Attracting customers who are already searching for something you have is a win-win situation. That is, if they can find you.
60% of organic traffic goes to the first three listings on SERPs, so SEO has to be a focus of your overall strategy, but you can’t just hold your breath and hope you surge to the top of the page. Your competitors are out there trying to get their content on top, so by getting creative you’ll stand out from the pack.
Lucky for you, we’ve gathered these nine ingenious search engine optimization strategies that will help increase your exposure in no time.
1. Focus on Long-Form Content
Blogs give you a chance to use choice keywords and give your readers useful information. While the quantity of posts was the traditional focus – 300 to 500 word posts are fairly easy to put out every day, building your indexed pages in the process – nowadays, you should focus on longer posts of 1,800 to 2,500 words. The top 5 results on Google typically average around 2,000 words.
2. Create Roundup Posts
Having trouble with longer posts? Try creating roundup posts – or those that aggregate tips or recommendations from experts and influencers within your industry. Not only are you increasing the chance of search traffic from users looking for the experts’ names, every person you feature in your post will want to share it with their audience, increasing your reach. Identify a common issue in your industry and then reach out to experts with a short email asking for a contribution. Compile the tips, then share them with your network and with everyone that contributed. You’ll generate more inbound links from high-authority sites, thereby boosting your search ranking.
3. Revisit Your Old Content
When you have a backlog of content, don’t just let it sit there. Your existing posts will continue to attract search users and still hold plenty of valuable information, so update them as needed.
Let’s say you run a real estate agency and several years ago you wrote a post about getting bank financing that gained a fair amount of traffic and still gets traffic from search results today – but you know that the process you described has changed since posting. Go back to the previous post and update it so that the information reflects the process as it is today to leverage the existing popularity, and then create a new post to cross-promote it – double the bang for your buck.
4. Give Lower Ranked Content a Boost
Not all of your content will make it to the first SERP, but you can use your highest-performing pages to create internal links to lower-performing ones. Check out how your current keywords are positioned, identify the ones that have potential to rank higher, and set up links from your best pages to share some of the SEO love.
5. Leverage Local Search Engine Optimization Strategies
Get listed on any local directories – including having a detailed business page on Google, but also focus on building reviews from your local customers; they count for over 8% of the ranking algorithm for local search.
6. Add Long-Tail Keywords to Your Tags
Title tags are sometimes the most neglected area of search engine optimization strategies, as marketers tend to use a primary keyword and call it a day. Your titles will help you diversify your keyword placement and specificity, so use long-tail phrases that are less competitive but also more accurately represent what intended users are searching for.
7. Keep an Eye on AdWords Ads
Ongoing research will always be a part of your online marketing, so make it easy on yourself by using the copy in the top three AdWords Ads for your keywords. The work has already been done on testing, tracking, and tweaking the content of these ads, and here they are, at the top of the pack. Pull out phrases and additional words that can help you build out your own long-tail keyword lists.
8. Harness the Power of Optimized Landing Pages
Driving traffic to your homepage is great, but driving traffic to a page where users can take immediate action depending on their search interest is far more effective. Set up as many landing pages as you can to target your audience at a specific level of interest, and get the added benefit of more pages indexed for search engines. Design pages around long-tail keywords to target them even further, and optimize your keyword usage, tags, and meta descriptions.
9. Add Text to Your Video Descriptions
Want a real secret weapon to surge to the top of SERPs? Use YouTube video descriptions. Google prioritizes this content since it owns YouTube, so using the description fields to write posts over 200 words takes full advantage of the SEO opportunity. After all, search engines aren’t watching your video, they’re relying on the description to tell them everything they need to know.
When it comes to SEO, remember that your work is never done. As Chris Goward (@chrisgoward) advises “The most advanced organizations view optimization as an ongoing strategy. It’s not a one-time project and it doesn’t have an end point where the company’s experiences are ‘optimized’.” (Source: Marketizator). Never get complacent with your search engine optimization strategies and you’ll keep your hold on the top spot.