Published: December 26, 2014
When we talk search engine optimization and online visibility, the most common things that come to mind are optimized page titles and descriptions (meta) and keyword rich content. However, those are two very small components of a vast landscape with the potential to place your brand strategically in front of your customer.
Aside from the things that everyone is doing, here are the top 10 quick hits and uncommon tactics to improve SEO:
- Optimize Your Local Listings — Having your basic information correct across web databases seems like a simple, no-brainer task and is recently heralded as a ranking factor by Google. However, consistency throughout the World Wide Web is much harder than you’d think. A local business listing is an online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number and other details. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Yet, the sheer number of sites you’re responsible for local listings eclipses numbers in the thousands so without a good strategy or expansive tool, it can make for a lot of heavy lifting.
- Manage Your Reputation — Online ratings and reviews are more commonly being identified by search engines as a form of rich content. This means that because they reflect customer perception they are increasingly being factored into ranking and popularity results. When it comes to managing reviews, know this: you will have some great customer stories, but you will also run into negative reviews — embrace them!
- Constantly Refresh Your Keyword List — Content is key to showing up No. 1 in search results, but if you are creating content that is not relevant or optimized for your audience, it won’t matter. Typically, companies create keyword lists that they use to guide and insert in things like blogs or other site content. What many people don’t know is that these keyword lists need to be researched and refreshed frequently, as customer behavior and online searches change overtime.
- Don’t Reserve SEO for Your Corporate Site — Many companies spend lots of resources optimizing the page titles, descriptions, images, etc. of their main site. But as audiences become more fragmented, many businesses are taking to having smaller micro-sites based on different customers and needs. Just because they are smaller (take a landing page, or a dealer site for example) doesn’t mean they don’t require as much SEO attention. Optimize across the board. This also means including well thought out and researched titles and descriptions for each blog post you publish.
- Create, Create, Create! — For the last few years now, content has been crowned king. And while many have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon, not many publish new things frequently and at a consistently high quality. Find a schedule that works for you but try to at least publish one new piece of content (a blog, infographic or video) each month.
- Link Your Sites Together — A solid linking strategy is potentially the most valuable long term SEO effort aside from content. Google takes note when a site has significant incoming links, which essentially act as a ‘vote.’ In the meantime, work to link between all the digital properties that you own.
- When You Do Link, Use Your Words — When you do link between your sites or out to another site, make sure your anchor text (or the text that you are linking) contains a core keyword to the page.
- Don’t Neglect Your YouTube Channel — As the No. 2 search engine and a close relative of Google, YouTube must be well attended to. Upload videos, they don’t have to be professional quality. In fact, real is better when it comes to social video. Then create an engaging title and description using your relevant keywords. Link from your video back to your site. And for bonus points with Google, embed your YouTube videos right into your website.
- Keep Your Social Communities Buzzing — Aside from proving a viable traffic driver, social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are a core component of social ranking factors. Keep those communities talking by sharing interesting posts and having good conversations.
- Mobile is Key into 2015 — Mobile has been hot on the radar for the last few years, but we’re now at a point where it has become so important that Google has identified it as an important element of how it ranks a site. If your website is not mobile friendly, Google will call it out as such and likely bump you in the wrong direction.
Want even more tips? Let’s chat!