First thing a Very Happy New Year to everyone. Word of warning, this one is a bit war and peace but follow it and you will be successful.
For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you will know that over the past few months I have been sharing a lot of valuable content from some of the top SEO websites in the World in order to give you an insight into the wonders of SEO for 2013. I can tell you now there are literally thousands of people putting out posts making predictions on the next voodoo that will work with regards to the search engines, and I can guarantee you that most of them are now (after nearly six years of us working it out in the first place) singing from the same song sheet.
Before I go off into the few things that I know you will all say “Hang on a minute he told us that before!” to, let me just tell you that SEO is becoming more time consuming for all those involved, in many cases what took a few hours each month on some sites can now mean that it will take twice as long to make the same impact. Why? Well it takes longer to get good solid results that don’t get you banished from the Google results these days. A few of my clients suffered in the past year losing top rankings for good keywords based on old techniques that had been used to get them there in the first place (not our work I hasten to add). And it takes time and a lot of effort to combat the bad work that has done prior to the good work going in. So it is important that you get the strategy right and think about what you are doing in order to make your SEO campaign work for you.
1. Good quality content! Yep that old chestnut. Back in 2007 I was on a seminar with Andy Jenkins (of Video Boss and Stompernet Fame) and he said way back then “Good quality content will be the winner every single time” And seeing his old Medieval Weapon shop STILL ranking well after all this time, well it just goes to show he is right. Stop thinking “How many words?” start thinking “Someone has to read this, make sense of it, like it and want to come back for more!” Then you might be on the right track to what good quality is. If you wouldn’t read it….don’t expect others to.
2. Brand! Yep all the good quality in the world means nothing without a good solid brand behind it. The best brand, especially with smaller businesses is YOU! Get out from behind that damn logo and have a face and a voice and you will be better off. People will trust you more, people will give you more respect as they will know who they are talking to and most of all you will gain authority and in gaining authority you gain in rank as the popularity of your site and your business grows. YAY! Oh and if you have a problem with social media, well just put that computer back into the box it came in, give your iPad to a family member and buy yourself a ticket to go live in the jungles of south America. You need to be out talking to people, and I mean real people not just blasting your message out every day that is boring but talk to those that comment and if they aren’t commenting then comment on their stuff! To not do it is to have no voice and go back to the field of dreams method of marketing. If you build it they will not come they will not find you unless you tell them you are there!
3. Articles need to have better content uses but that doesn’t mean you fluff up what you are writing about, it means that you write more in depth about the subject. Don’t want to give away too many secrets? Get a grip. If Edison had kept the lightbulb a secret cause he thought someone might nick his idea then we would all be sat in the dark or using Teslar’s light bulb. If you want to be a success and you want to be a leader of your industry rather than a follower then get word out and get people talking about what you are doing. And if you are worried what people will say about your ideas, well you will never please everyone and criticism is good for developing good ideas into really really good ideas. Get your content out there on your website (that means blogging to those of you that don’t want to blog).
4. I’ve lost count of the number of times in the past 4 years I have used the phrase “Social Media Footprint” and people say “That doesn’t have any effect on what ranks or where it ranks, does it?” Well yeah it does, and over the next 12 months it will become even more important. Think of it logically Google have incorporated their local pages within their own social network, Google+, so with that in mind people will land on a Google+ business page every time they go to a local listing or write a review in Google+. You might also have seen these search results that have the image of the person who has written the content next to them? Guess where they come from…. yep it gets picked up from a Google+ profile of the author of the content. It is also important that your social signals (these are the posts you put out) have interaction with REAL PEOPLE on the networks that you write them on as well as not putting the same share text on each social media website. For example Facebook gets one description, Twitter another, Google+ another and LinkedIn another. This method gives you diversity in your sharing and increases the social footprint.
5. Broken record time….Video, Audio, Images and text is needed to give your site a good base for what you are doing. Video isn’t as expensive as people make out, everyone carries a HD video camera around with them in the form of a mobile phone and if you are worried about the quality if you hunt around and talk to friendly videographers then you will find a professional video isn’t as expensive as you think. If you have a video made or you make a tutorial video then you will need to make sure you transcribe the video and put the text on your website, the same with audio (again not expensive as you can get a 5 minute video transcribed for less than $2 if you search around). Google own Youtube, so Video ranks well, deal with it move on.
6. Get seen on other websites to become a leader in your field. Don’t write trash and send it top people to put on their blogs cause they will in the current climate tell you where to get off and your reputation will take a hit. Don’t write about yourself all the time (it gets boring) write interesting and helpful information for your potential clients and you will get a much better reaction from those guest blog posts than if you write trash. Talk to magazines and see if you can write for their website or if they need an expert on your specific subject if they would quote you. If you don’t ask you don’t get.
So there you go, that is the way that SEO is heading in the next 12 months (and beyond really) These strategies have worked time and time again, old spam methods will give you short term gain now give you a long time wilderness of no search ranking.
If you are scared by the prospects of making the above a success then please feel free to drop us an email to discuss how we can help you move your business forward for 2013.