SEO will continue to be a valuable tool in the online marketing arsenal of every inbound marketing expert. This is because SEO’s techniques and applications evolve with the times. SEO is popularly thought of as a set of techniques that help your website be found. But what effective SEO means is enhancing the User Experience.
In this article, I will show you eight of the most important SEO techniques that are still working.
1. Optimize the Title Tag
Although it is not technically a meta tag, the Title Tag is usually associated with the Description and Keyword tags because these are found near the website’s source code.
Of the three, however, the Title Tag is considered the most important because it is the first thing a search engine will look for when a query is made. The Title Tag is also the first item that searchers will see on the page when results come out.
Thus, it is important to include a keyword in the Title Tag. Some SEO practitioners will include the name of the company alongside one or two keywords. Be mindful of your use of keywords. Search engines will penalize “keyword stuffing” or the brazen use of keywords.
Another technique you can is to use Adwords ads to your Title Tags to increase the frequency of clicks. Look at the Adwords for keywords that you use for your product. For example your keywords in the Title Tag are “charbroiled hamburgers”. Check which Adwords are complementary for your Title Tag.
If you identify these Adwords as “fresh grilled”, “made to order”, then you can rewrite your Title Tag to read “Fresh grilled, made to order charbroiled hamburgers”.
2. Optimize Meta Tags
SEO focuses on two types of Meta Tags: the Description Tag and the Keywords Tag.
The Description Tag is what Internet users read when your link comes out and could influence their decision to click or not. Similar to the Title Tag, you should also include one or two more keywords with the Description Tag.
The abusive practice of keyword stuffing has somehow placed Keyword Tags in the background although there are still benefits in including them in the source code.
A good rule of thumb is to figure out the keywords Internet searchers will use to find your products and services. And then come up with one or two variations. Going back to our previous example, instead of “charbroiled hamburgers” you could use “grilled hamburgers” or “freshly grilled hamburgers”.
3. Add Title Attributes to Links
These are the attributes that pop up whenever your mouse scrolls over a link. They are used for image links but have also been used for text links.
In order to maximize this helpful online tool, it would be best to use a more definitive description of the attribute than just the standard “click here”. Perhaps if you are in the restaurant business, you could write “View Menu”. If you are website designer, you could use “See Portfolio”.
The idea behind SEO is not just to be found but to make the visit convenient for the user so he can explore your site further.
4. Utilize Alt Attributes for Images
An Alt Attribute is a descriptive but relevant text of the images you use that is added to your source code. This makes it easier for the search engines to index your pages that have images.
Using Alt Attributes can also help visually impaired or handicapped Internet users to find your website through the use of a Screen Reader.
5. Quality content
Statistics on online behavior present a more discriminating profile on the Internet user. Take note of these following key figures:
- 23% of Internet time is spent reading blogs
- 77% of Internet users read blogs
- 81% of consumers trust information shared on blogs
- 61% have been influenced by blogs on their decision to purchase
- 37% of online marketers consider the blog as the most important content marketing tool
Search engine giant Google has made it very clear that they will penalize websites that do not frequently present fresh, new and original content. Further, Google will penalize websites that use links not related to their business or service.
If you want to develop regular patronage on your website, you have to consistently publish quality content. Quality is defined as relevant and engaging content which your market will appreciate.
You should also include keywords in your content but again, you have to be mindful in their use. For blogs, you need to use main keywords, secondary keywords and tertiary keywords. Obviously the main keywords play the most important role. Both secondary and tertiary keywords are there to lend support.
For an 800 word article, use the main keyword no more than five times. It is important to have the main keyword in the title, within the first 100 words, twice in the body and in the concluding paragraph. The secondary and tertiary keywords should not be used more than twice in the entire article.
6. Use link building techniques judiciously
Link building is a very effective technique in developing inbound traffic. By linking with other sites, you can increase the visibility of your website and attract new markets.
Another advantage of link building is that is enhances your credibility and reputation as a resource. The more frequently people find your work at other websites, the more trust you gain from your target market.
One of the smartest and easiest ways to find new opportunities for your link building campaigns is to analyze what backlinks are working best for your competitors. If they are ranking higher than you for your main keywords, it often means that they have better and more quality backlinks. Hence why, the backlinks of your competitors are a resource you should always analyze.
An easy way to stay up to date with your competitor’s link building campaigns is to use tools like Monitor Backlinks. Once added your main competitors, you’ll get email reports, every 10 days, with the new links they have earned. Do consider that you should only try to replicate good backlinks and ignore low quality ones.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Google will penalize any website that adds links which has no relevance to its primary business. For example, if you run a fitness website and attach links from cigarette websites, you will be punished in the search rankings by the Google Penguin algorithm update.
7. Integrate social media techniques
Gone are the days that inbound marketers approached SEO and social media separately. These are techniques that require precise execution but are driven by consumer behavior.
Social media in particular has become a key online tool because of its large user base. Of the three billion people who go online every day, almost two billion are on social media and nearly one billion are on Facebook alone. The increase in popularity of smart phones is expected to drive these numbers higher because social media will become more accessible.
This is the reason why SEO practitioners are integrating their effective techniques with social media. Here are some examples:
- Use keywords in your articles, blogs and posts.
- Include social media share buttons in your blog page for easy sharing.
- Create high quality content for all of your shares and posts.
- Optimize images used for your social media posts.
- Be mindful of the ideal length of posts and blogs.
By integrating SEO techniques with your social media strategy, you can further maximize your efforts and enhance your online presence.
8. Write mini-blogs for video posts
If you haven’t heard of YouTube then you must have been asleep for the past 10 years.
Founded in 2005, YouTube has grown into one of the most popular social media sharing sites. One billion people tune in to YouTube every day. People spend six billion hours of video on YouTube every month. 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute.
These statistics show the power of video as a medium for marketing and promoting your products and services.
One of the most effective ways to boost the rankings of your videos is to write a “mini-blog” in its description box. Most YouTube users pay little attention to this little description box. But by using a keyword enriched description, you can significantly move your video up the search rankings.
A good strategy is to implement long tail keywords. These are more detailed and descriptive set of keywords that greatly define a search query. For example instead of using just “charbroiled hamburgers” a long-tail would appear as “made to order charbroiled hamburgers cooked fresh off the grill”.
As we head off to 2016, we should expect more changes to sweep across different markets. Consumer demand remains dynamic. In the face of the continued evolution of markets, business needs strategies that have the capacity to adapt to the changing times. For this reason, SEO will continue to remain relevant and effective in the years ahead.
What about you? What’s working best for SEO on your website? Share in the comments below!
About the author: Felix Tarcomnicu is a blogger and entrepreneur. He enjoys doing SEO and wrote the popular article about identifying and disavowing bad backlinks. You can connect with Felix on Twitter.