Almost daily I am asked what a business owner or web designer do as it relates to SEO. The truth is there is no one simple answer. There are tons of guides out there including my own on-page SEO checklist. Some of the guides are great and some not so much.
There are some things that SEOs are overlooking especially if they’re not staying up to date. The SEO world evolves at a very rapid pace. That leads me to this blog post. Hope you find it useful.
- Share with Other Blogs-It is critical to have an ongoing content plan for your website (usually in the form of a blog) and most business owners and marketers know this. If your marketer doesn’t know this then stop reading right now and find a new marketer.What a lot of business owners and marketers miss is the opportunity to share that content to other blog sites. Now this is the part where I get attacked for having duplicate content on multiple sites. Yes, it is true that Google will only favor one site (usually the one with the most authority) for a piece of content but here’s how to navigate around that.Create an awesome blog post and add it to your site. Now, wait a few days or weeks. Check to see if Google has indexed it. Checking to see if Google has indexed a page is very simple. Use Google.com and search using the info search operator.
If the blog post or page has been indexed Google will return a search result. Now that you’ve confirmed your content is indexed you can add it to other blog platforms. I am including a list of a few to get you started. This is not an all-inclusive list and a quick Google search will reveal much more.
You should also look for industry related sites that will accept your content. For example, I also add my blog posts to Inbound.org and Social Media Today.
- Develop Content That Encourages Engagement-This should seem like a no-brainer but it’s easier said than done. Again, having a blog is the first step but let me reintroduce you to RankBrain. RankBrain is the artificial intelligence arm of the Google Search Algorithm. RankBrain takes into consideration several items that were not considered on the Google SERP before.One of those things is engagement. Engagement is simply the interactions that occur with your content. This includes shares, comments, and likes. It also includes page views and time spent on the page (meaning people read the content).How Do You Encourage Engagement? Well, I am glad you asked. Write content that doesn’t suck while thinking about your audience. If your audience is not technically savvy as it relates to your industry then you have to talk to them in their language.
Here’re More Ways to Encourage Engagement:
- Ask questions
- Ask for feedback
- Using interesting images
- Ask people to share (yes, it’s OK)
- Use bullet points
- Make Your Website as Fast as Possible-I still believe it’s coming. Google will eventually make the next big algorithm update all about speed. More and more people are browsing on mobile and we live in a very fast-paced world. Even a few seconds can seem like an eternity in our instant gratification society. People do not want to wait. Your website needs to be fast.There is a ton of ways to increase the speed of your website. First, check it using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check for opportunities within your website.Google has already launched the Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) so the first step would be to set this up on your website. It’s quite simple if you’re using WordPress. In short, AMP creates a stripped down version of your web pages and stores them on the Google servers for faster loading on mobile devices.
Side Note: You should also set your site up for Facebook Instant Articles
Some other items that can speed up your site:
- Minify CSS and HTML
- Optimize images
- Don’t use the cheapest host/server you can find
- Minimize the amount of external content that loads on your website
- Other Types of Content-There is a lot being said about video lately. Furthermore, podcasts are on the rise so people are also consuming audio content. I’ve talked about this before. Different people consume content in different manners. I personally prefer video/audio/written in that order. I don’t like to read and usually when I do I skim. With that being said I sometimes prefer to read or I am somewhere that I cannot use the volume.It is very easy to create video and audio content now. A few years ago this was a huge undertaking and most business owners avoided it because of the cost, time commitment, and equipment requirements. Today a laptop with a microphone, or a Smartphone with a microphone, goes a long way. I have used both successfully and still do.My podcast series, Growth Success Radio, is done using a laptop and a microphone that was very inexpensive. We record live using Huzza.io and then the content is uploaded to most major podcast platforms, YouTube and GrowthSuccessRadio.com. I have also used my Smartphone to create short videos and screen capture software (Camtasia) to create tutorials to add to my content.Because people consume content in different ways you are more likely to get people to engage. Images and infographics are also great pieces of content. If your site is set up properly the images will be added when shared to social media, and this will encourage even more engagement.
- Keyword Variations-So much is made of keywords still and rightfully so. People still search using keyword phrases (long tail keywords). Here’s a question for you.
How often do you try different variations of your search query before you find what you’re looking for?
Google recognized that this happens often and that in part is the reason for RankBrain. RankBrain takes a searchers input and tries to identify the intent of the searcher. In other words, you may enter “What Do I Do After a Car Accident” and Google might return “Personal Injury Lawyers” in your area. RankBrain tries to return what it thinks you really meant to search for.
That means you should not be developing content with a single long tail keyword in mind. You should be developing content with different variations of that long tail keyword. If you download my on-page SEO checklist you will get a list of ways to check on those keyword variations.
An easy way to ensure you’re not focused on the single keyword/single post method is to just develop the content for your audience, not Google. Google has stated this multiple times. Don’t try to game the system, just write for your audience. If you write content for the people who are reading it then you have already won.
SEO Is For The People
You may have heard that SEO is dead. I have written about this as well. SEO is not dead, it has just morphed into what it should have been all along. You should no longer create an SEO plan for Google. You should be creating an SEO plan for your intended audience. After all, SEO is for the people!