Three simple resolutions on how to do better SEO in 2016

Here we are again, fresh into a new year and ready to take on all that life has ahead of us.

Let’s be honest though, soon the gym pass will accrue dust and the refrigerator will become friendlier again, but as many of us fall into our old ways later this January, don’t let your digital marketing fall into the same old rut for another year.

If all of your New Year’s resolutions seem a little too ambitious, at least resolve to take your digital marketing at least one step further.

Take a moment and follow me through what I deem to be the three pillars of SEO in 2016: content, link earning and the ‘experience’.

Content

Even if you feel that you are rocking it on the content front, for nine out of 10 of us, you probably could be doing it better.

A time honored tactic that has worked well for me is to look at the competition. It is quite hard to be absolutely dominating the organic search landscape within an industry segment for all highly searched terms.

In the new year take a gander at SEO tools which tell you where all of your keyword presence lies for your competition.

keyword-planner-google-adwords

I prefer tools such as SEMrush or Linkdex. Take a look at your competitor’s top keywords by search volume that you do not rank for. Also, review the content on their domain that has attained this presence.

What can you to do better regarding this keyword presence in the new year so that you also have ranking presence for these terms?

For additional insight, use a tool such as BuzzSumo, which, for a given term, can show you similar content that has been created, be it blog posts, articles, infographics, interviews.

Of course, you don’t want to directly mimic someone else’s work but is there a certain type of content that works well for this keyword genre?

Once you have created your new keyword-focused masterpieces of content, go back to this tool and research what social networks have received similar content the best in the past. Find those with social authority who have shared this in the past and those who have linked to it as well.

There you go, a step in the right direction in creating better content and added organic visibility.

Link earning

The year 2016 is the year to change the way you attain links. It is not about link building anymore, it has become link earning.

If you can create a link or build a link almost instantaneously, it is most likely not the type of link you want or one that will net you much benefit. Make this the year where you offer something more valuable.

While in the past, textual content in digital marketing worked well, such as that great piece of resourceful content you created, a guide, the world’s best whitepaper and so on, make 2016 the year where you do it better. Offer something more tangible. Product samples for reviews, scholarships, giveaways and such are a way to give something that not just everyone can have.

Exclusivity creates interest and when someone knows that they might not get a piece of the pie they become more interested. While this mindset isn’t new by any means, it is not as saturated as many other link earning techniques of the past. It is also a way to break the old tactic of building links and get back to traditional marketing.

The experience

Usability and conversion optimization are both terms you have likely heard with increasing volume over the last few years. Personally, I have devoted much more attention to ‘the experience’ as it relates to the site visitor and their behavior.

I think a lot of us have moved away from keyword obsession, rightfully so, but are still stuck on bright shiny things that relate to digital strategy and tactics. Taking time to review what your site visitors are actually doing when on a website may prove more valuable than chasing new marketing methods.

Utilizing tools such as Lucky Orange, Usertesting.com, Optimizely and many more can help you understand if you are providing clear pathways, calls to action and resourcefulness or if you are simply putting up road blocks.

If your pocket book is a little light, don’t worry, you can glean important insights from Google Analytics for free. See, now you have no excuse not to “make it better” in the new year.

page-depth-segment

A few hours spent in the Behavior Flow section of Google Analytics will help you understand common pathways within your site and where your users are deciding they are not interested anymore.

Similarly, reviewing bounce rate, time on site and pages per visit for your most popular landing pages followed by your manual review can provide actionable insights into how you might need to improve that very important first impression.

Conclusion

Hopefully you will agree that most resolutions not met are for the simple fact that they were a little lofty to begin with.

What I have covered is not a plan to take on the digital world entirely but a rather a simple set of ideas on how you can be a better marketer in the new year.

Josh McCoy is Lead Strategist of SEO/PPC/Social Media at Vizion Interactive. You can connect with Josh on LinkedIn.

Related reading

tips-for-content-marketing-campaign
Concept for mobile apps
man's hands with smartphone
fr4
Simple Share Buttons