Google seems to be changing its algorithms these days faster than a steroid filled hamster on his exercise wheel!
And along with the fast-moving pace of social media just how do we business owners keep up and do the right thing?
What with all the varying opinions out there from the `experts` it is hard to know what to do for the best…do you know what I would do? Work on the basics and make sure that you have them in place before you do anything else, sounds simple doesn`t it?
To be honest it is when you break down all of the basics and implement them for the search engines, your social media and your visitors to your site. So here are my tips to help you get your basics right…
- Be an authoritative figure in your industry, be the best…Take a look at your business from the outside and ask yourself a few questions – What do you want your business or brand to be known for and do you deserve to be known for that thing?
Look at your industry, who are the influencers within your industry? Look at the material they are providing and sharing, tap into this and try to include this within your own marketing. I`m not saying go out there and copy what others are doing but look at what people are engaging with and then look at what content isn`t being shared. Aim to be the authority in your industry, the person people look for and look up to.
- Optimise your content for both search engines and social media…SEO or Search Engine Optimisation was all about the right keywords, the right title tags and as many back-links as you could get but times have changed especially in the eyes of Google!
These days you need to write content for your website or your blog for the visitor, the user. Write naturally and you will see that your keywords are flowing naturally throughout your content without even realising it. The one thing you want to optimise for the search engines is your titles, this could be your heading tags or your titles to your blog. Make sure your primary keywords are included in these.
Ok so readers of your content find it interesting and useful and they want to share it with their friends, colleagues and the rest of the world but how? Make sure that all of your social media sharing widgets are there either at the beginning or the end of your content, article or blog. Make it easy for visitors to share your content!
- Are Links still important?…Yes! But in a different way to a few years ago.
A few years back it was simple to create large numbers of links to boost your search rankings, these days links are still valuable but have to be natural. Forget all the “I will add a link to you if you add one to me” but just write informative and interesting content that people will want to naturally link to.
There is still a place for creating links from other Blogs by commenting on them, by Guest Blogging or by directory submission but do it all naturally. Comment on Blog posts because you want to and because you have a useful comment to make, Guest Blog when asked, don`t go hunting Blogs that you want to write for because you need a link from them. Use directories wisely, use ones that are relevant to your business and that cannot only offer a link but can also genuinely drive traffic to your website.
- Don`t stop optimising…Great so you have optimised your website and your social media profiles so why stop there?
Optimising for both the search engines and social media is always going to be an ongoing process and I`m afraid you cannot afford to rest on your laurels. Keep creating content that is optimised naturally with your keywords, use keywords within your status updates on social media, update your Blog regularly and use the likes of Facebook and Twitter as the distribution channels for your Blog posts.
Make the most of the free stats features that are available, use Google Analytics and Facebook Insights (you can find a great explanation of exactly what Facebook Insights is here) to monitor what type of content is working and what isn`t.
There is so much available out there online to help you market and promote your business, make the most of it. I`m afraid SEO and Social Media is here to stay and those that embrace it will prosper while those businesses that do not will eventually lose out. It`s harsh and as simple as that!
I hope this helps and obviously only scratches the surface of SEO and Social Media and of course is just my opinion, but I hope you find it useful.