SEO Tips for 2017 – Have You Considered Your Strategy?
Now is the time to get serious!
Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with search? It’s true, and for this reason alone, it’s imperative your business is implementing its strongest SEO strategies. So, as we approach the new year, which SEO tips should you prioritise (or not) in order to smash your digital marketing campaigns?
Ensure Headlines Are SEO Rich
Despite the old adage of not judging a book by its cover, the truth is that many people will choose to read or ignore your ads and content headlines – based on the title alone. You want to make sure that it not only includes your keywords but that it also draws in your reader.
If you struggle with writing headlines for blog content titles, try using a free online tool such as ‘Headline Analyzer.’ This will give you great feedback on how your headline rates for ‘power’ and ‘emotional’ words, as well as structure and grammar.
Implement Creative Content Marketing
It’s been said that content marketing and SEO work hand in hand, and it’s definitely an accurate sentiment. The simple reason for this is that the better quality your content, the more links and shares you will attract – thus increasing your SEO ranking. On top of this, it’s also crucial that your content is properly optimised for both mobile and desktop.
One way to really boost your content marketing – and therefore your SEO – is to create a story around your product. Despite what you might think, storytelling isn’t just for kids! For example, just take a look at some of the most successful and engaging advertisements around. One that comes to mind is that of ‘Compare the Market,’ who proved that just because your service isn’t as exciting as others, doesn’t mean you can’t create engaging content. Over the years they’ve become well known for their ‘compare the meerkat’ campaigns, a funny play on words that features a separate website and videos of Aleksandr Orlov, a cute, talking meerkat who tells stories about his career and ancestors. With this clever marketing, Compare The Market has created an SEO rich campaign which combines engaging video content, with well-known catchphrases/slogans more likely to stick in customers minds when they are searching online.
It also helps to find ways to make people ‘want’ to invest in your brand, by making them feel included. One Australian company that does this particularly well, is Brisbane clothing brand ‘Black Milk Clothing.’ Originally started 7 years ago, Founder James Lillis once struggled to sell his designs, and was living solely off mangoes from his backyard! But everything changed when he and his then current Marketing Manager Cameron Parker decided to do something unique: to encourage customers to share selfies online in their new gear – instead of spending on marketing – with specific hashtags created for each piece. Each week, they would choose a selection of their favourite submissions and share them online. This soon grew into a phenomenon, as customers uploaded their best selfies in the hopes of being republished; almost bursting with excitement when their picture was shared.
This was a clever move, because not only did it save them a lot of money in marketing, but it also created a loyal following, increasing their brand visibility on both social media and online; specifically through branded hashtags, and thousands of comments/likes on each photo.
Avoid Black Hat SEO At All Costs
By now, most marketers are aware that Black Hat SEO isn’t a good thing, and yet still, every year Google takes action against thousands – if not millions – of people following this dodgy practice. When you’re desperate to increase your search engine rankings, it can seem tempting, but all you’ll achieve are heavy penalties from Google that can last for weeks!
Black Hat SEO includes practices such as keyword stuffing, paid links, link farms, ‘scraping’ (where you steal content or data from a competitor’s website to repost on your own), invisible/hidden text (making the background and font text the same colour, in order to hide extra/irrelevant keywords), doorway pages and many others. All of these are big red flags to stay away from, and can result in your website ranking being dropped to zero, seeing your business fail to rank for its own name, and even thousands of lost traffic. You can read more about why Black Hat SEO is a bad idea here.
Alternatively, you should be aiming to increase your SEO and rankings through legitimate optimisation strategies, tactics and techniques that focus on real human engagement.
Ensure Your Website is User-Friendly!
When you’re looking to convert a customer, I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to ensure your website is user-friendly. Every week we work with hundreds of customers, and it’s interesting how many neglect the visual appeal of their sites. For example, having an informative website is great – but if a user jumps on and sees row upon row of tiny text, they’re unlikely to stay. To get your customers to convert, you need to make sure your website is not only user-friendly but visually appealing and informative.
To encourage faster conversions, I recommend that you include images and videos at the top of your blog pages. This will ensure that your potential customers understand your product/service, without having to read through lengthy blogs (because the truth is, many are just too busy to do so these days!).