We’ve spent an abundance of time discussing the most impactful and important strategies when it comes to the SEO world:
- creating engaging content
- conducting keyword research
- forming reputable linking structures
- ensuring site markup is correct and free of error
In fact, we’ve spent so much time (and will continue to spend more time) dissecting these tactics because they are so crucial to SEO success that we’ve forgotten about the others. There’s a lot of smaller tips that, while not as significantly impactful, do help contribute to the overall SEO success of our pages and moderately improve rankings.
Success at SEO is very much a game of effort; the more you put into in, the better your climb up the Google Rankings ladder will be.
These small strategies are very much ways that you can put that little bit of extra effort in and help empower your overall SEO success.
Tip #1: Wikipedia – A Potential Goldmine Of Authoritative Links
Wikipedia is a great source for research, but it is also a treasure trove of opportunity to gain valuable, authoritative links to your pages. By targeting Wikipedia pages with relevant subject matter to your site and products, you can potentially add information to the page and include a link to your site as a source.
The key to success here is capitalizing on broken links. Wikipedia webmasters are far more likely to accept your content and/or link as an addition to a page when it is helping them resolve a broken link.
The encyclopedic resource has easy measures set in place to report a link as broken and even suggest a replacement.
While not all broken link reports receive a response, many do. If the link and content you’ve suggested meets their standards and are relevant to the Wikipedia entry in question, there’s a good chance you’ll receive the link.
For a more in-depth look at leveraging broken links on Wikipedia, I recommend this resource.
Tip #2: Spread Your Reach With Lesser Social Sharing Platforms
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become must-includes in most organization’s planning. Their benefits to SEO are obvious, as well as marketing, customer service and more. There’s a number of lesser, unappreciated platforms, however, that yield pretty good SEO benefits.
LinkedIn is definitely in this group. Some businesses, especially B2B organizations, would even argue that there is nothing lesser about this platform at all. What’s really spectacular about LinkedIn is, since it is only designed for business professionals, there’s much less noise (adorable animal photos, goofy viral videos, etc.).
This makes it easy to have your content noticed, even if you’re only posting once a month.
Tip #3: Study Successful Content And Where To Find It
There’s a misconception about what makes content good or bad. Some individuals make the mistaken correlation that how good or bad the content is relates to its views and engagement. Good content has lots of views and high engagement, while bad content doesn’t have these things.
The reason that this connection is not entirely correct is because there’s lots of not-so-great content with high views and engagement. Similarly, there’s compelling, informative blogs from proven experts that don’t see more than fifty views and little-or-no engagement.
In a perfect world, success would be relative to the quality of the writing, but it’s not.
The point to be made is that the aim of creating content isn’t solely to create “good” content (although it certainly is important), but rather successful content. Or, content that sees those high views, shares, comments and so on.
In my previous blog post: Content Creation Is Not Content Marketing, I included six steps to take before and after content is created. One of the major themes behind many of these steps is research and studying the factors behind what makes content successful or not.
If your content isn’t meeting expectations, it may not be a sign that what you’re sharing is bad, but rather you don’t have a full understanding of the factors that contribute to successful content:
- Topics and subject matter relevant to the audience
- Time of day and days of the week to post
- Which content types are best received (blog vs video)
- How and where people receive their content
- Social media platforms with the most audience activity
- Content structure, length, number of links and other small components
All of these may seem minor factors, but, when put together, they are powerful forces on the success (or lack thereof) of content. You can quickly identify content success factors by studying your own successful pieces, as well as those of your competition.
Tip #4: Develop Professional Connections For Mutual Mentions
Influencer marketing has become an important content AND search engine optimization strategy. Paying popular influencers to mention your brands and products on their own pages helps get your brand noticed, while also providing valuable links from popular sites in good standing.
There are some downsides to paid influencer marketing, however. For one, consumers are increasingly gaining skepticism about sponsored content, even when the influencer is transparent about being paid for their mentions.
Instead of relying strictly on paid influencers that may be hurting your brand as much as helping it, you may want to rethink your strategy by relying on the connections you’ve already established and finding mutually beneficial ways to cross promote with these individuals, whether they are associates, friends or even your clients.
After all, everyone is thinking about improving their own SEO and looking for ways to create backlinks and garner brand attention. You may be surprised to find out the friends, family members and associates that are battling with their own content and SEO strategies.
The challenge is finding creative ways to cross-promote one another without seeming fake or paid, especially if you are, in example, a PR firm and they are a plumbing supply warehouse.
Tip #5: Resurrect Old Content!
Content should never be used once and then left to rot and die in the backpages of your blog. But, that’s what happens to so much valuable and probably-still-relevant articles, blogs and other types of content.
Why? Because people choose not to repost their content, as if someone is going to notice and penalize you for sharing the same piece of content again.
Failing to reuse old content means a lot negative things:
- You’re wasting a lot of time and money by having the one-and-done content strategy. You’ve put in a lot of effort into producing this great piece of content. So, don’t be afraid to remind people of it again and again, within reason.
- You’re depriving your audience of valuable content. Even if you do all the necessary research to know when and where your audience is going to be, you can’t guarantee that they’ll actually show up to see your content. If you don’t casually repost older content pieces, you’re essentially setting up a content pop-up store that only a few viewers will ever see and experience.
- You’re denying yourself valuable data and exploration in testing how your content will perform on other platforms and in new formats.
- Instead of refreshing and reposting old content with new, more relevant ideas, you’re spinning the wheels and creating the same content over and over again. Not only does this waste time and money, as per #1 on the list, but it also makes for really uncompelling content.
As long as you’re not bombarding your audiences with the same blog post on a regular basis, mixing in some old, revitalized content, along with new pieces, makes for a much better content strategy and is a really low-effort, high-impact strategy towards boosting traffic.
Tip #6: Images Should Have Keywords, Too
Images are an important part of any web page. It adds structure, gives the eye somewhere to land and breaks up the monotony of long walls of text. Yet, I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve saved an image from someone’s page and found that the image file name is a garbled mess of percent signs, numbers and no recognizable words, at least from any human language.
This is a missed opportunity. It takes just a couple of seconds to name/label an image and the impact on SEO is noticeable. When you name your image, you send a clear signal to Google as to what that image is and help add to your keyword ranking for the terms.
It also creates an opportunity for people to find your content via an image search. This is especially impactful if you’re posting a graph or research findings. Often, these images support your main argument or topic, but the data and research may be useful to others in ways you hadn’t considered.
You can further enhance the keyword power surrounding your images by also including a short caption under the image. People have a tendency to scan the page for headlines, large text, bullets, bolded text and, of course, images. They’ll do this even before they begin reading any of the body copy.
In fact, when images have captions, they are read 300% more than the body copy, according to KissMetrics.
Yet, an overwhelming number of sites with images don’t caption their visuals. So, while a picture may says a thousand words, don’t forget to add a few more to help your SEO!
Once you’ve got a handle on the reins of the essential SEO tactics (keyword planning, link building, site markup etc.), your next step is finding these out-of-the-box ways to enhance your main strategies and bring new and returning traffic to your pages.
There’s plenty of other small efforts that you can perform to bolster your SEO efforts, as long as you’re willing to be creative and think beyond the obvious.