Admittedly, it’s been hard to focus on work over the past couple of months. Each day the news cycle has brought news of people dying, businesses closing and unemployment skyrocketing. When the overall level of anxiety about the future is so high it’s hard to pretend it’s business as usual in search and digital marketing and blithely blog on about it all.
Yet, in the online world, despite the massive shifts in search as millions of people got to grips with a new online reality there has never been a better time to work digitally. SEO, content creation and branding have become synonymous. Brand value, brand values and audience principles have coincided.
Context collapse has created fresh challenges and exacerbated pre-existing ones. The post-pandemic world will definitely be different to the one we left behind and there will be fresh challenges to deal with, some of which we cannot predict yet, no matter how hard we try.
Search will now be important because it becomes the lifeline through which a business continues to function despite being physically separated from its customers and, sometimes, its premises. Without being found it cannot work. Without work it can’t survive.
Sure enough, domain name enquiries increased by 20% during the pandemic. The digital transformation we’ve been talking up for the last 15-odd years is finally a necessity and there has never been a better time to start an online business.
So, what is new in all this here? Page experience becomes a Google Ranking signal. Page experience relies on a variety of technical and non-technical factors. As search becomes ever more fragmented it becomes baked into many different verticals. This means that it is also ubiquitous and holistic.
SEO Help Revised and Updated
It all brings us to the latest edition of SEO Help which is light on theory and imminently actionable. The formula hasn’t changed substantially from previous editions. Each chapter still ends in 10 actionable steps. Like before you don’t really need to read each chapter or even follow the chapters in order for the book to work on your search marketing. All you need to do is navigate to the end of each chapter and action each of the steps at the end.
Despite the similarities there are some deep differences however. For a start this edition of SEO Help adds to rather than replace the previous one (there are a couple of minor exceptions in that content where Google+ was involved.
In the time between the two editions Google search integrated more machine learning, it took on-board structured data and ontology-building and taxonomies and semantic density and a whole host of other, academic concerns that drive semantic search developments and the refinement of visibility in Google search.
This led me to change the approach to the end-of-chapter action list. In previous editions it had been built from real-life questions asked by corporate SEO and Social Media teams who needed to understand how to approach semantic search from a conceptual angle. This made each chapter, in previous editions, stand completely alone and each end-of-chapter list also stand alone. Those stand alone, end-of-chapter lists produced a mix of theoretical and practical actions that needed to be taken.
In this edition everything is imminently practical. There are no steps where you will be asked to conceptualize something. Everything is couched in terms of “do this, do that” and so on. There is a reason for this. In the time between editions the most common problem that marketers and website owners have is lack of time. SEO is a critical skill to have and a critical business practice to implement. Thankfully we are long past the point where this needed to be debated in order for webmasters and business owners to be convinced.
At the same time SEO has become really complex. Its rate of development has accelerated. To counter this each step is easy to understand and relatively quick to implement. Also the action steps at the end of each chapter have now been interlinked in terms of what they help you do. When you are taking steps to build and clarify your online identity, for instance, you are also going some way towards creating taxonomies in your content and defining the ontology of your subject of business even though you may have no formal awareness of how to do any of that.
When you build your brand and define your values you are also determining your social media content and the principles that will help your online engagement with your audience. The digital world has become critical to business success and it has become crowded. Standing out in it sufficiently to be noticed and succeed is not so much a question of yelling louder as being smart and being in the right place at the right time.
That necessitates content and context. Having the right content appear at the right moment is context and what makes it happen is a multitude of steps taken persistently and consistently.
SEO Help: 20 Practical Steps to Power your Content Creation, Marketing and Branding in the new AI World of Google Search is the key step you take to help you get there as effortlessly as possible.
Where you can get the latest edition of SEO Help:
|Barnes & Noble
|Better World Books (free shipping)
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