Understanding SEO: Part Five - Best Practices
In this five-part blog series, we have explored some of the intricacies of search engine optimization and how to leverage SEO activities most to your advantage as you build out your content. For our final installment, we’ll review some best practices to using your SEO content as a part of your marketing strategy.
Making the Most of Your SEO
As discussed in the previous installment, your SEO and your content overlap heavily -- which means many content marketing practices can have positive effects on your SEO efforts.
Marketing Best Practices
First and foremost, you need to be sure that you are sharing the content you have so that it is seen by prospective clients. If you’ve taken the proper steps to build great content that is valuable to your target audience, you’ll want to make the most of it by sharing it out and getting in front of people.
Fortunately, there are plenty of means to direct your prospects to your content.
Share your content on social media. While most search engines don’t immediately value a link from Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, they do value the traffic that comes from it. Putting together a budget to boost posts is a good idea, because targeted social media ads can introduce your content to new prospects who you might not otherwise get in front of.
Send out regular email blasts with links to fresh content on your website, which offers your audience something of value. Sending two of these emails each month will entice your audience to interact with your website, and keep your company in their mind. This interaction will also give your site’s reputation on Google a boost, as more return visitors access it more often.
You should also participate in networking activities to build your relationships with complementary businesses and media centers. If your local news station does profile pieces on community members, try to find out if they’d be willing to talk about your business as the focus of one of these segments. Any way that these outlets can share your content and expertise with their wide and diverse audience is another way to potentially get your business in front of more eyes. Furthermore, a recommendation from a trusted source--like a news program or newspaper--serves as a powerful social proof to prime an audience to view you as trustworthy as well.
Of course, you should not just rely on the words of other experts. You need to develop your own reputation as an expert, which can be largely achieved by some simple networking activities. Strategically volunteering your services to an influential member of your community (like your local Chamber of Commerce) can drum up some positive buzz, and give you content to share on your site.
When the search engines see that other entities are driving traffic to you (perhaps through a press release, guest blog, or joint event) it can pass some of the authority of the larger, more popular organization down to the other. In other words, if your Chamber or a peer group links to your website, and there is content around that link that is relevant to what you do, it can increase your rankings.
Technical Best Practices
Of course, it is just as important to have your content be easy for your prospect to find, and once they do, that your content can be viewed efficiently. Otherwise, they’re likely to leave your page as quickly as they arrived.
To avoid this, you should abide by the following best practices:
- Your content should load quickly for your user.
- Your link/URL should be honest about the content it navigates to.
- All of your website’s elements, including your content, are optimized for mobile.
- Your audience is directed to your content via internal links across your website.
- Your URLs should be short and concise--the average URL found in position one on a results page has an average of 59 characters in it.
Of course, once the technical aspects have been seen to, there is still more optimization to be done.
General SEO Best Practices
David Amerland, a United Kingdom-based author and speaker who has written extensively on SEO over the years, hypothesizes that the considerations of SEO and content creation are largely the same as those that apply to Big Data. This viewpoint led to the development of his four Vs concept--volume, velocity, variety, and veracity.
- Volume -- The idea is to make sure that you have plenty of content on your website so search engines have plenty to draw inferences from and can match you to the right search queries.
- Velocity -- Or, how fast you can move your content. Google is continuously seeking out new content, so if you can regularly develop new content, there’s a better chance of Google taking notice.
- Variety -- The spice of life just so happens to be an important consideration for Google. You should maintain a healthy mix of marketing materials in different formats, including blogs, videos, social media activity, deliverables, and so on.
- Veracity -- This is based on how your audience receives your content, and why Google should recommend that content to others as well as they run their searches. Maintaining up-to-date content that appeals to your audience’s interests will make your content appear more valuable to the search engines and their algorithms… and, of course, your audience as well.
Different site visitors will be looking for different types of content, and will have different reactions to one type against another. A wider variety of content will make you “compatible,” so to speak, with a larger range. This helps to get Google’s attention, especially if your visitors have linked back.
We hope that this series has prepared you to better leverage your search engine optimization as a part of your marketing efforts. Of course, if you want more assistance, you can always reach out to our team by calling 888-546-4384.