Creativity as an SEO Approach – By Steve Wiideman

by Colleen on November 9, 2012

It’s very possible that the secret to higher ranking in Google may be creativity, built off a foundation of the unbreakable SEO principles of relevancy, popularity and user behavior. The latter being the secret to my own ranking for the term “SEO Expert”, which you’ll learn in a moment.

So what exactly are the three principles of SEO?

Principle 1: Relevancy

To get to the first page of Google’s search results, it doesn’t hurt to have content to match the user’s query. If, for example, someone searches for “affiliate marketing services”, is there a page on the website that best correlates to that key phrase?

Does that page offer different types of content, such as video, images, diagrams, bullet lists, downloads, references to additional results? Does it contain search terms semantic to the keyword? Use Google’s Related Searches option for inspiration, and be as creative as possible.

Principle 2: Popularity

According to Link Building Expert Eric Ward, “the definition of what constitutes a link is changing as the web matures”. The volume of brand name searches modified by relevant keywords comes into play here; not to mention features, attributions and mentions on authoritative webpages around the web. Throw in social sharing by authoritative personalities, and the signal gets even clearer. Research the term “Author Rank” to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
In other words, brand omnipresence beats links hands down. The Google Vince update of 2009 should have been an indication to marketers to change their strategy to be trust and authority-based, rather than just be the site “linked to the most”. Sorry Googlebombers.

To be creative with popularity, start thinking like Office Max and “Elf Yourself”. Think like Progressive with “Dress Like Flo”, and consider crowdsourcing creative ideas that will increase searches for content on your website. I like to use Amazon Mechanical Turk, where I get 1,000 ideas for $.05 cents each.

Principle 3: User Behavior

Relevancy and popularity may get your webpage to the first page of Google, however, Google uses user behavior signals to determine if that webpage is deserving of the top spot. To impact user behavior, your listing should be clicked on more frequently than those other nine listings and be the page the user stays on, as opposed to returning to search results.

Google can detect patterns of irregular behavior, so don’t try to game this one; instead use creativity. For me, simply asking others where I rank every so often is enough, for others, it might mean changing your marketing message to encourage search. In other words, you might try using “search Google for Joe Locksmith, Seattle” rather than just say “go to” It’s simple enough to do, and imagine the impact if one were to do this in a commercial or radio ad.

Building a plan founded on these simple principles and enhanced with creativity might be all it takes for you to grab that top spot. Where do I rank?

Steve Wiideman is an independent online marketing consultant for new and emerging brands, specializing in paid, natural, local and eCommerce search engine marketing.

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