SEO isn’t dead everyone. But it will die if it SEO is continually isolated by marketers as an independent tactic.
For many businesses, ranking on keywords is still the motivation for driving traffic to their company’s website for lead generation. However, SEO rankings today is not solely based on constant website updates. With the ongoing push behind Google +, a company’s presence on social media is becoming just as important in helping Google rankings than keyword optimization.
Therefore, moving forward small-to-medium businesses and major companies alike need to engage in SEO and social media interdependently, realizing that both along with other efforts such as content marketing can increase your company’s odds of ranking high on Google.
It’s 2013 and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) still feels like a mysterious term to marketers (and for good reason). We’re continuously bombarded with spam from SEO firms, consultants promising to rank our sites higher or subscription based companies taking our money and achieving disappointing results. On page optimization, off page optimization, link building, white hat, black hat - it’s a scary world out there.
The truth is SEO hasn’t really changed, valuable content still ranks highly in search engines and those that are taking the time to create remarkable content are winning big. So if you’re serious about your SEO (and you should be) you’re going to have to cut through the noise and start focusing on the core factors that will help you rank higher. Here are 4 modern SEO techniques that will help drive more traffic to your website:
Its easy to sit here and talk about the fact you need to produce remarkable content, but often finding the time as a marketer or business owner is difficult. The key here is frequency and "thinking outside the box". Have two categories of content: your bread and butter content for your blog and remarkable content that you will use on landing pages, SEO pages and to earn inbound links from reputable sources.
Bread and butter content twice weekly; and
remarkable content one piece a month at a minimum... stir thoroughly with innovative ideas.
Here is a content planning spreadsheet to help you get started and plan your content month by month.
Try and think outside the box with your content. For example if you're a mortgage broker try producing a white paper on the process of selecting the best mortgage and add a comparison calculator to your website. By giving valuable tools away you'll position yourself as a trusted resource. People link to resources, not advertorials. Think outside the box of your competitors - what's your remarkable content edge?
Google likes links. A number of factors affect your ranking, but the amount of links to your website from other popular websites is one of the primary factors in determining your rank. The old way was to pay to list your website in directories, post on forums, swap links with other webmasters and generally build links through any means possible to keyword rich content. The new way is all about links to remarkable content and useful solutions that are shared across social media and blogs. You need to truly earn these links from trusted websites, personalities and bloggers with your great content.
Blogs (arguably the best form of SEO) are increasingly consumed on mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone. If your blog isn’t optimized for the mobile web it’s unlikely it will rank in mobile search results. If you’re blog isn’t optimized for the mobile web it’s unlikely anyone will read it in the bathroom with their smartphone -- get the idea? You need a mobile website to take advantage of mobile SEO. Responsive design (LINK THIS) is the best approach here because you won’t end up with multiple websites and landing pages to contend with.
I’m sure you have seen something similar to the image below in your Google search results.
Google Authorship allows you to “make your content feel personal”, but the reality is, it legitimizes your blog posts and content. Using Google Authorship you’ll notice better click through rates on your content and increases in traffic to your blog from search engine results.
If you have your own helpful SEO techniques you'd like to share, please do so in the comments below.
Everyday I’m lucky enough to speak with marketers and business owners from different sized companies, industries and geographies. Time and time again I hear the same question, “How can I improve my SEO and how much money should I spend on PPC?”. It seems as though marketers (when failing generate enough leads) often think that throwing money at PPC & SEO will make the problem go away -- but is this really the right approach? SEO & PPC have a place in demand generation but what is often overlooked is where the prospect will end up -- your website.
According to the 2012 SMB Digital Scope Study, 98% of SMBs websites are not optimized for Mobile, 78% don’t have any links to social media and 44% don’t even have their phone number or contact information accessible from their home page. So before you start ploughing money into PPC & SEO it’s best to consider how well your website is optimized to take advantage of new traffic visiting from your campaigns.
Understanding the goal of the campaign and the actions you want prospects to take is critical to a successful campaign. Simply dumping visitors on your homepage and expecting them to browse around, read all about your company and go to the contact page (to find your number) is wishful thinking. Instead, take the time to understand what it is that the visitor will be interested in, what the process and funnel for the campaign will look like and how you will draw their interest through a call-to-action. Set a campaign goal based on budget, time frame and conversions.
Knowing which keywords to use can be difficult but there is always a great place to start: competitors websites. Pick your top 2-3 competitors and use the Google Keyword Tool to do some research. Start small, pick 10-20 of the best keywords you can find. As you learn which keywords work (and don't work) you can expand your keyword list.
If you're working with an agency or consultant, the same principle applies, start simple with only a handful of keywords and overtime you can add and remove keywords based on what works and doesn't work. If you start out too complex you'll never have the time to digest what's really working.
Generally it will make sense to have different content and calls-to-action for different keywords. Instead of sending visitors to your home page or a generic landing page, take the time to create landing pages for groups of keywords with targeted calls-to-action. For example, at Bislr, we have created landing pages for Inbound Marketing, Wordpress Alternative and Small Business CRM to target visitors from our own PPC campaigns. Each has a unique call-to-action like a free trial, demo or webinar offer.
If you don't track your spend and cost per aquisition from SEO & PPC you're wasting your time and money. It amazes me when I help marketers track their campaigns for the first time just how poorly the campaigns were performing. Take the time to setup analytics and conversion tracking so you can understand which campaigns, keywords and call-to-actions work best. If you don't track you'll never improve.
See how campaign tracking works in Bislr.
No matter how brilliant you are at creating landing pages and calls-to-action you should always test each and every landing page. A true A/B test is where you test only one varitation on your page at a time. Here at Bislr we are constantly A/B testing our landing pages. We test variations in the copy and the calls-to-action we offer each visitor. By running these tests we're able to understand what combination of factors makes a visitor to our landing page convert into a lead. This helps us maximize our SEO & PPC dollar as our landing pages are constantly improving. To the uninitiated A/B tests can seem daunting and time consuming, but several tools like Bislr allow you to do A/B testing on landing pages in a matter of minutes.