Search engine optimization is something that all bloggers and online marketers address at some point. The goal is to drive more targeted to your site, but it seems as though the rules keep changing. Let’s explore at least three SEO strategies you can execute right now.
1) Join Google Plus
Social media is obviously playing an increasingly important role in how people find information online and connect with brands in a meaningful way. Search engines recognize this and have, therefore, changed their algorithms to put social media in the spotlight.
The most recent evidence of this is the launch of Google Plus, an 80 million member strong social media platform run by Google. In the past it was common to find Facebook and Twitter content in Google search results, but in 2011 Google scrapped those relationships and now shows Google Plus content instead.
To take advantage of this I encourage you to set up a Google Plus account. Complete your profile as well as possible including information about you, locations you’ve lived, where you work, what you do, links to other online profiles & websites and your profile picture. Add a few new posts, including one to your website. Upload a few images and videos if you can. You want to send a signal to Google that your onboard and ready to participate.
Of course, the real power of Google Plus is the community, so start adding people to Circles. Comment on their posts, +1 their content and share their posts to your Circles. Mention them in you posts too. If you have a business, setup a Google Plus Page and repeat the steps above.
This entire process should take no more than about an hour and will establish a great baseline for you and your new relationship with Google. The key is to get your profile setup now, so that your “start date” is locked in. Google tends to place importance on the age of domains and other online assets, so consider this your first warning to get things rolling early.
2) Write Great Content
Writing unique content on your blog has and always will be a valuable method for driving search engine traffic to your site. Blogging on a regular basis sends a signal to Google that your website is relevant, among other things.
Personally, I like blogging because it forces me to really dive into important issues within my industry and provide additional clarity to my customers so they can make sense of what’s happening online. The more I blog about current events and trends within my industry, the more traffic I get from visitors looking for help on those topics. The same is true in any niche, so think about your market and what’s happening today. Pick a specific topic and write a couple blog posts that provide guidance for those looking for help.
If your nervous about blogging or have trouble getting started, I recommend that you just start writing without editing at first. You don’t want editing to get in the way of your stream of thought. Rather, get the ideas down on paper, and then go back later and edit for proper grammar and markup such as bold and italicizing. For example, I write this blog post using Siri – a voice to text dictation application on the iPhone. It took me just a few minutes to talk and the results was nearly 1000 words.
With every blog post that you write I also recommend you include categories and relevant tags. In WordPress, for example, you can choose these options when publishing each blog post. This creates additional pages within your site that Google can index and also provides helpful navigation for your users to discover content across your site.
When you finally publish your blog pos, share the link to your content on popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Soon, you’ll see traffic coming to your site that may otherwise have gone to the competition. Of course, use Google Analytics to see exactly how these people are finding your site and what keywords they used when they searched on search engines.
3) Comment on other Blogs
When you comment on other blogs or websites there are a few things that happen.
- First, it forces you to really read the article, form your own opinion about the subject and then add value to the conversation.
- The second thing that happens is that people that read that article will see your comment and your name. If you comment often, they will identify you as a thought leader within your niche. Furthermore, if you leave good comments, readers will click through to visit your website and learn more about you.
- In some cases, search engines will also be indexing your comments – buildings backlinks that drive search engine optimization for your site over the long-run.
I hope you find these three strategies helpful. Obviously, as the search engines continues to evolve and new online platforms appear these strategies will change over time.
What is your favorite strategy for driving traffic to your website?