Digital marketing has never been more important and that also means the role and significance of SEO has increased dramatically. Search Engine Optimisation plays a large role in bringing people to your blog posts, guest articles, website and other various forms of content. Unfortunately, this is a field dominated by Google, so if you don’t play by their rules, then your web traffic will drop significantly. To help ensure that your SEO efforts don’t go to waste, we’ve rounded up 14 of the biggest SEO trends that will influence the world of digital marketing this year and beyond.
Almost everything we do revolves around the internet and it’s no different when it comes to business. It’s never been more important for your business to have an online presence and have an effective digital marketing strategy in place to reach, enhance and grow your customer base. If your business isn’t online, then you are missing out on a whole world of potential customers.
SEO marketing can be a confusing topic and it’s made worse with the amount of terrible information on the web. But we’re here to change all of that.
What’s the problem?
Our clients approach us and say, ‘We’ve heard that we just need regular content,’ but are frustrated that their SEO efforts haven’t succeeded. How many times have you read that ‘interlinking is key’, but been left thinking, what on earth is that? And don’t even get us started on ‘keyword stuffing’. We want to wave a magical wand to erase all of the low-quality ‘expert’ advice on the internet. But since we live in the real world, we decided to write this post. This is the guide that we wish someone had handed to us when we first began working with SEO.
What is SEO?
In our humble opinion, we think SEO comes down to 3 core principles:
1) Be heard — you must stand out among your competitors.
2) Understand customer needs and behaviour — know your customers’ pain points and what they want from you.
3) Create high quality content — produce content that outperforms anything else in your niche to establish yourself as an industry authority.
We’ve created this super-actionable list of 20 SEO marketing techniques that are tried and tested by us. For each of these points, we’ve provided you with clear examples that you can apply to your own SEO marketing. You can use the quality advice contained in this guide to kick-start your SEO efforts, or give your existing SEO marketing efforts a boost. If you apply just a few of these techniques to your website, you’ll see positive changes in your SEO rankings. Whether you know nothing about SEO, are just getting started, or are an SEO pro, we’re sure you’ll find something valuable in this guide.
#1. SEO is just about publishing regular content on your website, right?
WRONG! When we hear this advice we want to bang our hands on the table — repeatedly. It’s about having content that your audience wants to read. Never make the mistake of going past market re-search and not asking your customers about their pain points. Let’s take an example. Do you sell school lockers to local primary schools? Your first instinct may be to write content about how affordable your lockers are compared to the competition. But is this the biggest pain point the headteacher is facing? Maybe it’s the delivery process that’s more important. The head teacher wants to know how long it will take. So it makes more sense to write a blog post around these pain points. A good way to find this out is asking your sales team customer’s most common questions. This is something echoed by Kayako’s Content Marketing Manager, Adam Rogers.
Always put the reader at the heart of whatever keyword you’re ranking for. Why would they be interested in this? Why is your page, service, or blog any better to what’s currently there? When you match your keyword with powerful content and SEO best practices, that’s how to really rank in Google.
#2. Make your YouTube videos into mini blog posts.
This tip comes from Backlinko and our favourite SEO guy, Brian Dean:
I don’t need to tell you that YouTube video results are dominating Google’s first page. And considering that Google owns the popular video site, it’s a trend that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Did you know there’s a simple technique that can get your YouTube videos to rank higher for competitive keywords in both YouTube and Google? If you’ve taken the time to create a video but haven’t included at least 200 word description in your videos, you’re missing out! This is major real estate. Remember that Google can’t watch or listen to your video. They rely on your video description for you to tell them what it’s about. Not only does this let you rank better for your targeted keyword but it also ranks you better for your long tail keywords. You’ll see in the above example that the lifestyle channel called The Alternative Daily makes sure they have clear descriptions in their YouTube videos.
#3. Provide longer posts — 1000 words minimum
There’s a lot of evidence to show that longer posts crush 200-300 word articles. It shows Google that you’re providing in-depth information in your subject area. Note: longer posts don’t mean boring! The point is that you want to provide so much valuable information that the user spends more time on your page. This sends a strong signal to Google that what you’re sharing is important. Look at your industry, most posts lack depth. Most blog posts tell you why you need to do something without explaining how. Maybe you can fill this gap in your niche?
#4. Provide something different to what your competition is doing
I know we just spoke about providing longer posts of high quality content when most people are producing 300-400 word pieces. But you need to show that you’re better than your competition. What do we mean? Emil Shour is the content marketing manager at Snack Nation. He created the hugely successful post titled: 121 Creative Ways to Reward Employees – The Ultimate List When the competition were putting together 8 or 20 tips for employee wellness Emil went all out, he gave 121 examples. Here’s what he says about effective SEO marketing:
“When we created the 121 employee wellness ideas post, I noticed that most people in our industry were writing thin, short-form content. So our strategy was to put together long-form and more detailed content.
However, if other people we’re creating long-form content, I would have thought about creating more visual content (videos or infographics). I think being different has really been the “secret” behind the success of our content strategy.” Emil Shour
#5. SEO Friendly URLs
Clean up those ugly URLs and make them SEO Friendly Sometimes when you publish a blog post the url can look like this: www.domainame.com/u74sgb But it needs to look like this: www.domainname.com/20-seo-tips Why? This goes back to been user friendly. It makes it easier for your users to know what the blog post is about.
#6. Optimise your images using ALT tags that include your keywords
Google doesn’t see images, it reads the tags that appear over the images. Let’s look at how the team at the Ultimate Paleo Guide do this. They’ve chosen to share a recipe for a Tropical Fruit Salad, and they’ve made sure that when a user puts their cursor over the image, it’s tagged with their keyword “tropical fruit salad.” If you’re unsure how to do this ask your agency or whoever built your website and blogging platform. Use variations of your keywords to tag your images. Other version of the keywords, tropical fruit salad could be: Fresh fruit salad Tropical salad 5 minute tropical salad
#7. Internal linking
Link blog posts to each other. Make sure you link new posts to older posts. This is an easy thing to do and it’s likely that your blog posts relate to previous blog posts that you’ve wrote. With several parents to young children in the office, our team often visits A Mother Far From Home which is a blog all about how to handle the busy life of being a parent. Interlinking is done extremely well on this website. Just look at this example here You can see that within the first two sentences, the author has linked content to previous blog posts that she wrote.
Tread with caution here, though. Too many people make their content spammy. In an instant you can go from having an effective SEO strategy to been like every other blog post that someone clicks off. Not to mention that Google will penalise you. Here’s our suggestion:
- Mention your keyword in your title
- In the opening paragraph
- A few times in your text
#9. Focus on user experience
Does a user want to read a block of text or are you more likely to read a post that has beautiful images and infographics and headers? The answer is obvious. Why put in this effort? You want the user to stay on your page, Google notices the dwell time and responds to it. A nicely designed website is more likely to get the users to stay on your page. Don’t know how to design your blog post? Most people don’t. But this is a major advantage you need to capitalise on. Ask your agency if they design blog posts. If you don’t work with an agency contact a freelancer using UpWork or by doing a LinkedIn search. Let’s look at someone who does this amazingly well. It’s a blog post by Michael Patterson on Peg Fitzpatrick’s website. I mean just look at the visuals here:- You’re glued to the website. This is one that’s been done exceptionally well and it needs to be that good.
#10. Ensure your website loads quickly
Speed — or lack of speed — is a killer. It’s estimated that the majority of internet users expect websites to load in 2 seconds and if it doesn’t, they go to a website that does. Make sure you’re using a solid hosting provider. It’s as simple as that. The following advice comes from Minuca Elena who is known for expert roundups.
“Having a site which loads quickly is very important as it affects two parameters, website visitors and Google.
If your website is slow, visitors will leave your site as it is a poor experience and if your site is slow, Google will rank your site lower than other sites in its search listing. One easy solution is to convert your pages to AMP pages which is really very fast and can give amazing results.”
#11. Sprinkle your keywords in your heading and title tags not just your blog copy
Look at your on-page SEO. Erik Emanuelli tells us:
“Basically, you want to optimize your content for specific keywords. This includes adding your keywords in the URL of your page, in the title, at beginning and within the content in a certain percentage, in the images, in the H2, H3, etc.”
Remember to use variations of your keywords. Let’s say that you’re targeting “steel doors” You can use variations of this keywords such as: strong steel doors blue steel doors Steel doors for small businesses
#12. Give away free things that your users find valuable
We’re taking our own medicine here because you can download this guide for free. Any company, and we mean ANY company can produce high quality content that their customers want to read. The simplest way is creating an eBook and offering it to your users. A security firm? Well how about “20 ways to keep your office secure”? Do you sell curtains online? You could provide an eBook titled “How to take care of your curtains with this 1 handy tip.” Providing personalised printed t-shirts? How about “The 60 most iconic printed t-shirts of 2015”? Let’s take an example from: WTF professor As soon as you land on his website you see: He gives you 3 different documents you can download that are completely FREE and super helpful to his target market. Here’s what the site owner Tom Miller says about his strategy:-
“Because my site is targeted at college students in math, science, and engineering, a big part of my strategy for converting visitors into new email subscribers has been to create short 1-page pdf’s of the problem solutions and study strategies I write about on the blog.”
At this point a lot of people tell us that they don’t have time to do things like this. Producing high quality content does take a lot of time. You want to produce something better than the competition and this takes hours of effort. But again you want to show you’re better than your competition.
#13. Invest in good copywriting
At most offices, the blog writing is outsourced to the new intern. This is one of the worse mistakes. You need to make your content worthwhile and something that you’d want to read. Here are some fantastic resources to get your writing up to mark. 10 Ways to Write Damn Good Copy The 3 parts to a remarkable blog post Ogilvy on Advertising If you don’t have the time to learn reach out to a content marketing agency and ask them to write the copy for you. A few pieces of high quality content that speaks to your audience is more important than hundreds of pieces of content that mean nothing.
#14. Set up your Social Media channels
If you still think Social Media isn’t important you’ve probably already been left behind. But don’t just take it from us, Sam Hurley is ranked the #1 Digital Marketing Expert in the world and this is what he says about social media:
The point is that companies shouldn’t just focus on Google as their search engine forum they need to look at social media platforms too. When someone searches for you on social media make sure it’s super easy to identify who you are. It should be clear that you’re page is the official page. How? At a minimum, do the following
- Have the same contact details across your website and all of your social media channels
- Make sure you have consistent brand images across Facebook, Google+, Instagram etc.
- Fill our the “About Us” section and include your keywords
- Post content users will find interesting
#15. Put your keyword in the title & make it catchy
If your keywords are make extra money, put that into the title. But make sure it’s something exciting like 50 simple ways to make extra money There’s no doubt that your title is the key piece of your blog. It’s your first chance to grab your reader’s attention. Here’s some examples of headlines we love: 37 Reasons You Should Never Visit Serbia Serbia isn’t exactly the place you have on the top of your holiday list. What is there even to do there? Is it like a real country? The authors of this post know you’re thinking this and play into it. And then you click on it. How to tour the U.S.A. for £35 a week If we’re going to reference amazing headlines how we can ignore the king that is Mr. David Ogilvy? When he wrote this title he knew that Europeans had an exaggerated outlook on how expensive it was to visit America. This headline is ultra specific, it answers their pain point with a solution and the benefit is clear – Visit American on the cheap.
#16. Get rid of your broken links and 404 pages
No one wants to click on a link and find out that the page is dead. Prune your website! Jeff Bullas tells us
“Search engines consider a large number of broken links as a signal of an old, neglected site and this can impact your SEO ranking.”
Don’t have time to go through every single page on your website to find broken links? Neither do we, here’s a handy website that does it for you — W3C Link Checker Get deleting.
#17. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
You only need to look around you to see how many people are on their smartphones. With this in mind, you should absolutely make sure that when you design your website it’s mobile-friendly. What does that mean? It means that your website should load and display correctly on a mobile device so that visitors can have the best user experience. Unfortunately, too many websites look distorted when you view it between desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. It’s one investment you can’t afford NOT to make.
#18. Include meta descriptions
Your meta description is the snippet of text that will appear beneath your title in search engine results. Let’s look at an example, if you search “curing tennis elbow” on Google, on the results that show you will see the keywords “tennis elbow” appear in the description. Notice how Google puts the key word in bold text. Therefore it makes sense to work your keywords into the meta description text.
#19. Have a Google Listing
This allows customers to review your company directly on Google. It also lets customers find out where you are, show your opening times, contact details, and it lets them know you’re a real person The point is, if Google knows you’re real, people will know you’re real. Go to Google and type in “google my business”to get started. Here’s our Google listing:
#20. Connect with influencers in your niche
Part of any good SEO strategy is promoting your posts. This doesn’t happen by itself. The aim is to have content that others want to promote and link to. You need to know who the key influencers in your niche are so you can build relationships with them and let them know when you’re going to publish a new post.
Let’s say you own a driving school. A relevant blog post will likely be how to find the best car insurance. Go to Google and search “tips for finding cheap car insurance.”Here you’ll have a list of the most popular articles on this topic. Add these websites and bloggers into an excel sheet and note their contact details so you can connect with them and let them know when you publish your post.
No matter what sector you’re in and no matter the size of your business, you will benefit massively from an effective SEO strategy. SEO is a vital part of building your brand, attracting new leads and making more sales. Many of the best SEO strategies are done by companies who want to provide the very best information to their audience, information that will genuinely help them. We urge you to take this approach, too. Now it’s your turn. What strategies are you going to implement?
Kirien Sangha works in the digital marketing team at Creative Ideaz. If you have any questions at all about this article you can email him on email@example.com or tweet on @kirien89. If you found any use in this article, we’d love it if you could share it.
- Constant Updates: Crawl rates are low for inert websites. So, update your web content regularly, as this will attract bots more frequently. Updates can be in the form of blogs or even videos or audio strips. Moreover, the content should be informative and valuable. Insert keywords wherever possible as this will help spiders to sieve and link your website to client searches.
- Ditch Plagiarised Content Completely: Plagiarised content lowers Googlebot rates as it can easily detect copied information and can even get you a Google ban. Cross check web pages for duplicate content.
- Opt for Good Servers: Upload your website on servers with fair uptime. Googlebots lower crawl rates on servers with high downtime and as such you will find your web pages are indexed lot slower.
- Register Your Site with Popular Online Directories: Listing in online directories is a great way to get sighted by Googlebots. DMoz and Technorati are two most popular online directories. Dmoz, in fact, has higher trust levels with Google for the valuable listings it contains. Directories work best in enhancing web visibility.
- Give Titles to Images: Having striking images on websites can indeed work up some magic. But it is important to label these images as Spiders can’t read them. Use alt-text to provide brief outlines for images used in web pages. This will help Googlebot to read your web pages better.
- Hook Your Website to Social Media: Googlebots work faster with links. Create profiles for your website on social media or even link your websites to your existing profiles, as effective linking increases crawl rates. You can even interlink your old posts with your new ones between web pages.
To successfully make the journey from good to great, here are a few unique and cost effective tools which actually deliver true results in every stage of your content-marketing process. These tools have been ranked based on various factors such as reviews, mobile apps, integrations, media presence, and security.
The Good News – 76% of global marketers increased their content marketing budgets in 2015. The Great News – 90% of the big performers use marketing automation tools as part of their strategy.
Helps sales and marketing team to share personalized content with prospects, track interests and build a powerful customer experience. This application is extremely useful for small to large enterprises. Payment plans are spread across freemium and subscription options. The best part is that it is integrated with Jive, Salesforce Sales Cloud, SharePoint, LinkedIn, SlideShare and Gmail and offers just the right functions for organizing files, links, videos, links and emails from any source. You can also keep track of who viewed, commented, shared and contributed to your content. A great feature is the Analyze function where you can measure activity level by users, companies and content reach. This top ranked tool has a track record of assuring its customers of closing 30% more deals with its ultra smooth and sleek buying experience.
The best part of this tool is that it makes it easy to publish and manage content across platforms. Primarily used by non-profit organization of large organizations, key features include a powerful RESTful JSON API, sophisticated search, filtering and upload options. Contentful is a create once, publish everywhere application that keeps content in a cloud repository which helps in simple scaling, stable uptime, and fast CDN. What’s more, you can connect this application with third-party services to extend its editorial features.
This is a fantastic web tool to turn visitors into customers. A content creation application with an intuitive drag & drop interface, this one has proven to be useful to Freelancers, Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profits, Public Administrations and Small Business. This tool will help to combine your content from different sources and spread them through numerous channels online and offline. It saves you money on expensive agencies and programmers. It has a built in option to build contests; votings and polls to attract prospects. An intuitive WYSIWYG editor and a comfortable drag & drop function, makes creating pages a simple and fun activity.When choosing any tool, you need to think differently and prepare a step by step action plan on what you want to achieve and which platform can help you achieve these objectives. For getting started with the best content management system to meet your needs, do get in touch with the experts at Creative Ideaz today.
- • 48% have serious concerns on keeping pace with the rapid changes in the industry
- −> Out of this, 60% see the dynamics in the technology space as a threat to smooth running operations
- −> At the same time, 85% see new developments as an opportunity
- • The top worries cited by today’s marketers are:
- −> Lack of resources (41%)
- −> Training in new marketing skills (30%)
- • The two most important techniques still used by marketers are:
- −> Trusting Instincts (55%)
- −> Adapting to New Technologies (58%)
- 1. Learning from Competitors:
- 2. Addressing User Needs:
- 3. Breaking New Ground:
• Blue is the most preferred colour for both men (42%) and women (35%) • Similarly, orange is the least preferred colour for both men (33%) and women (22%) • Purple is surprisingly favoured amongst women, and significantly avoided by menAge Dynamics:
• Blue is the most preferred colour amongst all age groups, right from 0 to 70+ • After blue, white is the next preferred for the 70+ generation, with green being the next best for age groups up to 50 • Purple and red are next best for age groups of 18 to 69The Luxury Factor:
• For brands that symbolize wealth and luxury, gold, silver and purple are the most favoured coloursThe Isolation Effect:
• Colour contrasting is the easiest way to make elements stand out in a design. The best way to use this technique is for call to action elements, for example ‘Submit’ buttons. A bright red button on a light blue background is one of the most effective methods of creating action elements on a web page.The Colour Code: Some colours are known to invoke familiar behaviours and emotions among people. Though there may not be too much scientific backing, marketing gurus have known to use these colour secrets in their successful campaigns from ages. Hot pink – is on the top of the list for youth, femininity and high energy target customers Blue – Even though a popular colour, it is known to suppress appetite and should be avoided for marketing food Red – This colour is known to be the best for food marketing as it stimulates hunger Green – A great colour for environmental and medicinal products Yellow – A happy go lucky colour that symbolizes sunshine. Goes well for CSR campaigns and children related products and services Getting that online cash register ringing may not be as difficult as you think it is – provided you are tuned in to the tips and tricks of the trade. For a complete makeover of your online business, do get in touch with the experts at Creative Ideaz today.
With regards to content creation, here is the latest on consumer behaviour:1. A survey conducted by the Consumer Connection System (CSC) has discovered that 55% of British Internet users visit only two or three sites for their content needs. Surfing hundreds of sites for information is not done anymore. The top 5 sites used are: a. BBC b. Amazon c. Google d. ITV e. eBay 2. Close to 30% of the population felt overwhelmed when searching the internet for making purchase decisions. The next resort in this situation is to turn to friends and family to ask for recommendations.
With regards to performance of web pages, results revealed that:• More than half of the websites get viewed for less than 15 seconds • As many as 47% of the population expect a website to load in at most 2 seconds • Web pages have become heavier with newer formats such as video and images sometimes creating disastrous user experiences. 40% will quit a site if it does not load within the first 3 seconds. • The average size of a web page has grown 20% in the last six months. • Images make up more than 50% of a web page. Average size of images in webpages is 1,000 KB.
With regards to customer experience, the statistics are:• 80% of companies surveyed resonated with the statement, “our customer experience is our brand” • 22% of online marketers feel that user experience is the most exciting trend for 2015 From a marketing agencies perspective, the news is: This generation of customer lives only for the moment. Purchase decisions are taken in the NOW, leaving very little preparation time. As a result, more than 30% of content marketers feel that lack of time is their biggest challenge. It is not surprising that 21% of B2B companies spend as many as 15 hours a week in collaborating with marketing services vendors. If this fast pace overwhelms you too, then engaging with a digital marketing agency like CreativeIdeaz will help you get out of this mayhem and madness! For a free quote, get in touch with us today at 01902 504 107 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Reference: Marketing Profs KISSmetrics
• Mobile PPC actually costs less than desktop PPC and has a higher conversion rate. • Google Adwords is extremely popular amongst big brands such as Amazon, Priceline, Microsoft and Expedia. • Search Ads account for close to 40% of the total internet advertising revenue. • Google PLA is the new choice for online retailers. Spending on this platform increases drastically on days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Revenues generated on these days are also significantly higher. • In the UK, the total ad spend on Paid Search Advertising for Desktops and Tablets was £783 million in the first half of last year. This was excluding Mobile and PLA platforms which are now gaining momentum. A significant £742 million of the £783 million was attributed to Google AdWords. The remaining £41 million was spent on the U.K. Yahoo! Bing Network. • Top five industries in the UK that chose to use PPC were Financial Services, Online Gambling, Retail, Telecommunications and Utilities.Irrespective of the kind of PPC platform, there are some incredible benefits that PPC offers your business:
• Cost Factor: In traditional advertising, you pay upfront when you launch a campaign and hope to gain benefits based on user response. In PPC, the plus side is that you only pay when an interested user clicks on the ad.
• Flexibility: You can actually vary the budget on a daily basis. For example, you can set an upper cap on spending and also increase or decrease spending during peak and lull periods.
• Customer Targeting: Google and Microsoft are spending billions of research dollars on ensuring that the right ad is delivered to the right customer. Keyword popularity along with historical user information is used to create customer personas which then help guide the placement of ads.
• Easier Analytics: A PPC campaign is known to generate ROI faster than a traditional organic search strategy. The best part is the analytical information that is easily available when opting from PPC. Conversion rate measurement is straightforward, and so is keyword evaluation. Collaboration of PPC and SEO fundamentals can make all the difference when it comes to successful conversions.At Creative Ideaz we have experienced amazing results when using PPC for our clients. Do get it touch and allow us to take your product or service to your customer through the PPC way. References: Search Engine Land