While the internet has changed the way we search for information, it has also redefined the role of digital marketing in terms of strategy and execution. Gone are the days of simply pumping out content and hoping for the best. Thanks to the likes of Google and Facebook, search engine optimization, or SEO, is now more important than ever before.
Deciding what makes for a successful SEO strategy can be tricky. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to digital marketing, but there are definitely some general best practices you can follow to give your strategizing a leg up on the competition.
A major shift in SEO paradigm has been the focus on long-tail keywords rather than short-tail keywords. As the name would suggest, long-tail keywords are generally more specific and, therefore, more relevant to potential customers. For example, let’s say you’re a hair products company. Your long-tail keyword might be “hair products for women.” This could be used to reach those within the niche most interested in your product.
On the other hand, short-tail keywords are more commonly used to enter search engines. When potential customers enter keywords such as “hair products” or “skin care products,” your website might not even make the top 10 results.
Proven keywords are important for two reasons. First, they allow you to target the right audience with your content. And second, they make it easier for customers to find your product or service in the first place. If you want to grow your business using SEO, starting with a list of proven keywords is a great place to begin.
Create Keyword-rich Content
In terms of online marketing, content is everything. Create content that’s informative, concise, and easy to understand and and you’ll be able to pull in some major Internet traffic. When it comes to SEO, content is even more important because it can potentially be used to generate leads and make sales.
However, content isn’t one-size-fits-all. To generate the greatest impact, you need to create content that targets a specific keyword or keyword combination. When creating content for SEO, look to see if there are any existing pages on your site that are already optimized for the same keyword(s). If so, you can use that content as a base and build upon it.
For example, if you’ve already got content on your site about mobile phones, you can use that content to expand into the tablet market by creating similar content for tablets. Alternatively, you could create content that’s keyword-rich but doesn’t fit well within any existing pages on your site. In this case, create a new page dedicated to the topic and include the keyword in the page’s content.
Build Backlinks To Your Site
Backlinks are links from other sites to your website. They’re valuable because they can help boost your site’s SEO. When other sites link to you, it’s called ‘earned media’; when the source is of no relevance to your target audience (i.e., people searching for your product or service), it’s referred to as ‘free media.’
You can have the greatest content in the world but if nobody is linking to it, it’s not going to do you any good. One of the simplest ways to gain backlinks to your site is to create high-quality content for relevant platforms.
For example, if you’ve got a travel blog, you can create a piece of content for a major travel website such as TripAdvisor or Expedia. Alternatively, you can submit your blog post to local directories and trade groups that are relevant to your niche. When other websites and blogs discover your content, they’ll often link to it, putting your name and blog post’s link in their text. As a result, you’ll start to see the benefits of an optimized SEO strategy quickly.
Avoid Spam Tactics
In today’s world of digital marketing, it’s all too easy to find a variety of ‘growth hacking’ tactics used to push products. While many of these tactics might seem perfectly legal, they often include sneaky strategies designed to trick search engines into artificially boosting a product or website in an effort to make it pop up higher on search engine results pages.
Spam tactics are generally avoided in most sectors of digital marketing because they can lead to severe penalties from search engines and the companies that manage them. When hiring an SEO agency or freelancer, make sure they’re committed to ethical SEO practices and have a proven track record in the industry. For more information on spamming, check out this informative blog post by Moz.
Cloaking is when a website displays different search results to different users, based on their geographical location or any other factor. Essentially, the aim is to show different search results to different people, rather than relying on search engines to find the content you want them to see. There are a variety of benefits to having a cloaking strategy in place, including the ability to target local searches and see how your site appears when someone in a different country searches for your product or service.
Cloaking isn’t necessary for every website, but it can be quite effective for those that already have a significant amount of content related to a specific area. For example, if you’re a shoe company and already have a page dedicated to men’s shoes, you can use that content as a jumping off point to create a page dedicated to women’s shoes. This is a win-win situation because you’ll be able to reach a larger audience with your content while also having the option of cloaking the page if you want to target specific regions or countries.
To learn more, check out Google’s page on ‘Why should I cloak my content?’
In the mobile-first indexing algorithm update that occurred in May 2018, Google completely revamped how they rank websites on search engine results pages. Prior to the update, most people in the online marketing community had already started to see the benefits of a mobile-first indexing strategy.
Instead of having their computers and laptops in the determining factor of a website’s ranking, search engines now put greater emphasis on mobile devices and, to a lesser extent, tablets. According to Google, mobile-first indexing means that “a site that is best viewed on a mobile device will rank higher than a site that is designed for desktop computer viewing.”
One of the easiest ways to prepare for a mobile-first indexing update is to make your site responsive. A responsive site is designed to provide the best viewing experience to visitors regardless of whether they are using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
Unfortunately, not all websites are built with mobile-friendliness in mind. Fortunately, there are some free tools available that can help build a better mobile website. For example, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test allows you to check the mobile-friendliness of your site and also provides you with some ideas on how to improve it.
Reduce The Amount Of Dummy Text
When it comes to SEO, content is king and, like with most things in life, size does matter. Large blocks of text across the web are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Thanks to the relatively quick pace of the internet, readers are typically scanning content for key facts or important information so that they can get on with their day. For that reason, it’s more important than ever to have short, snappy copy that’s easy to understand.
With so much content constantly being produced, chances are your website is already overflowing with dull, white text. To make matters worse, a lot of websites these days feature huge blocks of block text, often times more than six-figure words, just to grab someone’s attention. While lengthy copy might have been acceptable when websites were at their peak, the internet simply doesn’t work that way anymore.
To fix this problem, you could use a service like Growtopia to automatically generate unique content that’s tailored to your target audience. Alternatively, you could write your own articles or blog posts and then use software such as Reviser to help you polish your work before submission.
Avoid Poor Grammar, Spelling, And Punctuation
If you’re inclined to believe the internet, then you’ll probably think that I’m a bit harsh when it comes to spelling and grammar. I mean, who cares if something’s spelled correctly or how a writer chooses to punctuate his or her sentences? While there’s definitely no need to polish up your writing before sending it to the editor, there are still a few things you can do to make your content more readable.