There is no denying the effectiveness of SEO in driving search rankings. But over the last few years gradual but nonetheless consistent changes in market demographics, profiles, trends and preferences have necessitated an evolution in the process and application of SEO. Still, there are techniques and practices that remain effective simply because these are easily adaptable to change.
Here are five of the best techniques for SEO that will remain relevant in 2015 and perhaps, beyond.
- Design SEO strategy according to target audience data
SEO has been popularly used to research keyword intent to be congruent with marketing strategy.
But as SEO has continued to evolve in its approach, methodology and purpose a shift seems to have occurred and integrate it with more traditional marketing strategies.
Quantitative data is utilized to identify search topics that are in demand in conjunction with information on the target audience; particularly on what influences their purchasing decisions. SEO is also being utilized to develop a greater understanding on comparative advantage or what the competition is doing to maximize on those same factors that influence consumer purchasing behavior.
Thus, SEO has been evolving into a more 3-Dimensional discipline that integrates technical, fundamental processes with behavioral theory.
- Align SEO strategy with Content strategy
Keywords serve the important function of increasing the probability of being found on the Internet and move up the search rankings. But to leverage the effectiveness of SEO strategy solely on the strength of keyword research will be futile.
Function is one thing, application is another. It is not enough to be found. The audience must be encouraged to stay and patronize. Keywords will be rendered useless if it is not aligned with content.
How often have you come across website content which reads like gibberish? How many times have you read website copy where keywords are splattered throughout the content like graffiti along the streets or major cities?
Effective SEO in conjunction with great content create a memorable User Experience. B2B’s and B2C’s have been utilizing content through blog posts and web content as key components of their content marketing strategy.
The best approach to align SEO with Content strategy is to begin with content creation; then apply SEO best practices to enhance its value and visibility online.
- Allocate resources for Mobile SEO
Since 2013, technology industry analysts have been advocating the need for a shift toward mobile responsiveness. For some time, industry data had pointed to a decline in the use of the Personal Computer through progressively lower sales and increased demand for mobile gadgets via progressively higher sales.
The shift in consumer preference was a crucial point in re-aligning web design strategies toward responsiveness. By 2014, mobile gadgets particularly the smart phone, accounted for more than 60% of Internet traffic. The shift impacts B2B significantly.
While Mobile SEO should be a priority in strategy design, it is important to note that configuring your website to fit mobile design could result in 68% loss in traffic from smart phone users. In the study conducted by BrightEdge, the loss in traffic occurred because Google and other search engines could not recognize the mobile site as related to its desktop counterpart.
- Utilize long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy
Long-tail keywords as described; are longer and more specific keyword phrases that Internet users may use when they are closer to making a decision to purchase.
For example, your business is a restaurant that sells organic, charbroiled, half-pound hamburgers. Obviously, the chances of your web page appearing at the top of the search ranking will be very low with the organic search for “hamburger” because there will be too much competition.
But if you used “organic, charbroiled, half-pound hamburgers”, the probability is greater that your target audience will be directed to your web page.
Using long-tail keywords works because it enhances your reputation as an authority compared to websites that merely repeat standard, generic industry keywords. You can find the long-tail keywords that are most suitable for your industry or niche by using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool and by reviewing the data in your Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics.
- Integrate SEO with other online marketing strategies
SEO by itself, despite the advances in techniques and variety in applications is not enough to maximize the online presence of your business. There are other tools in the online marketing tool box that should be taken notice of and utilized in conjunction with SEO strategies.
Social media for one has grown to become a focal point in the online marketing campaign of several companies. This should come to no surprise because even without the need to confirm social media’s value through statistics, we can easily validate its significance simply by assessing its influence on how we manage our day-to-day lives and business affairs. Social media has empowered the consumer; with a single click of a mouse or a stroke of a keyboard pad, the fortunes of a business can be changed by a post, a share or an image.
In terms of patronage, there are three billion people online every single day. Of these, close to a billion spend at least 20 minutes on Facebook. The rest are dispersed to other social media networks like Google Plus, Twitter and Pinterest.
Integrating SEO is not meant to downplay its significance in the total online marketing strategy. Instead, integration redefines SEO as the foundational component which works in synergy with other effective online marketing strategies as social media as well as content creation which was discussed earlier.
As we head toward the end of 2015, these 5 SEO techniques continue to play prominently in the campaign strategies of businesses. There have been tweaks and adjustments undertaken in the application of some of these techniques.
A good example would be the increasing use of the narrative approach in content creation. Businesses are veering away from the ego-driven, technical heavy web copy to adopting a reader-friendly narrative approach which has been referred to as “story-telling”.
Whatever the case may be, SEO becomes a more effective strategy when it is allowed to evolve and take shape to correspond with the changes in the market profile and in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies.
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