Increasing organic search is a highly popular way to grow the virtual business. Search engines like Google rank content based on algorithms designed to sort out the most relevant pages. The goal for search engines is to create a list of top results that the user is most likely to want to visit in response to their query.
C.W. Park offered insight into algorithms and how they impact branding. With over 50 years of industry experience, he has a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience on the changes that have occurred in the last ten years. His research papers and books have garnered over 27,000 citations on Google.
“Google and other search engines are in the business of drawing people to them by offering top results,” C.W. Park explains. “Though it is impossible to know the algorithms in full, you can go a long way in thinking how they think about customer satisfaction. For example, would someone appreciate a bait-and-switch where you make it seem like you have answers for something and then completely switch topics in the copy? No. Do people like reading keyword-stuffed content? No. Search engines are developed enough to know this, and the algorithms help them avoid promoting valueless content.”
C.W. Park says that focusing on quality is one of the most important factors for building content that is likely to be promoted by search engines. Another factor, he says, is convenience. “People aren’t going to spend a lot of time trying to accommodate your site,” he says. “Are your pages taking a long time to load? Does the formatting shift as it loads? Are they optimized for mobile, or do they force mobile users to pinch and scroll just to see the content? These are things that can get you penalized by search engines because their users will bounce if a site is slow or not responsive.”
Another thing C.W. Park recommends is marketing with a localized focus. “If you can target a local audience, do it,” he says. “You will find that many local keywords aren’t as sought after by competitors, but they are still heavily used by your local audience. For companies that serve more than one area, try local advertising for each area covered to increase your organic reach. Creating an index of local-specific product or service pages is just one way to increase localized SEO. Writing content that features local events or participating in local partnerships can also help grow that reach.”
For social media, he says posts and ads are given relevancy scores that predict how much engagement they are likely to earn. The posts most likely to make people react are typically shown to even larger audiences. He recommends creating quality content that is designed to provoke a reaction to increasing social media engagement. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have placed a higher value on friends over business posts, he explains, which often means companies have to turn towards ads to increase visibility.