New marketing hypes come and go. They never stop.  I see a growing trend for the content-driven SEO becomes a standard website practice.

Nowadays, it’s no longer magical or tricky to have a website to get a relevant ranking on search engines. The critical factor is simply about your content.

In fact, the SEO community has been promoting human-centric content development for a very long time. At the same time, search engines keep enhancing their algorithm to simulate human intelligence.  We’re quietly moving towards Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the web, prediction for semantic web. Inside the core of a semantic web, it is the content that relevant to human need.

Content optimization happen instantly

When we create a page of web content today, we put our target audience in the center stage. The semantic logic then flows naturally to hyperlink the texts, pictures, videos, external and internal citations. The authorship markup will connect us with the social profiles. The information represented by the content will be classified by the rich data schema and then presented in a simple row-and-column format to answer the human queries.

If you follow the above logic closely, you will find that the experience of search is very humane. It also means that content optimization happens when we write the content, not in retrospect.

No more top ranking obsession

Another characteristic of content-driven SEO is that the content on your site will be viewed in a distributed format. When a search engine query is relevant to your site, the engine will retrieve the content and amplify it across the web. The contents include your website, social media, blogs, Wikipedia posts, tweets, customers or fans reviews, photo albums, video clips, maps, or even apps, etc. You should not think that your website is the only destination on the web that represents you. It means you need not obsess in top rankings anymore! A search query on the search engine will result a full page of search results with various information about you, not just your only website.

I’m happy to see the web has changed to be more relevant and diversified. After all, when we push a marketing message to our audience, it should be about relevancy, not the visibility.

Common Symptoms of A Website

It is your website, not your ego

Many website contents are compiled with ego. I can easily tell by reading their short meta title that is about the brand name only! Using the brand name as the keyword is not a problem. But, what if a brand name is only an acronym? It can be irrelevant to the actual product. In some cases, I’ve even seen all the pages of a website use the same brand keyword as the meta title which is obviously a mistake. That’s why I always suggest using functional keywords or product attribution keywords to write the meta titles and the contents.

No fancy

A complicated menu navigation not only confuses the human, but also creates difficulties for the search engine crawlers.

To understand how search engine works is not difficult. Google has given a hint that the search engine crawlers actually follow links on the web pages. Now think about what is the starting point of the links in a website. It starts very likely from the menu navigation. In fact, 99 out of 100 websites have the menu navigation placed above the fold where we want to catch the visitors’ attention. But a fancy website design such as the one-page design with complex scripting will make the website difficult for the search engines to follow and index the links on the page. Unless your technical colleagues know exactly what they are doing, for example, using the hash mark with the pushstate correctly, I still suggest making your navigation as clean and simple as possible.

Which page is the most important page of your website?

The most important page cannot be only the homepage. Look closer. Do you think your contact-us page become the about-us? If you cannot differentiate the content objective between these pages, the search engines will also be as confused as you are.

Homepage is not necessary an important page

SEO has evolved from competing in the ranking to the website development best practice, and now becomes content marketing. A portion of SEO practice is still very much linked to the technical aspects such as hosting, web server configuration, CMS configuration, etc. Most of the problems in the technical SEO usually happen because of negligence or the mis-communication between the marketers and the IT persons. In fact, all these problems can be avoided even if we don’t have SEO.

SEO cannot influence people how to search

That’s why it is very important that you must do keywords research because it can identify the trend for you. With all the data that a search engine can provide, you can develop a semantic profile to analyze the searcher’s behavior. As a marketer, you should always do this without SEO on your mind. Researching how people search is like reading the minds of your customers. Once you know what your customers are looking for, you can develop the relevant content for them. Again, you don’t need SEO to understand this marketing communication practice.