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Some entrepreneurs tend to underestimate SEO, or maybe just don’t fully understand it, letting it get lost in the bottom of their huge pile of things to take care of. But SEO is actually directly linked to the success of a variety of marketing activities and goals, starting from PR, right down to your KPIs.
If you’re reading this article I assume you already know the basics of SEO and understand the deep connection between SEO efforts, organic traffic, and promoting your goals. Let’s just say I never heard of anyone saying ‘NO’ to organic traffic, right? I did however hear about a lot of people jumping through hoops in the hopes of getting some (traffic I mean).
In our efforts to squeeze the traffic lemon, most of us, SEO believers, use all the basic SEO tactics: Keywords research, backlink building, guest posting, meta data, content optimization and other well-known tactics. Don’t be mistaken, these basics are indeed the main ingredients in any SEO effort, and they are still critical elements in bringing organic traffic. Still, in this post I’m not going to cover (again) these worn out tactics, as there are a lot (A LOT) of great sources out there for SEO 101. Here I am going to shed a different light on some of these tactics and unveil some other SEO hacks you should consider using:
1. Long-tail Keywords
Everyone knows how to find the most popular keywords. Indeed, getting to the top 10 with these keywords guarantees a lot of organic traffic, but guess what? It’s hard. Seriously, it’s really hard. You might not get there in the near future….
I therefore suggest, in parallel to popular keywords effort, to try and take the road less travelled: Targeting less popular, longer keywords, without compromising the relevancy parameter.
One way to achieve this is by adding location names to the keywords. Evidently, by narrowing the potential traffic scale, you will greatly improve your chances of getting to the top 10 for these long tail words / expressions. Also, when combining a lot of these less commonly used keywords, they can amount to nice traffic, not to mention the quality of users you’ll end up getting.
On the matter of keywords, there’s another way of finding out what your users search for, other than just checking Google Keyword Planner for the millionth time… What about your own website searches (as long as you have a search box in your website and credible analytics around what’s being searched)? Try that, use the inside information you have on your users, if you can. You will gain valuable insights.
2. Link building – Leverage on Broken links
Link building is one of the corner stones of SEO. Today, link building is very different than what it used to be, as Google had made some significant changes in its algorithm over the past few years. SEO agencies, therefore, must add meaningful backlinks, originated in relevant and vivid sites that are highly ranked, if they wish to get successful results.
While some think that link building is dying, others claim it’s very much alive. The truth, I suppose, lies somewhere in the middle. For now, link building tactics are still something to consider, especially taking into account that there are some interesting, out-of-the-box ways that don’t necessarily require huge SEO expertise and can offer great value. One of these is exploiting broken links. Like the name suggests, the broken link tactic is all about finding broken links (from desired sources) and offering the web masters to substitute them with links to your content, instead. You can use Broken Link Builder to compile your broken links list. If you don’t want to invest any budget in in this method, you’ll have to put in some leg work and find those links yourself. Read Moz’s summary on this tactic in order to deep dive into out how it’s done. Here’s a tip, Wikipedia is built in a way that allows you to find broken links in it using Google. You might be able to use that as well…
3. Content Curation
Coming up with original, high quality content on a daily basis is almost impossible when you are part of a small startup having so many other things to do. Still, having relevant and fresh content strongly affects your traffic and conversion and it should not be neglected. Curated content is easier to produce and it saves tons of time (and money). Start by thinking about a relevant topic for your audience. Then, search for related online articles. You will probably find dozens of them. That’s not a bad thing, it’s not that common to come up with a topic that you are the only one to write about. Then, research these articles. See which are the popular ones – a great indication can be the number of votes and shares the article got (can be found in most article pages today). Look for the added value of each article and then, add your own insights while curating the key messages of this article, and make sure to give credit by linking to these articles. That’s it. You are done. Fresh content to your blog, including relevant keywords, and everyone is happy. You, your audience and the original content creator.
4. Content Distribution
While engaging in social activity is a must, no doubt about it, it is interesting to see how SEO is affected by social media efforts. The exact algorithm that Google uses to rank web pages is unknown. Moreover, Google employees stated, in some industry events, that social signals are not among their ranking factors. Despite this, Search metrics’ correlation research and MOZs’ Expert Survey and Correlation Data found that social engagement does affect SEO, maybe not in a direct way, but it does. Now that we have addressed the elephant in the room, let’s jump right into how your social distribution activity should be managed. Create a distribution list – A file where you monitor all your relevant groups from different sources. Make sure to have relevant information regarding these groups, such as group link, number of members and the group type (who’s the audience?). On a separate sheet monitor your articles – UTMs by medium and several post-text options for the social promotion. Your file should look like this:
Now all that is left to do is publish on several groups each day. Make sure to A\B test to see which medium brings more quality traffic, which featured image and text copy gets the clicks and what timing works best to promote your content. Check out this article for more useful tips.
Don’t forget the DON’Ts…
Well, after reviewing some SEO DOs, you should also learn about some common DON’Ts. These are basic mistakes people make while engaging with SEO.
The amount of SEO information out there is endless. My advice to you is to stay focused. It’s impossible to get your mind (and hands) wrapped around all of this information. You’ll end up being Jack of all trades, master of none. Start from the basics, and remember – SEO techniques make sense in most cases and can be very intuitive.