You’ve probably been investing in SEO for years to ensure your website can be found on the search engines. And PPC. Let’s leave aside whether you are really measuring its effectiveness on your bottom line, or how much you understand the process.
Let’s just assume, for now, that when your website comes up on the first page of Google for a keyword you consider to be a high traffic term for your business or site, then you are pleased.
Now, let’s take you out of that zone and ask you to imagine how you would feel if three or more links to your website and content showed up on that first page at once? Ecstatic, at a guess. For many SEO agencies this is an almost impossible dream – you cannot achieve this by just optimising the site, buying keywords, or acquiring backlinks, which is all some disreputable agencies do. But for those in the know, this is a really simple strategy that so many ignore that it is no surprise that some companies are trouncing the competition.
How do they do it? Well, it’s no great secret that Google have been offering blended search results for some time. For certain popular keywords, the content dished up in the first couple of pages of the SERPs can include blogs, news, Twitter and other real-time micro content, videos, shopping results etc. It’s by no means just olde worlde website links today!
Think about it!! Now think again. Got it? Can you see the trick?! It really is easy to achieve multiple top ranking results for your most effective keywords without spending very much money. All you need to do is create multiple types of content and optimise that for your top keywords.
So, here are some suggestions to achieving just that:
- Make videos relevant to the subject matter, unique and of interest to your audience, tag appropriately, and put on Youtube. Make sure you have your own channel which is branded and optimised for your business and keywords. Learn about video optimisation, add transcripts and tags. Take note of everything that an individual Youtube page offers, and apply that knowledge to any video pages you add to your own site.
- Write blog posts aimed clearly at satisfying your audience’s desire for knowledge, and ensure that your blog archive is hosted on a different domain to your standard ‘landing site’. Syndicate your blog posts to other blogs and get guest writers to blog about your business, products and services. Offer them a short but useful set of keywords. The one you are using, of course!
- Use Twitter. Don’t be scared of it. Make friends. Talk to people. Follow people of interest. Contribute. Join in discussions. Attend virtual and real events. Learn to use your phone so you can tweet on the move. And run training sessions and social media surgeries in-house so your staff can help spread the load of being social.
- Create Facebook pages. And populate them with useful content. Set them up so you immediately know when someone has left you a message, started a discussion, added a photo. Or at least check back regularly. Tumbleweed on blogs, Twitter timelines or Facebook pages is so off-putting. Run competitions, find out a little about your new friends/fans and start conversations with them.
- Put out press releases. Not a standard press release but a multi-media one that springs off the editor’s desk, with embedded video, a podcast, and useful content that they can re-use in their coverage. Cross promote your press release everywhere you can, don’t just rely on a press release submission service, but get interactive. Contact journalists, establish relationships with them. If necessary, wine and dine them so you understand how to write press releases which are guaranteed to get column inches in their publication, whether it is online or offline. Don’t ignore bloggers or commentators on Twitter. Breaking news often comes from the most unexpected sources these days.
- Add your products to the Google Merchant Centre, as well as making sure they are listed on as many of the comparison sites as possible. These sites generally have a large marketing budget and make their money from page views and ads, so they work hard to list highly in the SERPs.
- Create an entry for your business on Wikipedia. Or for the boss. Or for your top product. Make it factual, show sources for product reviews, links to further information etc. Wikipedia entries list highly and the backlinks carry weight too.
- Add your business and staff to LinkedIn.com. Tie in your Twitter feed and blog posts to your profiles so that your pages are constantly being updated, and interested parties can easily follow you.
- Create a buzz. Apply your expertise and imagination to your sector and start discussions about changes that could be made, about innovations that are happening, write about the past and the future. Best of all, coin a new phrase or term specific to your industry and encourage everyone to use it. Keep it short and snappy and make sure the hashtag is available on Twitter. Use your new term everywhere you can – in speeches and presentations, emails to customers, press releases, blog posts etc. It’s amazing how quickly new terms catch on.
- Co-ordinate all of the above activity so that an action on one site will automatically feed to others. Just be careful not to create an endless loop where Twitter posts to Facebook posts to LinkedIn posts to Twitter though!
For all of the above, concentrate on just a few simple keywords or phrases, and use them rigorously across all new content. But do not overuse in any single piece of content. Buy domain names that are relevant to the content and use these as landing pages. Cross link between all of your sites to ensure maximum coverage and visitor churn around your sites, and watch your listings, and traffic, increase exponentially.
Search remains a key component of any Internet Marketing Strategy, but your brands presence in those results shouldn’t be limited to just links back to your website.