School is finally out and, chilly northeast Ohio weather aside, “summer” vacation is upon us. The next ten-or-so weeks are both the best and worst of times. It means trips to the beach, ice cream cones, playgrounds, and pools. No homework, no packed lunches, and no early morning races to the bus stop between the kids and their school bus.
At the same time, though, while you can spend more time with your family and friends, life has to keep going. The house still needs cleaned, groceries need to be bought, and work needs to be finished, especially if you want to keep your clients happy and your prospects learning about your company.
Maximize your working hours by putting these three search engine optimization agency insider tips and tricks into your daily agenda. Taking the time now to plan ahead will give your business the summer boost it needs and will give you more time to enjoy the summer sun.
Stuck in an SEO Rut?
You’re probably used to search engine optimization being anything but affordable. If you want to do-it-yourself, you’re stuck spending hours researching the latest SEO news and how-tos. When it comes to technical SEO, like Web site architecture and structure, well, that’s been sitting at the top of your to-do list, along with the corresponding YouTube videos, waiting until you have time to tinker with your site.
You’ve also had plenty of e-mails from SEO specialists, digital marketing agencies, and search engine optimization consultants, promising cheap SEO, affordable SEO, and plenty of guarantees. Nothing against any of them, but I bet at least a few of the quotes you’ve received have had a far more generous definition of cheap and affordable than your small business can budget.
Where does that leave you? If you’re like most marketers, probably scared of SEO. Indecision can lead to a paralysis that leaves you, your Web site, and your business suffering. You lose valuable hours worrying and waiting, when a few simple summertime SEO steps could put you ahead of the competition.
According to a “Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions,” author Tom Griffiths, a cognitive scientist at UC Berkeley, says that you don’t need to talk yourself into a decision. All you need, he says, is a successful algorithm that “focuses on what matters, minimizes regret and does not waste precious time.” Among several strategies he and Brian Christian, a computer scientist, lay out is the 37% Rule, which helps you maximize your time and put a concrete stopping date on your choices. In this, you’ll spend 37 percent of your time exploring and researching. Then, you need to make a decision.
Say, then you say you’re going to take 37 percent of your time in the next month laying out your strategy. You give yourself about 15 of your 40 work hours for the next month doing your research and finding the strategies that not only work for you, but are steps you can take. By the time you’re done with that month, you’ll have done enough research to put together a workable plan.
Apply that to your work with these simple, secret search engine optimization agency tips and tricks, and you could see both immediate and long-term results that lead to growth for you and your business, even in the 63 percent of your time you’re not working on your SEO.
3 Easy Things A Search Engine Optimization Agency Does to See Growth
Concentrate on Your Content
Every good search engine optimization agency needs to focus on one thing: content. The amount of exposure solid, timely content can bring your small business multiplies faster than you would believe. Think about it this way. Have you see the videos on social media with hacks on saving space in your closet? (If you haven’t — check one out here.) We don’t drink pop (yes, I am from Ohio and I know the rest of you call this soda) , but I may be hoarding pop tabs from friends and family for my daughters’ closet! I’ve seen plenty of friends share the video on their own social media accounts. The other day, I was standing in line behind a woman purchasing several packs of hangers. The cashier asked her if she’d seen these videos. Then, this morning, yet another friend shared the video.
Now, think about that in terms of you a service your brand provides, or an insider tip that you can explain. If you can give your readers information that will improve their own lives, they’re more likely to share it both on- and offline. I recently told a friend about a guide I’d found online and sent him the link. It was useful information relevant toward a goal we were both trying to reach. Think of it as an in-person backlink — he trusted my opinion, so he decided to read the guide.
When you give your customers and clients informative content that helps them address problems, challenges, and obstacles in their lives, two things happen:
- Trusted and respected authorities and thought leaders share your content on their blogs and Web sites, putting you in front of their audiences and giving you high-quality backlinks.
- Your followers, fans, and friends read your content, remember your content and, most importantly, share your content with their own circle, giving you a personal recommendation to new and potential customers. These are valuable references: a Nielsen study showed that 84 percent of consumers either completely or somewhat trust the recommendations made by their family, friends, and colleagues.
Start writing some how-to guides, the complete guide to, the ultimate guide to, and the authoritative guide to whatever subject your business dominates. These should be easy-to-read, organized, and one-of-a-kind pieces that meet a need. Look at some of the questions you’re most frequently asked. Do some research to see who else is writing about this subject. If you don’t find any content on the subjects and questions your customers are asking, you’ve found an impactful way to generate traffic, boost your SEO results, and make yourself memorable.
Build Your Backlinks
Keep in mind, these aren’t the backlinks that were popular 10 years ago. Google penalizes automated backlinks. The rewards are found with high-quality, reputable backlinks on relevant, authoritative Web sites — think educational organizations or well-known publications, like Forbes or The New York Times.
You’ll find many paths to building backlinks, from buying backlinks to spam comments (both considered black hat techniques you should never use), to asking other bloggers and authorities in the field to link to the amazing content you published (less risky and less likely).
Start with the links on your own Web site. Look at your own pages, and start to place links on your own site that drive traffic to low-visibility and low-traffic pages.
Then, move to outside backlinks. Make sure what you’re doing matches Google’s ultimate goal of organizing and making information accessible and useful.
- Seek out guest posts on other top Web sites in your field or a similar, related field. Work with Web sites that are already ranking well, that have information-rich pieces that their own users find valuable, and that have a higher authority level than your sites. Sure, the author bio link is nice, but you’ll get better results when you have high-quality anchor text and natural-looking backlinks. This means, in guest posts, you may even want to use a different pen name and text in your author bio. Each link should flow naturally, to the point where your readers may not even realize that they are reading a link. Keep looking for new opportunities to get your Web site’s name out there.
- Wisely promote your own content. Promote yourself. When you publish a piece, share it on Google+. Share it on your social networking accounts. Refer to number one — create quality content that your customers and fans will want to share with their own networks, the content that informs, engages, and adds value to their lives. According to Moz’s “How to Rank,” you should spend 90 percent of your effort and time on your content — only 10 percent should be spent on link building.
They list three reasons why:
“1. Good content makes link building easier
2. Attracts higher quality links in less time
3. Builds links on its own even when sleeping or on vacation.”
Link building builds on relationships and good content. Google has made it clear, many times, that they place a higher priority on Web sites that take care of a user’s money and mood. Whether you’re building a relationship with your current or prospective customers through your content or you’re building a relationship with a blogger or other authority figure in the industry about sharing your site or guest blogging, backlinks really boil down to the people-first priorities Google increasingly cares about in each algorithm update.
Other popular options include creating and publishing infographics that are highly shared across social media networking platforms, sharing in niche forums, and e-mailing industry influencers to see if they would consider sharing your page.
As with anything, check each backlink. Make sure that it’s worth it when it comes to your Web site’s search engine optimization. Stay on top of monitoring your backlinks.
Stop Being Scared of SEO Outsourcing to a Search Engine Optimization Agency
I know — these kind of sound like they are a little time-consuming. What happened to the summer of relaxation? Well, the truth is, these are easy. They do, however, take some time. If you’re looking for the best way to build your search engine results page rankings while still having time for your family and your business, you may want to look into outsourcing your SEO work. A search engine optimization agency will work with what you’re already doing to enhance and improve your efforts, driving traffic to your site and getting you the best possible results.
Take a look at the workload you already have on your plate when it comes to running your business. The, look at how much money you’re spending to learn how to do the SEO duties. Factor in the time you spend at home watching videos, checking on e-mails, monitoring backlinks and researching keywords. How much value do you place on your time?
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to improve is to turn your project to a professional and seek help. Alone, you can only do so much, but when you work with a partner who understands what Google wants, you’ll find that, overall, your SERP ranking increases right along with your small business’ growth.
Look for a company that understands the small business needs — perhaps even a small business itself, since the owners will be able to understand and relate to your budget concerns and worries.
Look for a company with proven experience and references from other small businesses on how they’ve improved their own rankings. You’ll find a team that understands what needs to be done and can work to boost your rankings.
Look for a company willing to help you. Find an SEO agency that values teaching and education, and is willing to explain their process to you. They also encourage their employees to stay on top of the latest trends and tendencies, which means you don’t have to.
Hiring an SEO agency may feel like a cop-out, especially for someone who is already running a successful business. It’s hard to hand a project over to someone else, especially when you’ve been managing it yourself for so long. But sometimes a fresh set of eyes is exactly what you need. Think about it. The best SEO agencies have more than one employee completely dedicated to search engine optimization, and can run ideas past each other at any given moment. When you’re working to build your rankings on your own, you don’t have a team of experts at your disposal for brainstorming and troubleshooting. Looking at the same strategy can be tiresome and you could find yourself falling into a rut.
If you’re there, give us a call. For a limited time, we’re offering a free audit of your search engine optimization efforts — it doesn’t get much easier than that! Kick your summer SEO efforts off right, learn what other options are available, and, most importantly, prepare for second-half growth.