December 11, 2015
SEO is a game that all online businesses must play if they wish to attain mass awareness and prosperity. Those who gain mastery over this dynamic skill open up the doors for unlimited traffic potential and organic conversions.
Visits from organic search results are by far the most powerful and highest quality traffic a site can receive and your position in the SERPs largely determines how many of these types of users will visit your site.
To gain the lion’s share of organic traffic in your niche, you must demonstrate to Google that your site is more relevant and provides a better user experience than any other site related to your targeted search terms.
Want to know some secrets to crushing the competition? Keep reading. You have the power.
Relevance is Paramount
Your success starts with ensuring that you have maximized your potential relevance for any given search related to your niche. Of course it is necessary to include relevant terms and phrases throughout the content of your site, however, a more effective use of these indicators is to use them to their fullest potential in the meta tags, heading tags and URLs.
Including specific keywords that relate to your niche is not enough; you need to get creative with your language and produce and implement as many variations as possible. Additionally, the use of mid- to long-tailed keywords is becoming increasingly more powerful with the rising popularity of mobile devices and Google’s voice-to-text search function. More than ever, queries are appearing as casual questions, so be sure to hone in on these type of applicable terms and phrases.
Don’t end your efforts there though — this is only the start. Now it is time to do a little recon work on the competition itself. Spy on what keywords and phrases your competitors are targeting by using the SEMRush tool. With this engine, you simply plug in a rival’s URL and uncover their keyword list so that you can determine which phrases you want to go toe-to-toe with and which you can ignore.
Blog like Crazy
Content is the backbone of SEO and should not be ignored. Far too many websites do not house a blog section; this is a grave mistake. Companies that publish 16 or more blogs per month receive nearly 3.5 times more traffic than those that settle for four or fewer monthly posts.
Never post for the sake of posting though; content needs to be informative, useful, original, and compelling. Write with your audience in mind and try to address their main concerns, pain-points, interests, and anything else that will grab their attention and keep them engaged.
One of the first things to do for augmented content results is take a look at the content on your site that has received the most interaction and praise. This is a clear indicator of what your audience values. Next, it’s time to sneak past enemy lines again and gain intel on the type of content competitors are producing and what is working best for them. This will give you a definitive direction on what the community as a whole (not just yours) is drawn to. Is your competition posting numerous videos? Are surveys popping up all over their blogs? Maybe it’s infographics that are gaining notoriety. Repeat this process on social media sites as well using Buzzsumo to gain further understanding of your copy’s hits and misses. Be sure to gather as much information as possible and utilize this new-found data to your advantage.
Make UX a Top Priority
As the evolution of SEO continues, a phenomenal user experience becomes imperative. Your site needs to be beautiful in design, brimming with personality, easy to navigate, and must provide outstanding content to meet this goal. Google judges UX by a wide variety of metrics including bounce rates, social signals, backlinks, and more; the emphasis here is backlinks — this is a major factor to SEO and Google heavily looks into these links as part of the Penguin algorithm.
Be meticulous about keeping any spam-like links off your site. When in doubt, delete the link. It is critical to build links that hold authority and gain loads of traffic. Once again, look at what the competition is doing to see how your site can beat them at their own games. By utilizing tools such as Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs you can type in the competitor’s URL to reveal all of their backlinks. You can then establish patterns of what the opposition is doing to acquire certain links. Additionally, since these sites are linking to one of your competitors, you know there is already an interest in your niche and you can attempt to connect with these bloggers or sites through social and create your own alliance.
When backlinks are ethically created through scads of high-quality content and outbound links, Google will begin to take notice and eventually conclude if your efforts make you more of an authority than the competition at hand.
While it will almost certainly take some time to overthrow whoever reigns supreme in your market, by following these guidelines and remaining persistent, you can one day claim to be king (or queen) of the SERPs.
Is your business already implementing some of the advice given here? If so, how has it affected your rankings in the search engines?
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+.