The internet is constantly evolving. On the plus side, this means that the old rules of backlinks and blackhat techniques have thankfully gone the way of the landline. On the minus side, this means keeping up with the ever changing algorithm of Google search. When you take advantage of organic search techniques, you get access to the most powerful “tool” on the web. Organic search results come across as authentic versus paid and therefore, in the mind of the consumer, have twice the weight. In fact, heatmaps show that searchers are no longer viewing paid and often go right to organic search results. Being aware of how to build an organic content strategy helps to keep your search engine rankings in good standing. Here are some tips:
1. Crank out high-quality content
Your content needs to bring value. It should address questions, offer solutions and give the user the best experience. It can be overwhelming to drive content at scale for your brand. Content should hit a daily drumbeat. You can utilize agencies like Newscred or Skyword to help build your engine with great content. Consider building a microsite that drives authority for your brand around a category. Whole Foods Story is a great example. The site isn't selling product, it's selling a lifestyle.
2. Add great visuals and videos
Not only are images and videos more visually appealing for your audience, images have distinct advantages for search, especially when they are related to your company services. Just don’t forget to change the title of the image so that it matches your theme. This organically moves you up SEO and in doing so, the search engines will list your image in their ‘image search category’. If you’re going to take the time to add an image, you may as well add in this extra step. Human images convert significantly higher so don't be afraid to use humans. And it goes without saying – babies and puppies where possible!
3. Include a blog
If high quality content rules, then blogging is like having a ton of extra people passing out your business cards. Blogs act like mini-search engines, each one targeting a broad spectrum of topics. If you maintain consistency and quality on your blog, you will naturally attract an audience. This over time will give your brand and your spokespeople authority on a given topic. In addition to Vimeo and YouTube, Facebook, Instragram and Blab are emerging as popular video blog platforms. Consider a video blog on Facebook. Gary Vaynerchuk is a good example of a popular video blog on facebook.
4. Share, share, share
As you’re probably already aware, sharing on social media builds organic search. While you don’t need to take advantage of every social media format, focusing on the right ones can build loyalty and increase the customer experience of your brand. Whether you choose Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, stay consistent in how you share your content on social. Each time someone shares one of your posts, you naturally gain more exposure and increase your search rankings. Applying promoted social to your organic sharing will boost your ranking also.
5. META titles, tags and descriptions
Although it can be a bit tedious, using your META data gives you the ability to inform the search engines as to what your site or page is about. A ‘title tag’ is one of the most important as it is how the search engines will find your document and appears above the URL on the results page and at the browser top. They are usually seventy characters or less. A ‘description tag’ is the quick ‘at a glance’ for people to review the contents of your page. They are typically 150-160 characters long.
6. Focus on the text “above the line”
“Above the line” refers to the text that a viewer can see on their screen without scrolling. The search engines place the most value on this area for page ranking. This text should be crafted so that it describes your business or service in a distinct and clear manner.
7. Set up an SEO strategy
Start with a keyword strategy. You need to have a deep understanding of who are you trying to find on the Internet and what keywords they are searching on today. Consider adding 'intent' keywords. ie 'demo of ecommerce platform' vs 'ecommerce platform'. This will help you to find the people who are already interested in a demo and therefore more likely to be potential buyers. You can use a tool like Search Engine Visibility to help here. You know your business better than anyone. When you create an SEO strategy that fits your branding and voice, you can gauge what’s working – and even more importantly, what’s not.
8. Stay ahead of the curve
Don’t expect today’s rules to be the same tomorrow. Be prepared to make changes to your plans and adapt to new ways of thinking. The search engines are always refining the ways to bring information to the world. Being aware of the changes will put you ahead. Google updates webmasters in its handy How Search Works page.
9. Links matter
Backlicks give your brand domain authority. Make sure you include your website in every press release. Consider asking your business partners to link to your site. Build authority through microsite domains or media buys that connect back to your page.
10. Update frequently
Consistent updates to your website, microsites and blog not only encourage your readers to keep coming back to read about the human side of your industry, but they help to keep your site up in the rankings (on the robot side of things too). You will begin to get traction if you post daily.
When you find creative ways to boost organic search, you’ll stay ahead of the curve and bring in new business. Good luck being found on the web. A solid SEO ranking in your industry is no easy task but one well worth the effort and the foundation of any good digital strategy.