If I had a dollar for every time a client has asked me for a magic bullet for search engine optimisation, I would seriously have $1 dollar. That is because that is the first time I have had some one ask that explicit question. “Surely there is a magic bullet where you push a button to make my site number 1”.
Me: Umm, no not really. Though I do have a few things you can do.
So while there isn’t specifically a magic bullet in the sense of one single thing that you can fire off at your site and voila, you’re up at 1st place and your site has made it, there are a lot of things that you can do to ensure search success. While you’re reading through this post, see if you can spot the common theme, what I’m now terming the “magic bullet” of search. Let’s see if it catches on.
One of the key factors of success is unique quality content. This is the essence of the web if your site is the one with the unique pieces of content regarding X topic, naturally you are going to start ranking and placing well. When researching this article, I typed a quick search for Unique Content. What came back was a lot of SEO firms providing great information about why unique content is important and if you are working with me at the moment, chances are I have been telling you about this since we first met and you told me search traffic was important to you. This is not new stuff, people. Get writing and selling your products and services, pictures do tell a 1000 words, but 1000 words also tells a 1000words with the added benefit of being seen by many people searching for those words. I’m definitely not saying get writing 1000 word pages for the sake of it, but seriously think about how much information you are providing to your clients. If you were talking to them in person or on the phone, what would you be saying?
So get writing.
This topic I debated in my head for a bit, while I was thinking about the structure for this post. Is blog content just content and therefore it comes under the quality content section? In the end I determined a blog to be different enough to in-page content. I think of a blog as a separate entity for your site, it’s a new content type and page definition. Blogs are more informal though informative, they can sell but more converse the service or idea of what you are doing, you generally present a blog differently to in page content. So with that in mind it become a separate section.
How they can work for you. We worked with a photographer who was not ranking at all for localised search for wedding photographers and was losing out on a lot of work due to the fact he was in a small town with only 1 other fully booked out photographer to complete with.
Blogs were an essential part of the strategy, so while we had a page to sell the wedding photography service, with some nice pics taken over the years. The blog was there to talk about the specific location and photo sessions. Due to the informal nature, talking about the days photo session and different locations they visited, most blog posts were filled with SEO gold (location and service keyword pairs). The site quickly launched into the high ranks.
Get blogging now.
Social is a great way to boost your SEO strategy and should be included. With the release of Google Panda, a lot of sites with lower quality content and social representation did start to get knocked out. When I’m talking to you about social, I’m referring to Facebook, Google + and Twitter. Flikr, Tumblr are up there though I find I’m mostly using the first three. Though Pinterest is gaining momentum for me and I can see merit with it and how it would be great in certain applications. (Ill have some posts about that later).
If you don’t already, set up an account at Facebook, Twitter and Google + and ensure a link to your site is in the profile. When posting to those sites, don’t always think about keywords and keyword density, think about posting relevant content, links to articles that reasonate to you and your audience. If you have a blog, then this is a great platform to start promoting that new post.
A common thing with social I here is. I don’t use that crap (everyone has their own story on how Facebook ruined their life or a friend of a friends life), my response used to be Ok that’s cool, let’s see what else you can get. Now it is, that’s cool but your customers may not think that way and they are on there, how are you going to find out what they are saying. If they aren’t saying it to you. Social provides people with the opportunity to vent both good and bad experiences, if you are involved in social you have the opportunity to communicate first hand.
Get social. To help you out here are some links.
Did you know that over 72hours of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute? YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. People are on YouTube and looking for unique content each and every day. By including YouTube into your search strategy you have a great opportunity to drive additional traffic to your site. Most common response to this suggestion from my clients is “What would I post?”
My response is, what about help manuals showing your clients how to use your product. Set up instructions and demonstrations, slideshows of pictures of the local area or product reviews are the usual suspects for video content. As you get more comfortable video blogging is becoming more popular or even tutorials to be recognized as a thought leader in your industry.
YouTube allows you to optimize your video content with keywords, descriptions and captivating titles. By optimizing your videos you increase the chances to be viewed. Ensure you include a link to your website, and remind people to subscribe to your video channel.
Get creating YouTube content
So what is the Magic Bullet?
If I was to say there was a SEO Magic Bullet then it is ACTION. Just get doing it. The methods I described above are all a great way to get started and drive additional traffic to your website and yes there is a lot more out there.
Yes I realise that ACTION takes time and I hear what you are saying, “I’m time poor”, “I’m already doing A,B and C I don’t want to add D, E and F to that”. But let me ask this, do you have time to put on your pants in the morning, do you have time to talk with suppliers, customers or peers? Growing your online presence, simply takes time and patience combined with some proven techniques to give you the best bang for your buck.