Last Updated: January 13th, 2017 by Dan Astriden
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has changed drastically in 2015 and continues to evolve and become more complex on a daily basis. In this article, I will provide you with 5 useful tips that can propel your business in 2016!
The first action you should do is to take a serious look at your web properties and determine where you currently stand compared to your competition. Start with your own website and take a look at the analytics to determine the volume of traffic and traffic sources. Hint: bounce rate, page speed, and engagement (time on page as well as task completions) are key factors that play a huge role in determining where you will rank in the search engines. Make sure each webpage has a strong call to action and make sure you have clear goals setup for users to complete on the website. You may want to consider removing that telephone number and making a click necessary to reveal the phone number. Algorithms vary for different industries so there isn’t a specific set of instructions I can provide that will cover all the categories.
Many great tools are available that will stun you with the amount of information that you can find about your website along with your competitors. These tools all have a free account options that will provide you with limited amounts of data. The point here is to determine where you fall in the search engines and how much effort will be required to move to a higher position. Hint: These tools are great for finding niche keywords that your competitors are ranking for and you’re not since the phrases don’t appear on your website. The title tag is probably the most important element on the page in determining how you will rank in the search engines. I would pay special attention to the title tag, meta description, and the H1 tag. The meta description needs to be a strong call to action to entice users to click on your listing above the other listings on the page. A few tools are listed below and depending on your budget, you may want to consult with a digital marketing professional that can provide the technical insights that you would probably miss such as the anchor text ratios, backlink profile and site audit details.
Welcome to the year 2016. You don’t need backlinks (links on other websites that link to your website) to rank anymore. Are backlinks still important? The answer is yes. So, how else to you rank without backlinks. The answer is social media. In 2016, it’s all about branding and people talking about your brand on various platforms. You need to be active on social media if you wish to continue ranking and make sure people are talking about your brand and sharing your content. Hint: even if your website has low domain authority and low trust flow, you can still outrank websites with higher domain authority and trust flow by going viral on social media platforms. Those social share buttons on your website are important and a good technique is to float the buttons so they are viable on the webpage as the user scrolls.
Here comes the actionable part of running a successful website. You need to set goals for your SEO campaign and determine what steps need to be taken to obtain those goals. Hint: Most business owners come to me and say I need to get my website to rank in the first three results for these specific phrases. A better strategy is to diversify your web properties and get traffic from multiple sources. This way you can have multiple and diverse listings on page one of the search engines. A video ranking, website ranking, blog ranking, and profile listings can all be ranked and dominate the entire first page. In many cases, it’s quicker and cheaper to boost a profile listing. Determine your budget, and set reasonable goals to drive more traffic to your website. Before you set your SEO goals, it’s important to ensure your website can convert and doesn’t have navigational or technical issues that causes traffic bounces. Tools are available that actually record the mouse movements of actual users on your website and you can see how people interact with your website. This is super critical for e-commerce carts, website forms, interactive features, goal conversions, navigation, and website funneling.
If you are going to succeed with your SEO strategy in 2016, you need to be organized. If you don’t have a backend to your website with a list of all your web properties, this is a good start. It’s important to have business data, critical renewal dates and goals listed in a single place where all team members can access at any time. I use a spreadsheet with separate tabs to list all my SEO related items such as keywords, rankings, backlinks, web properties and goals.
I feel like I gave some valuable information in this article and if you eyes didn’t grow at one point or jaw drop, I obviously failed. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your coworkers and other small business owners. I would also like to thank the true geniuses that provide me with a wealth of SEO knowledge and are the true brains behind the scene. Thanks to Semantic Mastery and many others.
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