Social media and SEO are like the parable of the hare and the turtle. Social media can get you quick bursts of attention, which then peters out again if you don’t keep working at it, while working at SEO will not get you much at the beginning but can build up to a juggernaut that gets you a huge amount of steady organic traffic which ultimately wins you the race.
The good news? You can use both. In fact, they work rather well together, with a good social media performance aiding your SEO efforts. In this article we’re going to concentrate on what you can do to improve your SEO with some simple techniques that will take time, but will pay off in the long run.
Look what the competition have done
When you find a keyword that you want to rank for, check out what the competition have done to get on the first page. This will give you a good idea of what the minimum is that you’ll have to do to rank as well as the do.
And you want to end up on the first page. If you can’t manage that, then you’re competing for only 5% of the traffic that is attracted to the keywords you’re trying to rank for. That’s a lot of work for very little attention.
Realize that Google is trying to give people what they want
What I mean with that is that the changes that Google is bringing to its algorithms are all about finding the pages that people are actually looking for, rather than what business websites want them to find.
How should this affect your strategy?
When you have a choice of writing for SEO or writing for visitors always opt for visitors. In this way, when Google brings another change to the way its algorithms work, then you’ll be far more likely to benefit from them rather than be hurt by them.
Start a blog
A blog is always a good idea for SEO purposes. It allows your site to consistently and constantly add new content. What’s more, this content (if done correctly) is about solving the problems of visitors and customers. That makes it far more likely that it’s what internet users need, which means that it’s far more likely to rank high on Google.
So build a blog and use it to build authority and solve the problems that your visitors and your customers have. Then the rest of your website can be about selling your product. In that way, your blog will pull them in and your internal links will pull them towards buying your product.
Remember to market
Google doesn’t yet know when content is great and when it isn’t. They might one day, but that day isn’t here yet. Instead, they use a proxy and that is to look at people to see whether they like your content. They do that by looking whether people share your content a lot. Do your users stick around on the page or do they bounce away almost immediately? Do they follow links away from the content? If these things are happening, then that must mean that the content is what people are actually looking for.
What does that mean for you? It means that if you want to rank well for SEO, you can’t just focus on making great pages. That is important, but isn’t enough. You also need to attract readers. The more you attract, the merrier your SEO will be.
So, focus less on creating new content and more on marketing the content that you’ve already got.
Work at creating more backlinks
Backlinks are still the currency of Google and ranking well. The more you’ve got, the better your site ranks. So, work on getting bylines to articles, getting noticed by other movers and shakers and in other ways building them up.
Some things to note:
- The quality of the backlinks matters more than the quantity. So don’t aim for crappy sites.
- Building backlinks should never stop. So don’t set targets. Instead, keep working at it constantly and consistently.
- If you get backlinks from pages that are involved in your field, search engines will weigh these as more valuable. So, if you’re in the fishing industry try getting links from sites that are related to that (e.g. bait sites, fishing line pages and fishing spot websites) rather than something that has nothing to do with it.
Realize that SEO strategies have massive lag
Whatever strategies you decide to follow, realize that after you’ve implemented them it can take weeks, sometimes even months, before the results start to show themselves. That’s why you have to start with your SEO strategies as soon as possible, as it can take a long time before you really start to rank well.
What’s more, don’t be impatient. When you want to try out something new, then really try it out. Wait for the effects to filter through before you decide to abandon he strategy or decide to change it. If you don’t, then there is a likelihood that you’ll credit the wrong thing with giving you the SEO boost that you’re trying to get and that can be a disaster.
Boost the successful pages
When you’ve got a page that is starting to rank well and draw in visitors, then don’t just leave it at that. Instead, work at it. Give it more attention. Make it even better. Google will notice this (they compare the previous version of the page with the current version) and will rank you better if they’ve got the idea that you’re updating your site.
Ultimately, working on the pages that are already doing well is a much better strategy that trying to build new pages. This is because every position you manage to climb in the ranking gets you a much bigger slice of the traffic pie.
For that reason, when you’ve got a good page, work on it. That might mean adding more links. That might mean tightening up the text. That might even mean using an editor or getting a writing site, like Lord of Papers, to look at it to make it really shine.
And if these people then spread out across your linked pages, that means your sites get far more attention.
Make sure your keywords are in the right places
The days where keywords were supposed to be repeated left, right and center are long gone. That does not mean, however, that your keywords shouldn’t be strategically placed. They should be in your piece’s headline, in the URL and in such places as your picture’s alt tag.
In this way, Google knows what you’re trying to rank for and it is much more likely that you’re going to end up in the searches that you’re aiming for.
Then just keep it up. Like I said at the beginning of this article, SEO is a slow process. It can take months to climb in the ranking. That means that it should never be your only tactic. Instead, it should be part of a bigger strategy.
If you view it in that way you’ll be able to draw in a huge audience that otherwise might never have heard of your site. What’s more, they’ll be highly motivated and directly interested in what you have to offer.
And that is when SEO really rocks and can make your small business into a booming behemoth.