In 2013, Google released an update to its search function called Hummingbird. This update was done to try and improve the way search queries were matched up with responses. However, this also changed some rules as to how people could reach the top of the search results page. Gone are the days when people could cheat their way to the top through illicit links and spamming random sites with ads. Now, SEO has become a slow and tedious, but still important, process. So to help you along on your journey, we've got some of our best unique tips and tricks collected below.
If you don't know about the importance of SEO yet, check out this infographic!
1) Trusted Links
The key to a good link building strategy is that the links absolutely must be trust worthy. Spamming random, sketchy websites with links or ads that lead back to you will make you go down in the rankings, and all that effort will have been for nothing. When adding a link to another site, make sure the site is equally reputable to yours, or perhaps even more. Also, remember that links within your own site are still great links! Make sure to reference other webpages whenever relevant. An example of this can be to add a section underneath each employee profile with their favourite blog post, and then link to that blog post.
2) Optimize for Your Customers
Everyone always focuses on optimizing for search engines, and looking at their competition in the search ranking to see what they're doing. However, it's important to keep in mind that most websites are built for the customer, not for the employees. Therefore, every piece of content that is posted, and every page that is posted should be targeted towards the clients needs and should address the questions they may have, or things they want to see. This way, all current and potential clients can get to see the content they want, and when they search for that specific thing they've been looking for in Google, they will find what you're offering right away.
3) Data & Keyword Research
Yes, we know, this tip sounds incredibly boring and tedious. However, it's probably one of the best ones out there. Unless you have lots of time on your hands, you probably can't just go back through your website and try to optimize every single page that's already been published every time you hear of a new trick in the book. You need to be some research before even publishing your website, on what kinds of data and research you'll need to incorporate to make it SEO successful. It is a boring trick, but sometimes a little dullness is required to reap the reward.
4) Be Unique
Google rewards creativity, and punishes plagiarism. If you have the same website as 10 other people, with the same content and are addressing the same issues/questions, your ranking will sadly plummet. Creativity can be really hard to find, and inspiration doesn't hit every day, so it's normal to not have the worlds best blog post being published every single week. However, a good way to eliminate redundancy, is to draw from multiple sources, and to let them inspire you rather than guide you. Therefore, you have credible research to back you, but aren't copying someone else's findings, and aren't just summarizing 3 different articles you've read. Also, your content doesn't just have to be a blog post every week. Infographics, videos, e-books, Whitepapers, podcasts, etc. all count towards your ranking, and different mediums may allow you to keep that creative spark glowing.
5) Pique Interest & Draw Attention
This is definitely a piece of advice that is much easier said than done. In a world where everyone is trying to draw people's attentions, and customers are bombarded with ads at every moment, trying to draw attention to yourself is a constant struggle. However, if you want to achieve the coveted spot of first search result, this is what you'll have to do. Some companies go for the click-bait approach, drawing people in with something to spark their curiosity. Meanwhile, others take a more generous approach and offer a prize, deal, promo, or discount of sorts. Test a few different things out to see what works best, and grow from there!
6) Make Your Website Faster
Absolutely nobody can stand a slow loading website. This includes search engines and real people. Therefore, make sure your website doesn't buffer. This step may be out of your hands as it isn't easy to determine why a website isn't loading quickly when you're not from a tech background. However, there are a few general ways to troubleshoot this. Try seeing if images are too big or of unreasonable good quality, make sure it is in fact the website and not the wifi connection, or that there doesn't happen to be massive amounts of traffic trying to reach the site all at the same time. If all else fails, you can always contact our superb customer service team.
7) Strengthen Your Social Media
Remember when we mentioned that links within a website are a great technique to utilize? Links to your social media profiles and or from there back to your site are just as good! However, remember that if search engines don't like inactive websites, they won't like inactive social media accounts either. Make sure to post regularly, add a link back to your website on all your social media channels, and share not only content and company updates, but sometimes even random posts like a fun fact of the day, or host a question and answer period through Facebook live sessions. Your options are limitless, and just as long as you keep everything up to date, it'll all be smooth sailing.
So there you have it, some of the best kept secrets in the industry. SEO can be a nuisance, and at times feel like a snail race, but the rewards it will bring you if you can pull it off successfully are incredible. If you feel that this is a great starting point, but you'd like more tips, we've got a Whitepaper all about SEO for you, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have through social media or email. Happy search engine optimizating!