Happy New Year everyone. 2020 sure has been a rollercoaster year for us all. It also has been a year full of major events. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to the fast-growing landscape that is Digital Marketing.
There was one event towards the end of 2020 that helped set the stage for the future of Digital Marketing. That event was the December 2020 Google Core Update. These updates happen to encourage websites to write content that addresses users’ needs instead of just trying to please search engines. Google and other search engines strive to bring users relevant content and that is what brands need to do too.
A great way to help provide that is via a quality Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. These eight SEO tips will help address the needs of users while helping grow your online presence in 2021. Let’s go over them, shall we?
Avoid Black Hat SEO Tactics
An important lesson to know about SEO is that it is a long-term online strategy. This means that we must never try to trick the search engines in hopes of getting high search rankings. That is what we call Black Hat SEO tactics. Here are some examples of those tactics that you should avoid doing.
This is the practice of showing the search engines a different set of content than what is actually on a site. The actual content turns out to be subpar and gives users a bad experience. That will get you in big trouble with the search engines.
This is taking content from others and passing it off as your own in hopes of getting higher search rankings. Search engines will not be kind to sites that duplicate content and will harm you in the end. On top of that, this is plagiarism as we learned in English class.
This is the practice of seeking any link from sites that provide irrelevant content from what your site is about. This will make your site look like spam and that will not go well with the search engines.
This is where sites use the same phrases nonstop throughout their site in hopes of attracting web traffic. This is spam-like behavior that gives users an unpleasant experience. It will also harm you in the search engine results page (SERP).
This is the practice of commenting on other blogs or letting others comment on yours for link juice. Blogging on posts that have nothing to do with your cause makes you look like spam to users. In return, it will cause harm to your search rankings.
In other words, don’t do it. Black Hat SEO will do you no favors in earning trust from users. It can also harm you in the search engine results page and could even get you de-indexed. Always go for White Hat SEO tactics instead to help increase your presence towards the right people.
Seek Quality Links
It is crucial to not seek just any links. You want to focus on links that are most relevant to your brand’s cause. Focusing on getting the right links helps your brand stand out to the right audience in a positive way. It also benefits both you and your linking partner as you’d both benefit from high quality web traffic. When seeking links, always go for Quality over Quantity as you would in other Digital Marketing situations.
Make Use Of Long-Tail Keywords
If you’re looking to increase your conversion rate, then turn to long-tail keywords. Long-Tail Keywords are long, specific keyword phrases that visitors commonly use when closing in on a purchase. According to a study by Neil Patel, using long-tail keywords averages a 36% average conversion rate. This will help go a long way in helping outrank your competition while building up your long-term online presence.
Some great tools to help you uncover long tail keywords include SEM Rush, Answer The Public, and Google Keyword Planner. Tools like those will help you identify keywords that will best help you reach the right audience.
Match User Intent With The Most Relevant Type Of Content
You also want to keep in mind where they’re at in their customer journey. That is why you need to know the three types of user intent below. That way, you’ll know what type of content is most appropriate to develop for that specific audience.
This is where people look for the ‘I Want To Know’ type of content like FAQs or How-Tos. The goal is to bring in the right kind of users who are not familiar with brands like yours.
This is where people search for “I Want To Go” content types such as store locations and customer service information. The end goal here is to provide a great shopping experience and provide top-notch information that best helps customers.
This is the type of content that you would encounter at the end of the customer journey. This is where “I Want To Do” content types like Videos and Product Stories appear. The end goal here is to seal the deal with the customer and get them to hit the Buy button.
Keeping the intents of your audience in mind will help you plan which types of content you should develop. By following this step, you’ll help provide your users with a great experience at every step in their customer journey.
Strive For High-Quality User Experience (UX)
A crucial tip in growing your online presence is to give your audience a high-quality UX while on your site. One thing to do is to work to keep your site up to speed. A great way to test your site speed is to use the GTmetrix tool. This will give you details on how you can help improve your site speed.
You also want to make sure that your website is easy for users to navigate. A great way to accomplish that is to make your content be accessible in the least amount of clicks/taps possible. This helps your users find what they’re looking for much quicker.
You also want to ensure that your website is responsive across all devices and that it works well on mobile. With mobile taking up a large percentage of today’s online searches, this is crucial to ensure success in attracting visitors.
Make Your Main Points Clear And To The Point
To attract readers’ interest, you always want to make your key points at the beginning. First, use headings and subheadings that best explain the topic without needing to read further. This will help guide readers into reading information that is essential to their research.
Also, use the Inverted Pyramid writing style for best SEO results. This means work to put your key points in the first paragraph and work to entice readers to read further. Readers will be encouraged to read on if they can find value by scanning the text.
To help make the flow of the text be clear, use transition words. Examples of them include “less than” to compare and “thus” to conclude. No question that they’re helpful in making your points while bringing clarity to your readers.
Utilize The E-A-T Method
A very important tip in helping grow your online presence in 2021 is making use of the E-A-T method. EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. To demonstrate expertise in YMWL (Your Money or Your Life) topics such as medical advice, formal expertise is basically a must. For Non-YMYL topics such as sharing your experience with a disease on a support page, it’s all about demonstrating everyday expertise. Expertise is vital in developing high-quality content.
You also need to demonstrate authoritativeness when developing content. Raters check up on authority via independent sources like reviews and expert recommendations like on WebMD. This sure is something to consider when thinking about what type of content you should create.
People also look to how trustworthy content creators are. They look to things like content accuracy and proper citation of sources. This will go a long way in building trust with the right audience and helps attract them in the end. The E-A-T method will help ensure that your content is high-quality and overcomes any core update that comes along.
Make Voice Search A Big Part Of Your Plans
A growing online trend that we should take note of is voice search. According to a DBS Interactive study, 27% of online users use voice search. Voice search queries tend to be longer so it is a great idea to make use of long-tail keywords. In addition, they tend to be questions so including FAQs for your pages would be a great plan to utilize. Voice search may be small now but it will be a big thing in the future. That is why you want to make it a big part of your online marketing strategy going forward.
A People-First SEO Strategy Grows Your Brand For The Better
There is no question that taking a people-first approach to SEO helps grow your brand’s online presence for the better. In addition, making it easier for your website visitors will make it more likely that they convert into paying customers. When you put the needs of the people first, the search engines will reward your brand greatly in the end. By giving your users a great experience at every step, your brand will be set up for long-term success.
What do you feel is key to growing your online presence in this new year? What other SEO tips do you feel are essential to helping your brand succeed? Questions? Comments? Please feel free to share this blog post and share your thoughts below.