SEO – three simple letters that strike dread and frustration into the hearts of many business owners. SEO has evolved over the years and now incorporates numerous factors. For business owners, this begs the question: ‘What are the factors that I should be focusing on for SEO?’
It’s a good question and tricky one to answer, but there are two core factors that you should be focusing on to really supercharge your SEO – quality content and link building.
The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how flashy your website is or how many people are signed up to your email list; if you aren’t generating the highest quality content and effectively backlinking, you can’t chart as high as you want on Search Engines.
Content is King
The difference between a decent website that people spend a few minutes browsing and an incredible one that generates leads and gets people coming back is high-quality content. The more people come back, the higher you rise on search engines. ‘So what makes great content?’
Think about it for a moment. When a person starts searching for something, they are going to type loads of different words or phrases. Your content needs to be relevant to the search query. So spend a bit of time thinking about what people are likely to type, then make sure that your content matches the queries. Otherwise, you’re going to have all of this great content but with no one actually seeing it.
We interviewed Seb Dean of Imaginaire Digital (a web design/digital agency in Nottingham), who said the following:
The great thing about producing good quality content consistently is that 1) it shows you’re an expert in your field and 2) you can leverage it to show Google exactly what the website is about. Say for example you sell widgets and you have a page for selling them, creating regular articles about widgets in all of their wonderful forms and linking back to the sales page can really boost relevance.
Let’s start with the basics: people can’t engage with content that it isn’t properly written. If you aren’t a great writer, then consider hiring one. Or, at the very least, get a fresh pair of eyes on your work to make any corrections.
Secondly, don’t write something that doesn’t address what your readers are looking for. If you write a blog, then give it a purpose. It shouldn’t just be fluff – it should be trying to give people the information that they are looking for.
Focusing on meeting the needs of the user is of the highest importance, not just whether the search engines will like it. Rand Fishkin of Moz fame, gave a great quote about this:
You have to ask yourself, whenever you are producing any type of content, Who will amplify this and why?
Finally, put yourself in the shoes of the end-user. If you’re selling video games, then you probably want to adopt a more conversational tone. If you’re writing for a management company, then maybe consider a more formal way of writing.
Bottom line, tailor your content to increase user interest and get them coming back.
Unsurprisingly, the more visible you are, the higher you rank but how do you become visible in the first place? The answer… backlinks.
The first thing you need to do is share, share, share your content on social media. The more people that see it, the more people that visit your website.
A second trick is to encourage people on your mailing list to go back to your website. If you have an email list then don’t let it sit there and fester. Try weekly email blasts. Every person that opens it is a potential lead so don’t waste that opportunity.
Once you’ve got everything oiled up and working on your end, it’s time to head out into the big, wide world of influencers and request for backlinks. Try sharing your content with them as well as explaining why and how it can help their audiences.
It’s worth noting that coming across as salesy in the outreach process will do you no favours. You should just be focused on earning awareness for your content and you shouldn’t be dictating what kind of anchor text people should be using.
Brian Dean of Backlinko came up with a fantastic method that shows just how important content quality is. It’s called the skyscraper technique and involves looking for popular content across the Internet, then improving it and contacting the people that have shared the previous article.
At times, SEO can feel like an uphill battle and requires patience and hard work. By focusing on quality content and backlinking, however, you’ll have a real advantage over others.