By Felix Tarcomnicu
SEO remains an important aspect of building your online presence. Compared to its earlier days, the principles of SEO have undergone refinement and regulation as the search engines have decided to crack down on abusive practices.
Search engines, particularly Google, are focused on providing its users the best in User Experience. It will not hesitate to penalize those who resort to techniques that are designed to mislead Internet searchers.
Despite these regulations, SEO is a powerful tool that properly wielded can greatly improve your search rankings. It is a constantly evolving process which means you can always get better at it.
Here are five ways to get better at SEO:
1. Consistently improve content
Content is not only king. Content is also key. The key to having your website rank high in organic searches lies in your ability to consistently produce great content.
SEO is tasked to research the most competitive keywords and utilize these in automating a search friendly website. But what happens when your website is found and there is no value to be gathered? Keywords become meaningless if these are not transformed into usable content.
But what makes content great?
- It must be relevant. Your audience will search the Internet for resources it can use to address an issue or a concern. Unless your content presents actionable solutions, all the keywords will have no value.
- It must be engaging. The best content compels the audience to think and want to get involved. It must draw the audience toward it and initiate an action.
- It must connect. Have you ever come across content that triggers an emotional cue? Did it hit a nerve or tug at the heart strings? If it did, then it was successful at connecting with you.
- It must spur you to share. Content becomes viral when its audience becomes compelled to share it. People would want to share it if they find some value that defines it.
In order to improve content you must be up to date with your audience. You must have a constant feel of the pulse that gives them life. Markets are constantly changing because tastes, demands and preferences are changing.
2. Integrate other online tools
SEO should no longer be regarded by online marketers as a separate and distinct strategy for improving visibility.
The value and benefit of SEO can be maximized by integrating its principles with other online marketing tools. Here are three examples on how we can integrate SEO principles with other online marketing tools:
- Link building. This is an effective strategy for generating inbound traffic to your website. However, it is often abused by online marketers. One of SEO’s principles is organization. By using the principle of organization, you can identify the website links that are relevant to your website and those that are not. Search engines are very particular of relevance when it comes to link building strategies. The relation does not have to be 100% on point, but it must be complementary to your website’s purpose.
- Banner Advertising. This type of online marketing strategy remains prevalent today because of one reason: it works! Banner Advertising supports another one of SEO’s important principles which is its most fundamental one: visibility. Banner advertising works because it drives the URL into the consciousness of the audience. It becomes more potent if you include a call to action.
- Blogging. Blogging is one of the most effective techniques in generating inbound traffic. The statistics supporting the importance of blogging supports two important principles of SEO: visibility and keyword research. As we mentioned earlier, great content is important for effective SEO and certainly for your blog. But of equal importance are its frequency and length. These two qualities will influence the visibility of your website.
3. Understand the influence of social media
If the fundamental principle of SEO is visibility then to improve your approach you must respect the influence of social media.
If you want your website to be found, there is no doubt that you have to be involved in social media. The numbers supporting the significance of social media are staggering:
- 2.078 Billion active social media accounts out of an daily Internet population of 3.010 Billion.
- 1.685 Billion active mobile social media users out of 3.649 active mobile phone users.
- 1.4 Billion people or 47% of the Internet’s population are on Facebook every day.
- 4.5 Billion “Likes” are generated daily.
- The average Internet user spends two hours a day on social media.
Some online marketers and SEO practitioners claim social media does not significantly contribute to a sales conversion. Those who say this are the ones who see the tree but not the forest.
SEO is not a one-trick pony or a strategy that gets results overnight. SEO is a process that takes time to yield productive results. Most of all, SEO is in a constant state of evolution. It must be allowed to change as markets change.
Social media is the perfect vehicle to drive SEO. Obviously the social media networks have the volume. Second, the networks provide SEO different avenues to deliver content.
Remember that not all social media networks are the same. Each community has its own culture and unique behavioral characteristics. In the same way that a business blog would not generate interest in Facebook, an uploaded image of your lunchtime meal would be by-passed in LinkedIn.
When conceptualizing SEO strategy, you must be mindful of these social networking nuances.
By capitalizing on the market diversity of social media, you would be able to deliver your content to a larger audience that shares your interest.
4. Constantly build your network
A lesser known strategy in improving your SEO approach is to build your network.
The three main components of Google’s revised algorithm are as follows:
- Trust and Authority of Host Domain- 23.87%
- Link Popularity of the Specific Page- 22.33%
- Anchor Text or External Links to the Page – 20.26%
Thus, it is very important that if you were going to establish links, references or associations with your website these would have to be reputable, trustworthy and relevant.
Guest-blogging is an effective way of increasing your reach and scope but these would have to be with good quality websites with unquestionable credibility.
Before you reach out to communities, conduct due diligence and verify its reputation. Once established, you can also invite some of the bloggers to write on your website.
Traditional networking activities are also effective in reaching out to your local community. Sign up for business forums, networking events and trade shows where you will be given the opportunity to present your business.
Make sure that your marketing materials include your website address, social media accounts and other important contact details.
5. Develop your creativity
Most SEO professionals overlook other avenues for generating inbound traffic and visibility. Blogging is popular but there are other effective sources as well.
- Go interactive. Webinars and podcasts are a great way to develop immediate inbound links. Also, these encourage engagement and sharing especially if the topics are relevant.
- Use videos. Have you seen the video of Antoine Leiris who lost his wife in the terrorist attacks in Paris? That was powerful and beautiful. The content has been shared 441,000 times as of last count.
- Use customized images. Customized images are unique to your content. Appropriate and well-conceptualized these can result in more sharing, back-links and visits to your website.
The key to becoming better in SEO is to adapt strategies that are flexible and adaptable. Always keep in mind that because markets are always evolving it is impossible to find the perfect strategy. A rigid approach to SEO will never work. You have to open yourself up to all possibilities while staying true to the principles of SEO.