This post is about an hour read and should be used as a reference guide for your search strategy.
There are a ton of articles about SEO tips. Some of them are really good but I wanted to take a holistic approach to this concept. This is important for businesses in any industry especially highly competitive ones that sell things like credit cards, health care, jewelry, real-estate and insurance. I wanted to really show you what you need to do to to take your “SEO” to the next level. Here are some Yoda level SEO Tips. Enjoy.
Yoda These SEO Tips are for You
Yoda is a wise business creature who believes in working hard and smart. He is a CEO of the Jedi Academy where he trains Jedi Knights who fight evil and save the world. Yoda believes in branding, is a fan of great advertising, and adores taking care of his customers and employees. He is a shrewd business man who likes making money and believes that there should be a positive return on his investments.
Yoda is a master marketer but the digital marketing world changed rapidly while he was focused on training the Galaxies next leaders, building his brand and running his business. Yoda is not an SEO expert but knows that it is important for his business. Yoda isn’t going to panic about that because he knows there are SEO experts that can help.
He believes in working with experts to help him solve problems that’s why he works with Han Solo, Chewbacca and some badass Ewoks to fight the Evil Empire. Yoda never let schooling get in the way of his education so he knows he will find the right information and act on it. He knows that you reap what you sow and is willing to learn and future proof his business.
Yoda this ones for you. I’m going to give you 5 SEO Tips so you can do Search like the bad ass galaxy saving Jedi Master that you are. Yoda if SEO was your craft these are the tips you would give to those who were willing to learn. I’m also going to use some of your awesome quotes to help frame some of my points.
1.Focus on Content Marketing not SEO
This might seem like a strange SEO tip but you should be doing content marketing and using technical SEO and data as part of the process.
In fact if you speak to some SEOs they will tell you that SEO has evolved to Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing or simply put Growth Marketing. Some hate having SEO in their title and even work real hard to not have it attached to them because it sometimes comes with crippling connotations if you are trying to create content. Moz even dropped the SEO from its name because to create growth and amazing content you have to go beyond search engine optimization.
Some people actually can’t comprehend that SEOs now focus on creating high quality content. However with the growth of e-commerce and mobile this understanding is literally the difference between making money or not. As a content marketer you do have to know how to write and understand how to tell compelling stories which arguable may be a challenge for some SEOs. However the point is that most people’s concept of SEO is from the early late 90s-early 2000s when we were keyword stuffing and spamming the web with low quality content, link farms and creepy link building directories. It makes sense that people question our content creation ability but they must get over it. Content marketing drives business growth and SEOs have evolved and are leading the charge.
The Content Marketing Process is straight forward.
This is the process I use and to be honest there is nothing ground breaking about it. However you must pay attention to the details and evolve it to fit your needs. Here is a short summary of each step with a deep dive into Amplification because a lot of people think that if you make content people will some how randomly find it.
“Many viral videos paid for their first million or so views and then they went “viral”.
Here are the steps that I use.
- Research & Ideate topics: Identify topics and trends that have high search demand, social engagement, that are possibly trending and most importantly your company has the right to speak about.
- Determine Content Type: Figure out the type of content that you want to create and for what channel. You should make sure that you are creating content that will live on your website and pushed through the various channels (social, native etc). You should also make sure that the content can be repackaged into other types of content. For example your blog post series can easily be turned into an ebook, or a video series if you plan correctly.
- Micro-Moment Mapping: You have to align your content to target different parts of the consumer journey. This should be aligned to your keyword strategy and the content should fit the device or channel that the consumer is using.
- Optimize: The content should be optimized for organic search on what ever platform it lives on. Google is just one of many search engines. YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Apple’s App Store and even Amazon are search engines as well.
- Report: Create reports to measure and track your ROI. You should be able to to tell what worked and what did not work.
- Amplification: All content should be promoted via different channels so you can determine which channel (social, search, email, native etc) drives results and even deeper which element with in each channel works the best (i.e Facebook vs Twitter etc).Think about it this way, each piece of content you create is like your baby. When you make a baby would you just let it sit there hoping that the world would find it and pay attention to it? No you wouldn’t you would pay money to dress it, educate it and send it off out in the world with financial support until it is successful enough to start paying you back. That’s basically how you should think about any piece of content you create for your brand. Native Advertising is one of the best places to invest in content amplification. You can promote your content for incredibly low cost per clicks. This is because on Google and other search engines CPC are set by vertical, content quality and your ability to pay. So the health care and legal industries are going to pay a ton per click because their keywords are more expensive and there are a lot of people willing to pay serious money for those terms. The basic laws of supply and demand apply here and it can cost a lot. In contrast in native advertising you are usually not bidding on keywords (some times you can), in addition native placements usually perform incredibly well because they are contextually relevant to the content on the page around it.
- Facebook Example: For example I just boosted a post on Facebook for $30 and got incredible engagement in a cost effective manner. This is because of how well I can target people on Facebook. The post targets people who will respond to the post when they see it. So the shares, clicks and comments keep rolling in. Now that I know this post does well with in Facebook. I’m going to spend some time writing an actual article on the topic because I know people care about the topic.
Three Great Native, Content Marketing and Social Amplification Tools:
- OneSpot: They are way more than Native and Social amplification. Their content personalization software is amazing.
- Zemanta: They cover a wide range of the other platforms and have a very robust offering.
- OutBrain: They are a classic native platform and can have your placements on Forbes and other sites.
Make sure you allow your “SEO” team to be part of the full content process. Always amplify your content to make sure you set your babies up for success.
2.But Technical SEO Matters More Than Ever
Even though SEOs have shifted towards creating great content the technical aspects of content is crucial to your success. Mike King from iPull Rank a digital marketing agency in New York did a great write up about this on Moz which you should read.
You need to focus on building content that is technically optimized to be found. Why would you even build content if no one can find it when they search online?
Technical SEOs should be able to speak the same language as your CTO. I’ll take that a step further and say if your CTO does not understand and know how to apply technical SEO to the things they are building then you are in trouble. I’ve seen engineers and CTOs rebuild websites and literally stop all organic traffic and sales to the website because they:
- Chose a Content Management System that is not SEO friendly. On this note fun fact Adobe’s Experience Manager which many brands are flocking to does not come SEO friendly out of the box. You have to make customizations to get basic website page level things like meta titles and descriptions on to your site. So even the major companies who are producing these content management platforms over look the importance of technical SEO.
- Some CTOs blindly followed trends like single page parallel scrolling sites that they don’t know how to get index on search engines
- Worse miss basic SEO elements
- Worse than that forget to remove the “No Index, No Follow Tag” from the staging site before launching it
- Worse than even that not blocking a staging site from being indexed in the first place so people find unfinished work that competes with the live site
- Worst of all is how many more very specific examples I have of this.
It amazes me how many CTOs, web developers and engineers don’t know the technical requirements needed to make sure that web pages, apps, videos, images and other pieces of content rank well when people search for them.
This is even more important because of mobile. Google is creating a new mobile first index which will become the main search engine. Knowing how to technically optimize your content to load quickly on mobile devices is essential to the success of your business. If you have an e-commerce site it’s even more important because as Kiss Metric says your conversion rate drops by 7% for every second it takes your page to load.
Here are a few technical SEO things to know:
- Keywords: Humans and search engines communicate using words. Each page on your site can be optimized to target 1-2 keywords. The more pages you have the more traffic and sales you can get based on the increase in keywords you can target. Search engines have moved on to semantic search. This means that you have to use terms and object that relate to each other to rank. For example if you are targeting “karate school in NYC” you should have a page that speaks to karate in New York but also different types of karate. You should mention famous Karate fighters and practitioner etc. The more information and things related to karate you add the more likely your page will rank. There are many amazing keyword research tools out there from enterprise tools like BrightEdge to Moz but SEMRUSH is my favorite. The reaso