Nothing is more repeated than tips to hone your SEO skills and up your website page ranking. If you’re in the business or have done even an hour of searching on the subject, no doubt you see the same tips repeated over and over again. Some of the most common include writing quality content, using scheduling software, and doing keyword research. Considering that these things have been mentioned literally millions of time and been described in detail thousands of times, we’re going to assume you already know them or could if you wanted to.
Instead, today we’re here to bring together a collection of SEO tips that can spice up your strategy beyond the ‘top ten’ SEO best-practices. Let’s say you already curate your content, measure your success with analytics, and that you already understand the audience you’re targeting. With all these bases covered, let’s take a look at a few of the tips that still leaves open for optimization.
1) Re-Write Your ‘Second Best’ Content
Using performance analysis, you can know exactly which of your social media posts and blog articles were heavy-hitters. You know which titles draw the biggest number of clicks, which articles kept visitors reading all the way to the bottom, and which content is creating the greatest volume of conversions. But what about the content that took second-place?
Perhaps you had an article with a killer title but content that didn’t really hit the mark. Or perhaps a topic that created more conversions that usual but didn’t get top traffic. When this happens, don’t give up. You’ve got quality material here just waiting to be re-sewn into a great SEO tapestry. Try re-writing the topic using the best parts of the old content and putting a special flare and polish on it to see if your great source-material can shine with a slightly altered presentation.
2) Keep Your URLs Simple
The URL for your blog articles matters a lot more than you think it does for a collection of reasons. First, a convoluted URL looks suspicious, as this is how hackers often hide malicious page locations. Second, readers and website visitors who have enjoyed one of your pages will want to come back. This is much more easily done when the URL is simple and easy to remember.
Ideally, you’re looking to create URLs that the user could successfully guess and type from memory. If they remember the name of the article rather than something difficult, complicated, or somehow unrelated to the article itself.
Good Example: https://example.com/blog/products/why-our-products-rock
Bad Example: https://blog.example.com/0318/article-7GHbvu5Oz
3) Customize Your 404 Page
Just in case you surf the internet perfectly and have never seen one before, a 404 page is what happens when you look for a URL that doesn’t exist. You can see why this follows naturally from our previous point. If a customer tries to alter the URL manually to reach the page they want but the URL is inaccurate, or if an internal link on your site breaks, visitors will find themselves in a 404 page. A default 404 is blank, white, and strands visitors with no way but ‘back’ to navigate somewhere else.
However, your web developer can design a custom 404 page that aligns with the rest of the website design, has plenty of links to take visitors somewhere more useful, and can include an amusing image to dispell any disappointment or frustration.
4) Answer Google My Business Questions
Recently, Google My Business (aka Google Business) has begun allowing users to ask questions on the platform much like Amazon product questions. However, they do not notify the business when a question has been asked. To make sure your customers or future customers aren’t left hanging, keep an eye on your Google My Business account for new reviews, questions, and other activity that may require a diplomatic response.
5) SEO Copywriting: Learn It, Do It
No doubt you’ve heard about organic SEO vs keyword stuffing and that organic SEO is better. But you may be wondering how exactly one manages to organically stuff phrases like “best hairdresser in Atlanta” into your content without seeming tacky.
The answer is SEO Copywriting. Rather than writing content to prop up your keywords, write content inspired by your keywords. Think about the kind of thoughts potential customers have when typing the popular industry keywords and write articles that spend 500 or more words answering the questions they have. You could, for instance, write an article titled “How would you define the best hairdresser in Atlanta?” and then detail the qualities of a great hairdresser, qualities your business and professionals all happen to possess.
6) Let the Comments Flow
Once you’ve mastered organic SEO by writing for the keywords and the audience that uses them, open up the comments. Maybe you’ll get a trickle or maybe you’ll be opening a floodgate of chatty users but comments are (almost) always a good thing. They inspire activity, engagement, bring insights to what your audience cares about, and can give you ideas for new topics. Comments also make the most of content targeted to start a conversation. The example used above, for instance, might inspire a conversation about what your local audience values most in a personal hairdresser, especially if you end your CTA with an open-ended question inviting commenters.
7) Adapt to Voice Search
Mobile has forged it’s hey-day and voice search is now already on the rise. With the massive success of smart homes and talkative hands-free mobile use, teens and young professionals everywhere are picking up on the voice search feature. For businesses, this means more conversational long-tail style keywords and a certain open-minded attitude toward AIs and voice search in general. Keep an eye on this trend and be ready to adapt to wherever it takes us this year.
8) Create an Irresistably Useful Online Tool
Want to create traffic, relevancy, and have visitors come back to your web pages time and time again? Rather than relying on content alone, consider talking to your web developers about making an incredibly useful online tool. In fact, make it irresistably useful, the kind of thing that people find handy to click over to every single day. This could be a helpful business calculator like the mortgage tools available on many lender websites. Or a capitalization or grammar tool for an audience that writes a lot, a random idea generator to spice up marketing brainstorming sessions, or even a task-specific stop-watch.
You know your audience, use that knowledge to think of a web tool that will make their lives easier or more enjoyable every day.
9) Click-Bait Titles and Value-Packed Content
There has been a lot of hate against click-bait marketing and content writing tactics in the past and we absolutely hold the line against pointless dramatic fluff. However, the right way to build an SEO blog article title is suspiciously… click-baitey. And that’s okay! Do what it takes to SEO and write your titles in whatever way gets the most genuine interest in your content. As long as your content is well-written, research-backed, and full of delicious meaty details your audience wants, a little click-bait can go a long way.
10) Use an AI for Something
Finally, never forget that the AI revolution is already happening. They may not be sentient and self-governing yet (that we know of) but AIs are becoming a part of every aspect of modern business. Furthermore they can qualify leads, hold customer service chat conversations, target promotions, and sort files. They can determine future buying trends, predict logistical problems before they happen, and help balance business finances. For SEO in 2018 and beyond, find an AI that does something cool, integrate it, and write about it. You’ll see the results in no time.
Here at Think Forward Media, we’re not just your average digital marketing team. We go out of our way to think outside the box, offer something new and innovative to every client, and we do our best not to repeat the same old tips again and again. We hope you learned something about SEO that you didn’t know before. If you’d like more innovative digital marketing tips, tricks, trends, or a personalized consultation with the experts, contact us today!