The SEO game is just like any other sport. It must be played with skill and precision. Constantly changing search algorithms are challenging SEO companies to come up with new and creative game plans. The roles and responsibilities of SEO have shifted over the last couple of years and companies must strive to stay current and move with the times in order to win the race.
To stay competitive SEO companies must create strategies that answer specific questions. Understanding what defines good SEO and what particular actions to undertake can help drive successful play strategies.
What if you had in your possession a failsafe plan that could bring immeasurable success to your SEO company? Would you jump at the chance to get the upper hand? I have created a playbook of sorts that when put into practice can help your company navigate through any obstacle and come out a winner.
Rule #1: Increasing Social Share Engagement
Use social media to your advantage. The future is here and it requires us to look differently at how we play the game. An SEO company that looks at social media as yet another outlet which can enhance their business will prosper greatly in these ever changing times. The roles and responsibilities of the SEO are now expanding to include social media and the companies that embrace this fact and roll with it will most definitely outrun their competition.
There are three steps in this process that require attention.
- Checklist for SEO goals
First you must create a checklist of SEO goals for social media. You want to build statistics that will support any plan you come up with so you will need to do a little research. It's advisable to choose 50 pieces of content and count the number of shares for each platform. After you do this, divide your total by 50 and that will allow you to determine your baseline by which you will judge the success of all future posts. While looking at the statistics it's helpful to examine the posts that have gone viral and see if you can establish any parallels. If you can determine the factors that create success, then you can hone in which processes are worthy of your focus in future articles.
- Extraordinary headlines and content
The second step involves writing extraordinary content. You want your content to garnish attention so you must look at ways to make it noteworthy. Eye-catching headlines draw a significant amount of traffic through avenues such as Facebook or Twitter so you need to consider how well your headline will function over these channels. It's important to ask yourself whether or not this is the best possible headline. If you need to make changes, this is the time to do it. Pass your content to at least two professionals who can peruse your work and give you feedback. When you have covered all your bases then you know you are ready to hit the Publish and Post button.
- Review And Revamp
Lastly your job is to review the success of your post. This is most likely the most important step because here is where you get to determine whether your strategy was successful and what adjustments you need to make in the future. Start by counting the number of shares and determine whether this number exceeded your expectations. You might also want to look at unsuccessful posts and brainstorm solutions that might have made your piece more compelling.
Rule #2: An Authority Website
Reputation, Age and Exceptional Content are the cornerstones of an authoritative website. What propels your site into receiving notoriety is the reputation that you build along the way. Guidelines set out by Google and Bing level the playing field for everyone and thus sticking to these parameters will gain you a solid reputation in the eyes of the online business community.
Although you cannot impact the age of your site, it is a factor which can affect the authority of your site. The length of time your domain has been active will determine how high you rank. The longer you have been a player in the game the greater your ranking so keep that in mind.
Building your brand and establishing a loyal contingent of followers is ultimately your goal. Extensive tutorials, viral posts and strong content go a long way towards establishing domain authority.
Here is a no nonsense method you can use to create authority for your site:
- Stick to above-the-table SEO tactics
Play by the rules it will pay off in the end. The strength and credibility of your site hinges on how well you play the game. The morals and ethics you employ will help establish authority and will assist your site to be seen as reputable.
- Create exceptional and diverse content on a frequent basis
Remaining relevant and current in this day and age is of the utmost importance. You must strive to keep your content new, fresh and constant if you wish to thrive in the online world. Google search engines also value diversity. Sites that contain multiple forms of content such as videos, slide shows, and images appear to rank higher and receive more acclaim thus creating authority.
- Stay in the game for years
Authority is automatically given to those who have weathered many storms and live to tell the tale. Domains that have successfully existed for a good number of years acquire authority as they have managed to stand the test of time. The fortitude to remain active is what establishes credibility in the eyes of the business world.
Rule #3: Attract Authoritative Links
SEO relies heavily on links to properly operate search engines. For this reason, it's vital that you attract high-authority links to your web post.
There are a number of ways to do this but for the purpose of this article we will focus in on the five best strategies. You really want to plump up you’re in-content links. Writing a post that requires a response is an excellent way to achieve this. You want to focus in on subjects which are frequently written about and post content that can allow for this to occur easily.
When you're sifting through a high-authority website you might want to scan through for dead links. Volunteering your services to rewrite missing content links can really bode well for your reputation. Offering to replace dead links is a good way to establish connections and increase the possibility that you will get a link back in the future
Guest posts which are practical and well supported can garnish a link back as the blogger will feel compelled to thank you for your efforts in some way.
The whole idea here is to discover hidden avenues to attract links. Filling in the gaps can come in really handy to a blogger so optimize on this opportunity. If you examine their work and find gaps in content, you might want to outline them and offer your rewriting services. The blogger will most likely appreciate the assistance and second pair of eyes.
One final idea to help you with your linking dilemma is the addition of government links. Charitable causes or events in your city will warrant a government link if the information is relayed in a timely format. This is a large undertaking but will really reap rewards if promoted through government websites via links.
The idea is that you want to get your eggs into as many baskets as possible. Creating pathways takes time and effort but if you play your cards right you'll be swimming in links before you know it.
Rule #4: Designing For Humans
The job of the SEO is to pay attention to factors such as design, navigation, bounce rates and page-load speeds. These are all necessary components to an effective website. A satisfied user is one who can easily sail through your site and find what is they are looking for. The trick is to create a website that is designed for the way a human thinks.
Let's look at ways to plan for the human mind and create pathways for success:
- Create hub pages
Hub pages serve as a table of contents and allow for all the ingredients to be displayed. This is a fantastic way of revitalizing old content and making it current. All of your content can be viewed at once which often allows readers to pick and choose links which appeal to them the most. Ultimately this leads to increased page views
- Limit your ad space
Ads are often necessary components of a website but they shouldn't be the primary feature. Try and keep to your top performing ads and place them at the bottom as too many ads can often signal poor quality or spam to a visitor.
- Improve page load speed
Addressing ways to improve the overall experience on your site can greatly impact the success of your domain. While page load speed isn't as essential as the quality of your content, it is a factor you may want to address. Problems in this area can cause frustrations for browsers so focusing on fixing and increasing your page load speed will benefit you in the long run.
- Use breadcrumbs
Humans and search engines alike appreciate the value of breadcrumbs. From organizing content to helping you navigate your placement within a website they can be very effective tools within your SEO formula.
- Design a beautiful site
Beautiful designs attract visitors and help increase your ranking on Google searches. Keep a browsers interest by honing in on this important step. The human psyche is drawn to aesthetically pleasing content so optimizing the look of your site can truly improve traffic to your site.
Rule #5: Always Think Long-Term
Long term vs Short Term Planning, that's the question here. There is a tendency to respond to SEO dilemmas through short-sighted glasses. Often this looks like an algorithm change that results in site drops and complaints from customers. Responding with quick fixes can be tempting but not overly effective in the long run. Your band aid solutions can help deliver high rankings in the short term. However, this approach won't adequately address underlying issues and will not yield sustainable results.
Stepping back and seeing the overall picture can allow you to plan for the future. Generally speaking, long range goal setting will reap the most rewards so stick to the rules of SEO like the ones I've been sharing. If you follow a well plotted out plan, then you can keep penalties to a minimum. However, if you do find yourself in hot water you might want to try these next few steps to fix the problem:
- Identify the algorithm change
Google is not in the habit of announcing changes before they take effect unless they are major such as The Penguin or Panda Update. For this reason, it's necessary to scan through Google's search blog to uncover recent updates and identify algorithm changes to avert penalties.
- Determine if your penalty is legitimate
Legitimate changes can be modified and reported back to Google. Your honesty and efficiency will help your reputation and Google will appreciate your efforts. On the other hand, if it’s an illegitimate penalty you may want to submit a site review. Mistakes can be made and Google is good at restoring old rankings when good sites are unfairly caught in an algorithm change.
Long term thinking is the key to success in the SEO industry. Short term plans only bring short term results. Due to ever changing algorithms, keeping up with the current is nearly impossible. Google makes 17.5 algorithm changes per hour and for this reason chasing algorithms is a losing battle. Focus your efforts on thinking long-term and stick to the rules of best practices and success will follow you wherever you go!
The SEO game is challenging us to come up with new and creative game plans and strategies. However, it's important not to forget the basics. Practices that have stood the test of time can still yield profitable results in Google rankings.
The key is to remain patient through the ups and downs. You can avert disaster and making questionable decisions by simply allowing things to unfold naturally. Sometimes a rash decision can lead to more harm than good.
Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, the fastest person does not always will the race. Be the one who crosses the finish line first by following a few simple steps. Your SEO agency will thank you!
Please help us build and strengthen our SEO community. Add any suggestions you have seen to be effective to the comments box below and help us set everyone up for success!