integrated marketing agency, we produce viscerally relative content that can address a query’s concept most specifically and not just react to a string of keywords. We have focused our SEO strategies and content on improving the search users’ experience (need to find and consume what they desire to find and consume) and not on the simple use and repetition of obvious keywords, along with black hat programming “tricks,” of yesterday’s SEO professionals. FabCom has always ensured that our clients’ sites had more engaging, enduring content with ongoing emotional relevance which over time gives the sites stronger authority and, therefore, preference in the perspective of search engines. While other SEO agencies spent their efforts in trying to “game” the search engines by emphasizing isolated keywords or juggling Title Tags, Heading Tags, URLs and Images, we focused on true quality engaging and emotionally visceral content to achieve our clients’ successes. Google’s Hummingbird re-do — which is surely already being emulated by all other search engines – simply recognized our clients online assets were doing the right things to succeed.

SEO is not a game

Search engines are in the business of just two things: attracting users and selling advertising. Both of those goals require providing the fastest, best, most relevant query results to users. Our response since 1991 was to provide that quality content on our clients’ websites that delivered top SEO results. Oh sure, we have a toolbox of proprietary methodologies and “tools” we also use to give our clients SEO advantages. But, we understand that SEO is not a game; it requires and intimate, accurate understanding of what users are looking for and making sure they find it on our clients’ websites.

So, how do we accomplish that? The answer is a single seven syllable word: Neuromarketology. It’s a term we coined for the science of defining, targeting and effectively communicating with prospects and customers. Or, as the cover of the book on the subject describes it, “How to Harness Converging Technologies and Diverging Audiences to Create Dynamic One to One Marketing and Astonishing ROI.” (For more on the book itself, visit www.neuromarketology.com ).

The science which drives the success of Neuromarketing is derived from our core brain’s response to specific messages, timing, and imagery. If we are able to understand what specific stimuli a person’s core brain responds to, we can personalize marketing campaigns, messages and website content specifically to the individual or segmentations that are most relative. In order to do this, we must segment our target audience into subgroups that share similar values, characteristics, or beliefs. This helps us to identify their specific needs and expectations, which allows us to provide a highly relevant, individualized communication.

We then utilize FC’s “brand mapping” of a product or service’s messaging. This is accomplished by mapping messaging to the individual targets or segments based on the attributes of the service, product or brand. By connecting each quality or facet of the brand to its corresponding target audiences’ psychology, we can ensure that when search engine users are seeking information related to one of our clients, or their product or service, we provide the most relevant, most engaging content to each one, based on their individual perceptions, expectations and place within the buying cycle. By using Neuromarketology, brand mapping, and immersing ourselves in the client’s business and audiences, we can better interpret the intent of, or the concept behind, their query, not just the individual keywords. Then, we optimize the content on the client’s website to best relate to each potential inquiry.

Many marketing strategies, tactics and methods still regularly employed today are obsolete. That includes trying to “game” search engines to draw their “attention.” Today, that approach is more likely to diminish your SEO success rather than improve it. One of the “old school” marketing tenets that still applies is that the better you know and understand the individuals in your audiences, the better you will perform. Neuromarketology addresses this issue with a fact-based, scientific methodology to respond relevantly to individual search engine users.

The only way for most businesses to take advantage of the big benefits of winning SEO is to work with an intelligent, experienced specialist in the marketing applications of SEO. SEO clients now need a specialist that not only has expertise and highly qualified technology (hardware and software) but also, and perhaps most importantly, a depth of experience in the changing marketing strategies and tactics. Today, there are a few in the market who truly understand the bigger picture of SEO — perhaps the most critical success element in marketing. There are many, many more living off of what used to work even three years ago that has become obsolete today. You already know the value of finding your company at the top of organic search engine results. Hopefully, after reading this, you have a better understanding of how to accomplish that.