Tips from a Google insider

The latest updates to the Google algorithms entitled Penguin and Panda have thrown many online marketing teams and small business owners off their games.

Many digital advertising strategies used for the past few years did not focus on the accumulation of organic links and content or the continual updating of relevant information on a website, which is now being rewarded by the major search engines. Instead, some online marketing teams opted for a less time-consuming method of marketing their website, which included cramming keywords wherever possible throughout content and building up inbound and outbound links with little regard to the quality of the destination.

As a result of the upgrades, many marketing teams are scrambling to regain their lost high search engine results page rankings after falling off the first page. The updated algorithms have made it clear as to what should be used for SEO and marketing, and what tactics will result in low rankings.

Insider shares secrets
Maile Ohye, Google insider working on developer programs, recently shared some insight into the functions of the search engine in an interview with BizJournals. According to Ohye, startup companies, small businesses and other enterprises looking to improve their local SEO campaigns and online marketing strategies should consider taking the time to create and maintain high-quality content, links and media on their websites, rather than look for shortcuts and loopholes that will likely result in low rankings.

Ohye listed a few tactics small businesses should consider when enhancing an SEO plan. All websites should verify the ownership of the site in Google's webmaster tools and decide if an email address will be shared with the search engine in case of hacking or other emergencies. The company should perform a background check on the selected domain name to ensure the former owner did not have a bad reputation or practice spamming, as well as launch analytics functioning to receive up-to-date data on website activity.

After that, Ohye recommends companies define the call to action on the website, minimizing the number of clicks it takes a viewer to get to a desired location or endpoint, and double check that all keywords are placed strategically throughout the website copy in a natural and organic fashion.

If the analytics being conducted on the website are not understood by the appropriate parties, Ohye suggests an analytics training course be offered to staff to ensure optimal levels of comprehension. It is also key for managers and small business owners to identify the strengths of each marketing employee and task them with duties to maintain the website's rankings that play into social media or digital strengths.