Google Instant has not killed SEO by any means, despite the rumors. It has simply changed the approach that search engine marketers must take in order to get websites to appear higher in rankings and with their best foot forward. Here are some ways that you can ensure better rankings in the new Google Instant.
1. Include a Keyword in Your Brand Name
If you’re just starting out, you’re in luck. Get your primary keyword in your brand name (preferably as the first word), and you will be halfway there, as the first results of the first keyword word entered into searches will probably attract a lot of clicks, especially if your brand dominates the first few results.
2. Start Thinking Like Searchers Think
With “instant” results popping up, you have to really start thinking like searchers to make sure your site is optimized for the keywords that your potential visitors will likely be searching. What is the first word they are likely to type in to find you? Once you have determined thisâ€¦
3. Include Google Suggest as a Keyword Research Tool
Considering that highlighting a Google suggested term will bring instant results, targeting the terms that come up for your primary keyword is now more important than ever.
In some cases, tailoring your keyword for the most popular phrase (instead of just one keyword) might be a better route, as typing in SEO leads to Google Suggest and Instant opting to show results for the next popular phrase, SEO tips instead of just SEO, putting that single keyword at the bottom of suggestions.
This post on how to actually use Google Suggest for keyword research and beyond is a great place to start.
4. Get Locally Optimized for Generic Keywords
If your business has physical locations in one or more regions, now is the time to apply local search marketing to your website and your brand, both on-site and off-site. 73% of searches are for local content, which means you will want to make sure your business comes up instantly, showing people exactly where you are located.
Another interesting change with Google Instant comes for the localized keyword phrases. Since Google knows where people are searching from (whether or not personalization settings on or off), they don’t even need to enter keyword plus a city â€“ if they type in type in just the keyword, they will be receiving instant local results when applicable without having to add on the city in their search.
5. Make Sure Your Online Reputation is Clean
Two of the new Google Instant features is the “Something Different” and “Pages similar to” sections in the left sidebar and beneath the first 10 search results. If someone is looking for your brand, and you have some negative entries in the top 5 â€“ 10 results, chances are they will be easily tempted to check out your competitors instead.
By having lots of positive online presences online (such as local search profiles, social media profiles, blogs, subdomains, etc.), you will be able to push down those negative results so that you will make a good first impression with your top 10 search results.
6. Dominate Search Results with Multimedia
It doesn’t matter whether your brand is a business or just yourself. Producing a wide variety of content will ensure that when someone types in your name or brand, they will only find you!
Changes to Your SEO Campaign
What changes are you making to your search and link building campaigns in light of the new Google Instant? What results have you seen? Please share your thoughts with the search engine marketing community.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!