Brands that want to improve their online marketing performance must move away from old school SEO and adopt next-generation optimization strategies and techniques. We offer 10 key areas where brands can improve their SEO tactics this year.
1. Conduct an SEO Audit
An SEO audit can often provide experienced recommendations on what you need to do to boost your positions in the search engines. By purchasing an SEO audit your business is leveraging the experience and knowledge of trusted SEO. The SEO audit will help your business identify what needs to be changed and prioritize the recommendations based on opportunities.
2. Examine Online Competition
Look at the intensity of the online competition. If on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the maximum intensity, the evaluation yields that your market is a 12, then perhaps an SEO campaign is not suitable, at least focusing on those keywords. For example, if want to become well ranked for the keyword "merchant accounts" and your business has a 12-page website with 5 inbound links, SEO on this keyword is not practical—at least in the short term.
3. Get your website SEO ready
The first goal is to make the site ready for a successful SEO campaign. It isn’t uncommon for a website to have problems in these areas: site architecture, page construction, content, link popularity, and web server configuration. An SEO-ready website should also have full support for standard on-page elements such as: titles, meta tags, headings, image alt tags, etc.
4. Conduct a Link Analysis
Link popularity and page ranks are related, but sometimes a look inside reveals different versions of anchor text that is affecting search rankings. A link analysis can find whether links have anchor text that employ different versions of the company name and image links and if the anchor text from the inbound links contain any keywords from the SEO campaign.
5. Ensure Ample Content
An SEO-ready website should have enough content and link popularity compared to its peers to be considered “relevant.” Search engines primarily rank sites based on relevancy. Relevancy is largely determined based on content. If your site doesn’t have enough content, in particular non-product-centric content, compared to your peers, it will be much more difficult to become well ranked and ultimately to differentiate your site from the competition.
6. Adopt Internet Presence Management
With Internet presence management, brands don’t wait for negative mentions to appear in search results. Instead they proactively build custom placements in the organic listings before a negative mention occurs. Simultaneously brand mentions should be monitored 24/7 on microblogs and social sites like Twitter as well as traditional news and public relations outlets. In the event something negative appears, Internet presence management acts as a proactive strategy already in place before a negative issue mushrooms.
7. Remove Site Architectural Barriers
Where dynamically generated sites can create problems for SEO campaigns is in their database or content management system. Sometimes these databases produce multiple query string parameters that are so long that the search engine spiders are inhibited, or worse yet, they just can’t crawl the site. In other situations the content management system is the culprit. In some situations the content management system forces the website to have duplicate title and meta tags for every page in the site. In this situation the search engine often drops the pages from their index as this is perceived as duplicate content. Other CMS systems require the page name to duplicate the title tag, adds underscores, and other unfriendly SEO deficiencies or problems.
8. Trade Keyword Frequency for Latent Semantic Indexing
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a key component in how the search engines understand the “context” of a website’s content. It’s based on the co-occurrence clustering of words and the association of documents based on the occurrence data. Translation: the search engines essentially learn what a website’s words mean based on the other words around them. With the old school keyword frequency and density optimization technique, SEO campaigns reached diminishing returns in terms of maximizing traffic since they only focused on one keyword. In comparison, custom LSI tables maximize the traffic opportunities from the resulting keyword combinations and permutations and thereby much more targeted traffic and therefore a higher campaign ROI.
9. Drop Reliance on Rankings as a Primary Campaign Management Tool
In the past, SEO campaigns were judged based on achieving rankings for targeted keywords. Each month SEOs produce ranking reports to demonstrate how their efforts have improved the campaign and how rankings have increased month over month for those keywords. While ranking reports are still important as an indicator of success, they’re no longer as relevant as a critical success factor compared to personalized search, universal search, and real-time search.
10. Maximize Campaign ROI
While generating ranking reports is important, companies should also emphasize how to maximize the ROI from the SEO campaign. In addition to tracking the number of leads or sales, companies must include the corresponding revenue, average order value, and calculate ROI for each keyword. Additionally, track and report search attribution metrics such as latency and assist metrics between SEO keywords, other online campaigns such as paid search and email, as well as offline campaigns such as direct mail and catalogs. With this kind of data companies will literally be able to see the event streams or campaign touch points within a specific conversion engagement.
Content Marketing is King
Like anything else in this fast-paced world, SEO is rapidly evolving. Consumers are becoming savvier, and in response, search is becoming more personal and more accurate.
As the process of writing content to fit search engines starts to phase out, content marketing should play a larger role in the success of your SEO efforts in the coming months.
Like this? Subscribe to our blog here.
Also, check out the most recent issue of our e-newsletter.