March 7, 2014
If you’re just starting out, every aspect of great SEO can feel intimidating and daunting. There’s a lot that goes into intelligent SEO execution; everything from high quality content, to site construction and coding, to organic search results, to paid search, and much more. Sometimes it helps to narrow down your focus to the most challenging aspects of a solid SEO campaign and build from there. To assist, I’ve listed this year’s most perplexing SEO tactics with insights on how to demystify each element.
SEO Challenge 1: Content
Google and search engines like it make money off of great content. Their algorithms, therefore, reward you when you hit the mark. According to eMarketer, 74 percent of businesses intend to focus more on content marketing this year; join them, or be behind the curve.
The operative word is always quality, however, and that’s a tremendous challenge to successfully navigate. Here are some tips regarding what makes content worthy of higher rankings:
- Less is sometimes more; don’t crank out content just to have it, make sure you add value with everything you publish;
- Know your audience intimately; this allows you to produce quality offerings that you know your demographic actually wants to experience;
- Be consistent in your messaging; choose a specific tone and brand identity, and don’t deviate much from your voice, lest you start to seriously confuse your audience
- Quality does not mean expensive, it simply means it’s inherently valuable. You can produce inexpensive videos that are meaningful to your customers and still hit a home run.
- Create an editorial calendar, and stick to it as much as possible. Flying by the seat of your creative juices won’t always hit the mark; planning is integral to quality.
SEO Challenge 2: Promotion
This is where most businesses fall short. Once you have the content you’re proud to share, promoting it can be a much harder task. Do not hold the shortsighted attitude that great content sells itself. If that were the case, marketers wouldn’t be so needed.
Here are some tips to get your content noticed:
- Use all your existing marketing channels with current customers to call attention to your content. This includes regular e-mail blasts to opted-in readers, social media integration, and prominent placement on your website(s).
- Find folks in your industry with loyal audiences that are looking for your kind of quality content. Making friends with bloggers and media folks that share related information is invaluable, and a true win-win. They need the content, and you need the eyeballs. Don’t be afraid to make friends.
- In fact, I advocate creating content specifically for a website that has a large following of readers in your demographic. Customizing the content increases the odds of publication, and it shows how serious you are about honoring their specific parameters and needs.
SEO Challenge 3: Brand Awareness
Brand identity is absolutely essential to a strong SEO campaign. If you think of SEO as a short-term, one-off goal, you won’t achieve the highest rankings. Don’t assume SEO is just about clicks, traffic and conversions. SEO is marketing, after all, and the big picture goal of marketing is always to increase your brand awareness and credibility in the eyes of consumers.
This integrates seamlessly into Google’s perspective too. More and more, they are rewarding businesses with high authority, trustworthiness and credibility. If your overall SEO strategies encompass the permeation of these qualities, you’re on the right track in a very big way.
SEO Challenge 4: Mobile
Many business owners still think mobile SEO is exactly the same as traditional SEO. Alas, that’s just not the case. Treating them the same will not only dilute your mobile results, it could diminish efforts on both sides, because Google is giving more and more credence to good mobile SEO tactics.
I hear lots of marketers tout that their audience isn’t accessing them on mobile, so it’s not a big part of their strategy. In almost every case, it isn’t that their customers aren’t using mobile devices, it’s that their content is either difficult to find or difficult to access on small screens. In other words, they don’t see high mobile traffic because there are flaws in their approach. This is why it behooves everyone to include small screens into every aspect of the site production and marketing efforts.
How do you appeal to the small screen masses? Make content just for them, for starters. Have a keyword strategy based on mobile trends and results. Ensure your sites, blogs, and content offerings all work flawlessly on small devices. Treat your mobile customers as an entirely different aspect of your demographic with unique needs and requirements. They are, after all, and with mobile traffic continuing to skyrocket, ignoring this area of your business could be hugely detrimental.
Yes, you still have to make sure your sites (mobile and otherwise) all have targeted keyword strategies, excellent SEO data, URLs, and descriptors, and robust site maps. These must-haves don’t change much. What does keep shifting is the challenge of staying on top of SEO trends and tools. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, keep going back to the core of what high rankings are all about: quality, consistency, content, and credibility. That’s the recipe for SEO success, and it’s never too late to start.
What are your biggest SEO challenges these days?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile