January 29, 2015
Search engine optimization seems like a very broad and complicated matter. Practicing it makes it even more complicated than it seems. But everything is all worth it in the end, especially if you were able to reach your goal, such as seeing your page rank first for a popular term and tripling your business after a considerable amount of time, effort and investment.
A lot of SEO methods have been scattered online. Some are free while some are for a fee. Free SEO strategies can come from various sources such as blogs, websites and videos showing tips, advice and even DIY techniques. Those who can afford to pay extra often hire the services of a so-called SEO experts in the hopes that they will be able to reach their target and increase their ROI in a shorter time.
This article will outline what to do and what you shouldn’t do without necessarily repeating what we all have read in various SEO rulebooks. Moreover, this article takes into account that the main purpose of doing SEO strategies is to boost your web site rankings. Remember, though, that you are welcome to work on your own strategic system to achieve other targets.
Strategy 1: Harvest Quality Links
There are many ways to do this but content is still the superstar. So you might want to submit or add articles, news, PR content, and blogs to high-ranking and well-shared sites. In order to get accepted by these sites, make sure you submit content that will catch the attention of people and will make them effortlessly share your content.
Establishing a strong social media presence is highly recommended. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram spell influence and authority, not to mention that these sites are now populated with your target market.
Community-oriented websites like Digg, Pinterest, and others are also great avenues for you to attract more traffic to your site. Networking in these areas can be useful. Just make sure that you claim your brand wherever you are mentioned.
Did you know that examining your competitor’s backlinks will allow you to harvest the most quality links pointing to a site under the same niche? If content is the superstar, then backlinks are maven. Pair these two after doing a backlink analysis of your competitor sites. Create highly attractive content to influence related blogs and websites to link to your content or for them to backlink to your site.
Strategy 2: Google Authorship
Anthony Khoury, author of the 2013 book The Beach Bum Millionaire: How to Build a Million Dollar Business The Lazy Way, describes Google Authorship as the powerhouse for SEO. So in addition to all your other social media accounts, setup a Google+ profile. As you submit content to various sites, link your Google+ profile to your blog or website for verification.
The overall effect of Google authorship can be seen through its influence in your page rank. By establishing credibility and legitimizing the content you submitted as an author to various sites, you will experience high clickthrough rates as you become more of a presence in searches.
Strategy 3: Optimize your Website Inside and Out
Let’s start with your URL. Set up a canonical URL, that is, the best URL that represents your business. Overall, this tells search engines which one they should prefer whenever there are duplicates.
Check your tags. Do you have at least one H1 tag in each of your pages? Are your images reinforced with Alt image tags? Prioritize meta tags over keyword title tags. Most importantly, do not forget one of the critical ranking factors for your website — your title tag. Overall, HTML tags result in richer search results and better search rankings when they speak of your site’s relevance, thereby working hand-in-hand with search engines.
Make sure your page design presents a reasonable load time. Do this by ensuring you have single HTML codes. This strategy is not only user-friendly but desktop- and mobile-ready.
Enrich your content with long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are composed of five to seven words, should sound natural, should be easy to read and should clearly illustrate a searcher’s purpose. This is to ensure that your keywords will be present in every Google search term related to your market which can result to gaining more targeted visitors and increased ranking.
Strategy 4: Go Social
As mentioned earlier, social media sites present a bottomless pool of potential market for every business. So make sure you get the most out of these avenues.
Start being sociable by adding chicklets or social media buttons on every page of your website. You might want to add these buttons to every content or blog post, too. There are other companies who would apply the same strategy to every outgoing communication such as newsletters or PR content. As always, don’t forget to regularly submit relevant and influential content on every social media site.
In order to generate qualified targets, know your audience and study their favorite social media channels. Google+ and Facebook are the best platforms to start with.
Strategy 5: Go Mobile
This is the reason why you need to have a responsive Web design. By making sure that your site is mobile-ready, loads quickly and is user-friendly, you lay the ground work for an audience that will not only interact with each other, but will even do the marketing for you by linking and sharing your content.
Even if you are primarily targeting quality links, mobile marketing at its finest will also bring you closer to sites with the most number of potentially relevant links.
Strategy 6: Avoid the following
- Article marketing (Surprised? Issue is simply about spam and duplicate content);
- Blog/forum spam (so say NO to blog/forum commenting jobs and services);
- Overloaded keywords (especially when you create exact match anchor text and domain name);
- High volume of low quality and irrelevant content (need I say more?);
- Sidebar and footer links (these are sooooo 1990s);
- Linking on widgets (unless you want to be blocked and banned in SEs).
Joshua Uebergang is the Director of Digital Darts, an Australia digital marketing agency to help companies increase traffic, leads, and most importantly sales.