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:
1. Produce content often, have a plan, think outside the box
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?
2. Stop building links, start earning them
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.
3. Optimize for the mobile web
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.
4. Google Authorship
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.