You should be seeing a spike in organic search, right?
The only way to see measurable gains with an optimization strategy is to consistently manage all key areas of the SERP and publish consistently strong content targeted at a specific niche. It requires a holistic approach that is regimented and precise – the goal being to analyze search behaviour and curate the content of your site to match.
Effective SEO strategies change at a rapid pace. Below are five search engine optimization strategies you may have missed that are absolutely fundamental to the job. If you (or your writing team) are not following up with these on a regular basis, it should come as no surprise to see your site floundering on the 3rd page of SERPs in your niche.
1 – Make It Mobile Friendly
The mobile revolution happened back in 2016 when Google announced the mobile-first indexing for search. Why? In the succinct words of Google, “most people are searching on Google using a mobile device.” They created a mobile index that will “eventually permanently use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
Countless studies have been done on the impact of optimizing mobile experience, and success stories abound. Sema Jeffers, writing for On Advertising, cites the example of Skinny Ties, an ecommerce tie company. A newly redesigned site with “touch and click usage in mind” produced some amazing results: revenue from iPhones grew 37.7%, and the bounce rate dropped by 23.3%!
Google also provide tips in the same article on how to prepare for the shift. The two most important recommendations are:
- Serve structured markups for both desktop and mobile versions of the site. (You can test using the structured data testing tool to see which design works best and is most uniform across devices).
- Utilize the txt testing tool so that Googlebots can crawl your page, whether mobile or desktop.
2 – Create Quality Outbound Links
Maybe you are still practicing the old “hyper link as many times in a page as possible” technique. It was common-practice years ago before Google bots became smart enough to rank the authority of a hyperlink and a backlink rather than simply measure based on volume of links.
Or perhaps you don’t hyperlink at all! I’ve seen both practices on a regular basis.
Here’s the thing: the appropriate number of on-page hyperlinks to relevant authority pages is not specifically quantified by Google. However, best-practice in the organic search realm is around 3 hyperlinks per 500 words (two external and one internal is a good guideline). If you continue hyperlinking to an excessive degree, you may fall under what Google refers to as “link schemes” and penalize your site accordingly.
On the other extreme, writing without any hyperlinks means you are not benefiting from the grand interconnected web of pages and info that makes up the web. Your content exists in a vacuum and, as such, the ranking algorithm has no reason to value the content. Hyperlinking to major sites (that have a lot of links) will bring authority to your own site – both in the eyes of the search bots and the humans searching for valuable, trustworthy information.
A recent study by Reboot confirms the fact. Looking to break with some of the “myths and fables” in the marketing community, Shai Aharony and his team conducted an experiment to see if outbound links to quality sources within the context of an article made a positive difference in page ranking. The researchers followed a simple methodology in which 10 sites were made for the same product – a term they made up so that Google had nothing to reference against it. Only 5 had links to high authority sites across the web, and the researchers spent time looking at which sites ranked higher, and why.
As Shai puts it: “we have proved that they (outbound links) do have a positive impact if used correctly. More importantly, we disproved the old myth of PageRank retention which in my opinion has done nothing but harm to the internet.”
More research needs to be done here, but if you are not linking to relevant, high authority sites within your blogs you are losing out on a credible boost in the eyes of Google.
3 – Optimize Images
Images on platforms like WordPress come with the option of alt-text and alt-tag descriptions. Both are worth filing in for all your images, and here is why …
- The alt-text (or alt-attribute): The alt-text is important because it informs the crawl bots what purpose the image serves. The AI-iteration of the Google algorithm may be able to assess the quality of images you like in the near future; but as of yet it still needs a textual companion to clarify its purpose on the page. Say, for example, you have an image that is hyperlinked to a product or service you sell. You would state in the alt-text box something like, “a call-to-action for Product X”. This makes it possible for the bots to interpret it rather than cast it off as an incomprehensive piece of HTML code. Bonus: You can optimize your images further by including keywords in the description!
- The alt-tag: The alt-tag is a bit different. An alt-tag is there so that screen readers used by the visually impaired can interpret the image. So, it’s basically the digital equivalent of braille – pretty cool, right?
Optimizing images will ensure there are no confusions or missed opportunities in your organic search ranking strategy.
4 – Accurate and Realistic Keyword Research and Targeting
A lot can be done with Google AdWords other than CPC campaigns. The best use of this free software is researching what kind of search traffic exists across target markets, all searching for the same long and short-tail keywords. So, you utilize the software as though you were creating ad campaigns, except you never actually do that at all.
A lot of people seem to think they can just pick the highest traffic keyword and bash it out 30 times on their site to get a better ranking. All I can say for now is that it does not work this way. More on this to come in a detailed future post!
5 – Backlinking
The most important source of authority for your site in getting to rank on the first page of a SERP is backlinking. Backlinking is essentially a measure of how authoritative your own opinion and insight is on a given topic. Google stated clearly that a backlink from Site A to Site B is equivalent to a vote of confidence – but not every vote is of equal merit! The objective is not to pay for random developers to build huge backlinking site domains for you. Attempting to trick Google with such schemes will always come back to haunt you.
The questions are these: Do you have people sharing your blogs? Do you have influencers linking back to your site in their blog articles? Do you want to know how to get more of this done?
It is not tough analytical research or data analysis that will get you more backlinks. It is a two-step process:
- Writing engaging articles full of insightful content (either DIY or work with a content writing team).
- Spending time on outreach efforts.
That’s it. That’s all it takes to build some backlinks.
The best example of site with huge backlinking strength (and thus excellent SERP ranking) is Wikipedia. Wikipedia does not need to perform outreach efforts on their published content because so many people already link back to it every minute of every day.
I’m not saying you should turn your site into a Wikipedia model, as every site serves a different purpose. However, what I am saying is backlinking needs to be one of your SEO strategies going forward. If done correctly it will draw traffic, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.
So here you have some of my initial thoughts on what might be missing from your existing SEO strategy. At Article-writing.co we do our utmost to ensure organic rank optimization of images, keyword usage, and high-quality hyperlinking for our clients. Not to mention writing killer blog articles and website copy that shows expertise in a wide spectrum of industries! Reach out to us and start benefiting from improved creative content that is optimized for organic search ranking.
Let Article-Writing.co do the work for you
We are an experienced company with a writing team that has been the antithesis of each of these mistakes.
It isn’t easy to find talented, reliable writers that do extensive research and provide the best content, but by avoiding the mistakes above, we’ve done it!
Outsource your blog writing needs to us and you’ll get access to our skilled team of writers and editors, all without you having to go through the rigorous hiring process.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.