A few years back, search engine optimisation (SEO) was easy – all you had to do was pick a keyword and repeat it over and over and over again, regardless of how insane you drove your website visitors as they drowned in a nonsensical mass of content.
Thankfully, SEO has come a long way since then, with audiences rejecting spammy marketing techniques and Google conducting up to 6001 changes to its search algorithm every year to ensure that users are retrieving relevant content.
Organic search still remains the best form of free advertising available but it’s vital to bring your SEO strategy into the present day to make it work.
Here are three basic ways to update your SEO strategy today:
1. Be local.
With the rollout of Google’s Pigeon algorithm last year, local SEO has taken centre ground, connecting web search and map search more cohesively than ever before.
As a first measure, you must ensure that Google has your up-to-date business details in order for your customers and clients to easily locate and contact you.
Local directory listings also need to play a fundamental role in your SEO strategy because Pigeon is providing higher visibility for review websites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and OpenTable. That means working with directories to build positive feedback on your services and ensuring that all external links are directing to the right places – in other words, any dead links require 301 redirects immediately.
2. Use YouTube.
YouTube (coincidentally owned by Google) is the second most used search engine in the world, and as many marketers find video content daunting, the race for higher page rankings is less competitive.
If you’re not yet producing video content for lack of equipment and material, the chances are, you’re overlooking the whole film set directly in front of you: your workplace.
Many SMEs are now producing brilliant video content using nothing more than a digital camera, their office as a backdrop and their staff as the subjects. Whether you work in recruitment, property or marketing, simple two-minute educational pieces presented by key members of your team are unique, engaging and sharable – all of which are assets that Google is looking for.
To incorporate video content into your SEO strategy, include keywords in titles and video descriptions, regularly publish fresh, engaging content that will generate comments, likes, shares and increase your number of subscribers, and provide embed codes for viewers to link back to your content on their own websites.
As with all SEO practices, it’s about the long game, so create interesting videos for your audience as opposed to what you think Google will like. Once the views rack up, Google will take notice and rank you higher.
3. Make SEO a company-wide initiative.
SEO is the key to free exposure for your business, thus every department must understand their power to make an impact on your search engine ranking. If you’ve got an SEO manager who is willing to demonstrate to your web developers how to prime your website for SEO, or explain to your graphic designers how to create search engine friendly titles for their images, SEO will become engrained in your business model, providing you with a better retention plan should any of your SEO staff leave the company.
When recruiting new SEO team members, you’ll need proof that candidates can do more than the SEO basics of keyword research and link building. For instance, content marketing is now at the core of SEO, thus your execs and managers must have strong content creation and copywriting skills, and as talks surface of Google adding mobile UX to its algorithm, it’s important for SEOs to understand how web development works in order to supply incoming traffic with a user-friendly search result.
Keeping on top of the changes Google makes to its algorithm is essential for SEO purposes, which is why it’s worth setting aside thirty minutes each week to read the Google blog or other business and marketing news sites for updates.
1 Moz, 2015. Google Algorithm Change History. [Online] Available at: http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change. [Accessed 7th April 2015].