So you want to rank better in the search engines. Who doesn’t? Better rankings, more targeted traffic, more conversions—what’s not to like? But what if your current SEO efforts are not working? Even experienced marketers struggle sometimes. Here are four tactics that we use here at LeapGo that have a very high return on investment. They’re oldies, but goodies—and sometimes it’s worth reminding yourself of some of the best SEO techniques to maximize your current campaign.
1. Write Great Titles & Meta Descriptions
This stuff could be considered the boring side of SEO, but it’s amazing how often it is forgotten or neglected, even by experienced marketers.
Let’s start with titles.
Title tags have long been an important factor in SEO, and they still are in 2016. These not only carry SEO weight, but they also show up in the search engines, making them the first thing the searcher sees. Just like a copywriter could spend hours over a good headline, your titles should not be an afterthought. If you can get the keyword in early, do it. If you can make the keyword the first word in the title, do it. But don’t kill yourself trying to force it in, and only use it as the first word where it makes sense. (Just make sure it is in there somewhere.)
Keep the length to 65 characters or under—go over this, and Google will cut off the title before the end. And if you do go over, just make sure you get the most important details into the first half. This is all part of the process of making your titles click-worthy. After all, what’s the point of showing up in the search engines if no one clicks?
Two things will help you increase clicks:
- Make it clear what the searcher will find on the page when they click through
- Make the title emotional so that it triggers excitement, curiosity, humor, etc.
The meta description should not be forgotten. While the title is the most important element because it is the first thing the searcher sees, you should still make an effort to make your description compelling—and again, use the main keywords at the start. Also, keep it to 160 characters or less to make sure it all shows up.
2. Make Sharing Your Content Easy
You already know how important great content is for your SEO strategy—but are you making enough effort to get it shared? Interesting and compelling content is necessary, but effective promotion is crucial. We’ve known for a long time that social signals impact search results. So make it easy for readers to share what they find when they read something worth sharing.
That means share buttons at the end of blog posts or down the side of the page in a scrolling widget, like on our own website (look to the left!). Don’t cram in as many social buttons as you can. Instead, keep the number to just a few of the most popular, and especially on those which you have a presence. You should also encourage your readers to share your content by asking. People do not always know what you want them to do, so make it crystal clear. Ask them at the end of your blog, or remind them in your emails that you appreciate shares. People are more likely to share content if you ask them to. One of the best ways to increase your social signals is to make time to form relationships with influencers, the big names in your niche. Once you have the right contacts, you can get them to share your content for you—and that’s when things really take off.
3. Invest More in Video Content
Many marketers still forget how effective videos can be for SEO purposes. Sure, videos take more work—but not when you think of all the traffic they can direct your way.
YouTube videos can rank highly in search. According to PlatoWebDesign, they are 50 times more likely to rank on the first page compared to text content. That means your YouTube video could rank above your website, and that means it cannot be ignored. Spend time creating truly high-quality videos. That means providing value to the viewer, either through humor, information, novelty factor, etc. If you want to encourage viewers to share your video, you need to create an emotional reaction. And as with any other content, no one is going to share average content.
Once it’s up and running, promote it as you do your other content to get more views and comments. And don’t forget to use your keywords in the title to give it some extra SEO juice.
Kissmetrics has a good guide to video marketing for SEO, so take a look. It makes the important point that you should always define your goals at the start rather than just rushing out and creating a video, or you’ll end up wasting time and money. Don’t just assume that videos equal links. What do you want it to do? Increase traffic? Links? Conversions? Decide on your goal, and let that direct your strategy.
4. Find Out Where Your Competitors Get Their Links
It’s always a good idea to find out where your competitors are getting links from—and then you can “steal” them. Or put another way, you can use this information to get ideas for where to get more links for yourself. Use Moz’s Open Site Explorer for an easy way to find out where their links are coming from. Who are these other sites linking to your competitors? Why are they linking to them? Can you reach out to the owners? What about the owners of similar sites? This can give you ideas for your own links, such as avenues you have not pursued, and could lead to a whole new direction in your link-building strategy.
Take Your SEO to the Next Level
After 12 years of being heavily involved in the SEO scene, we know what works and what doesn’t. And these SEO tactics have been proven to stand the test of time. Use them in your own campaigns to improve your rankings, or let us help you. We have a clear strategy in place for highly effective SEO campaigns focused on content, which is an area where other agencies often fall down. However you go about your SEO, make sure you get more links, more shares, and more exposure by focusing on the techniques that work every time.