There’s an age old saying that old habits die hard, but if you try to maintain the old habits and practices used for Search Engine Optimization this year and beyond, you will not find the kind of visibility boost you want for your brand and business.
Like everything else in the constantly evolving digital world, SEO practices continuously change and improve depending on the preference by online users and continuous search algorithm updates notably from Google.
From the old norms of simply generating as much backlinks as you can using specific keywords, to a total shift in focus towards socially relevant, semantic and content-centric digital marketing, SEO changed with people’s need for a better online experience through content.
Catering to this need should be at the core of every business owner’s digital marketing strategy, for it is the only way to gain favorable visibility for their brand and business in this new era for SEO. You can start so right now by setting your sights on the following ways of how you can improve SEO visibility.
1. Let Go of the Old SEO Mindset
Search engines like Google makes providing people with the right kind of content they are looking for their primary purpose for existing in the online world. To be effective in catering to this need, search engines continuously change metrics and algorithms that affect how websites are ranked in search results.
Google started this movement by cracking down on webspam, black hat strategies and poor-quality content with algorithm updates like the Panda and Penguin updates. What this imply is that business owners and digital marketers should also adapt their strategies to these changes. They should let go of their old SEO mindset of focusing too much on links and subscribe to new standards and norms that focus primarily on simply providing good, high-quality and relevant content that search users want.
2. Focus on Creating Content that Satisfy User Intent
When Google rolled out the Hummingbird update last year, the entire search engine system was overhauled to focus more on semantic or conversational search. These changes were brought about by the shifting trend towards user intent – focusing on what search users really want and not what the search engines think these users want.
What this meant was search engines are foregoing the old norms and finally concentrate on what search engines were actually supposed to do in the first place – providing search results based on what the search user actually intended when they made a search query.
Additional tip: Keep Your Contents Brief, Precise and Concise
Online users are exposed to tons of information every day, making it doubly difficult for digital marketers to rise above the clutter and get their targeted audiences’ attention and interest. That is why it is very important that content should be brief, precise and concise while maintaining originality and high quality – the type of content favored by more than 68% of consumers, 55% of whom will most likely avail of the products and services of the content provider.
3. Learn How to Properly Promote and Create a Buzz around Your Content
Creating a buzz that will promote your brand will significantly increase visibility. You can make use of various tools and strategies that will put your content in the spotlight, like the use of visuals that is shared more by social media users than any other types of content. Another strategy is to create content that appeals to the core emotions of targeted audience such as those described in the chart below.
Creating a buzz also involves engaging with your targeted audiences, gain their trust and increase the credibility of your brand and business. Once you’ve reach this level of relationship with your targeted audiences, you will soon enjoy the great benefit of having your content liked and shared by online users, a natural reaction by as much as 73% of people.
4. Become Active In Social Media and Cultivate your Audience
While social media signal is still a controversial topic in terms on its causation to search rankings. It’s still not a bad thing to strive to drive more meaningful signals and interaction between your brand and audience. In our infographic “10 Reasons to Combine Search and Social” we concluded that results of combining search and social are way better than doing just one of them.
From having double conversion rates and revenues per click to more brand exposure, search and social are truly a great combination!
5. Create more Irresistible Linkable Assets
Linkable assets are special kinds of content that people will normally link-to or shared with others voluntarily. There are several types of content that can become linkable assets, but one of the main characteristics of such content is that they provide good educational information, guides and how-to’s.
Content with good visual elements can also become linkable assets, like infographics that get shared three times more than other kinds of content. Useful tools and apps are also among the top linkable assets, as well as online video that is now gaining ground as a more popular channel than traditional TV.
6. Strive to Get More Brand Citation Links from Authority Sources
Brand visibility through SEO is also fast tracked when you get more brand citation links from authoritative sources, influencers and other influential personalities related to your business or niche. Just one authority source citing and linking to your content will boost your visibility and generate engagement and social signals by as much as 31.8%. So, how can you work with such influential people and authority sources?
First is you need to build some kind of relationship with these influencers, and a good starting contact point is to create quotes in your content that link to that influential person. Good examples are articles that cite their content as your authoritative resource, or you can also create award-type articles such as “most influential” or “top influencer” types of articles. You can also make contact and interview them for a featured content of the person in an article, podcast or a full video production in your channel.
7. Convert Your Site to a Responsive Mobile Friendly One
Industry forecasts indicate that mobile web will overtake other online channels including desktop computing by the year 2015. The impact this will have on your SEO visibility stems from the fact that more than 67% of people using smartphones to connect online use their devices to make online searches. What this imply is that business owners and digital marketers should focus on making their websites more mobile-friendly and responsive – giving targeted audiences a unique user experience through their mobile devices.
8. Monitor Links and Brand Mentions
Monitoring links and citations about your brand, products or services is very important not only for gauging your SEO visibility and monitoring bad links but also to manage your online reputation. It would be very tedious to do these monitoring scheme manually, so it would be to your greatest advantage to use various tools available that would perform this job for you faster and more effectively. These tools can be free or paid, depending on the features they provide. Among the most popular are:
- Cognitive SEO
Cognitive SEO is one of the top SEO tools out there that allows you to monitor all the links pointing to your site (bad, suspected bad or good links). You can use this tool to monitor any bad links pointing your sites and have them remove or disavow if need be.
- Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a free tool that will help you quickly set-up a monitoring system for your brand and allows you to customize the frequency and parameters that you’ll need for monitoring.
- Social Mention
Social Mention is another free monitoring tool that focus on mentions and links to your brand across various social media platforms, providing you with analysis tools that you can use to gain better insights about your brand.
Another free monitoring tool is Topsy that provides good insights on social analytics and trends, particularly with Twitter. It does so by providing users with advanced search functions including identifying influencers and tracking individual mentions.
One of the top social profile management applications is Hootsuite which can also be configured as a good monitoring tool particularly as they appear across major social networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. You can use it for free up to a certain extent or you can avail of the paid version so you can make use of other advanced features.
Another good social monitoring tool, particularly if you are working with teams, is Mention which you can use for free for a 30-day trial period or unlock advanced features through a premium account.
9. Pay Attention to the Latest SEO News
Did you know that up to 72% of consumers would actually prefer engaging or getting connected with a particular brand if the brand’s digital marketing team make use of integrated marketing strategies? Knowing these types of information is very important for boosting your SEO visibility. You can effectively do so by monitoring and getting the latest information from SEO news providers and other websites like the following list:
- MattCutts Blog
- Business 2 Community
10. Don’t Stop Learning
Improving your SEO visibility and your digital marketing strategies can only take place if you genuinely won’t stop from learning more about these systems. The brave new world of Holistic SEO is changing and evolving, so it is up to you if you want to go with the times and explore the many possibilities that will help boost your SEO visibility.
If you’re one of those businesses that continue to stick to the old paradigms of search, then do not expect to get substantial visibility from all your efforts. SEO is a continuous process and it is just practical for business owners to continuously learn and understand SEO better, improve visibility and strengthen their brand’s online presence.