Playing Nice With Google & Search Engine Marketing
Summary: At the end of the day, winning brands are the best storytellers. These are companies that present the questions, then answer them accurately and thoroughly, in a humble and authoritative manner. There is an unmeasurable opportunity for local companies to win in search engine and content marketing.
Search engines serve us – the users – and they want to solve for our intent quickly. These are the tools between your business and the real people looking for answers to their questions.
Your Business is on the Knowledge Graph
The first thing you need to do is stop thinking in terms of keywords.
They are a great starting point. Keywords help direct the outline, and good keyword research helps us understand insights into producing content that people are actually searching for.
But then that part is pretty much over.
Google isn’t a “match the keywords” engine anymore. Google works off the knowledge graph. The KG is made up of entities (basically – nouns – any “thing” which is normally something that equates to your primary keyword) which are then connected via relationships and attributes.
Google’s knowledge graph is very aware of YOUR BUSINESS CATEGORY. And it knows that someone who is the “best” at YOUR BUSINESS CATEGORY is likely going to demonstrate that by talking about certain aspects through links, content, and topic clusters, and yes – even the dreaded “keyword.”
Our jobs (yours and mine) is to convey this – not to repeat the question X number of times – that’s madness. Nor to shove “I’m the expert” down the throats of our audiences through constant self-promotion or overtly commercial messaging.
Your job is to provide the answers to questions. So, you present the question – and then provide an answer with words that are directly or closely connected to that along with links to your other resources that hinge on that similar topic. So… a part of your article might have a subheading of “The Best Specific Topic of Your Business” and then list some of the things I mentioned above. And bonus points if that list shows those words but gives a bit of context and information about what they mean and other things that those entities each connect to.
Just Answer the Question Already
Really – it comes down to actually answering the damned question. Accurately and thoroughly.
If you do that, you don’t really need to think too much about the other entities you need to connect to or even how to connect them. They just sort of come as part of actually knowing and presenting the right answer. Some of those connections Google will have seen before – and it will say, “Yeah… that part I know.” Other parts it might not have heard before – but the more you hit on things it already knew or make connections it already understood – then the more it’s going to be accepting and trusting that some of the other, newer things you are saying are true, too.
And one thing many people who are starting to execute the modern methods of SEO often forget is to always take it back home. We’re writing content about your company that people need to enjoy.
I’m assuming that you want the answer to the question to ultimately be “MY BUSINESS is the Best at MY BUSINESS CATEGORY” so make sure you say that (subtly). Create a new connection in the knowledge graph. You ultimately want YOUR brand connected to the concept of YOUR BUSINESS CATEGORY and if you don’t make those connections… no one else is going to for you. Or, search engines may serve someone else who is excelling in this.