How to Harness SEO for Visibility in Uncertain Times
When you want your content noticed to be notice during uncertain times, you can't ignore SEO.
Uncertain times call for various measures, as we have seen during the ongoing pandemic. With people losing their jobs (not to mention their lives) left and right, it has become glaringly obvious that we must take more control over our professional lives.
First of all, industries that were focused on online operations to begin with have suffered considerably fewer losses than traditional businesses. That single fact speaks volumes about how to guard against any potential uncertainty in the future - invest your efforts in digital marketing.
To increase your brand’s visibility and keep in touch with your customer base continually, you’ll need to focus on SEO (search engine optimization). Let’s see how you can do this efficiently.
Know Your Keywords
Keywords are of extreme importance for any SEO effort. Coupled with stellar content, which is also a must, the choice of keywords can make or break your digital marketing efforts.
For starters, not all popular keywords are considered “good” keywords. Proper keywords appear natural, not forced, meaning they should fit in the content seamlessly. Plus, you’ll need to be sure that you know and analyze your audience, and select words that will be of interest to them.
As far as keywords go, there are two types: primary- and secondary keywords. Primary keywords deal with Google queries whereas secondary keywords help your content rank better. In addition, keywords help with linking (both internal and external links) that promotes your keywords. Make certain, however, to regularly update your internal, inbound and navigational links.
Headers and sub-headers should feature primary keywords only. Ideally, the header tag should be optimized for a long-tail search keyword*, with the answer following immediately below.
Finally, visual content (notably images) should also feature keywords. In case of images, place target keywords in file names and image alt attributes.
Long tail keywords are the highly specific phrases unique to the products and services being promoted. They provide answers to specific queries, which are more certain to generate sales than general queries because people asking specific questions know exactly what they are looking for. But don’t be afraid to bring in some creativity. People are most often attracted to innovative visuals and things that stand out from the masses.
Optimize Images and Meta Descriptions
We’ve already mentioned that image names and attributes should include a keyword, but that’s not the end of the image optimization process.
When we talk about images, it is important to keep mobile users in mind. In fact, mobile users should be ALWAYS kept in mind. Namely, the great majority of interactions happen on the go. Since the number of mobile users is increasing regularly and steadily, all content should be optimized for mobile devices.
This means that images should not slow down the loading time of the page, but they still need to be high-quality. A proper image optimization process includes:
- Proper image descriptions
- Optimized alt attributes
- Proper image dimensions and product angles
- Reducing the image file size
- Choosing a proper file type
- Optimizing the thumbnails
- Using image sitemaps
- Not using generic images that serve no other purpose than decorate the page
- Careful use of content delivery networks (CDNs)
- Testing the images on different devices and in different browsers, especially most popular ones
Since meta descriptions generate CTRs through search engines, getting them right is crucial. They should feature the primary keyword, match the content at the same time, and not be repetitive. Meta descriptions should feature no more than 155 characters and be absolutely unique - no generic text or templates are to be utilized. Each page should feature a different meta description even if the content is similar.
Additionally spice things up with color and design. Just as it works in a house or a commercial property, eye-grabbing color combinations can be key.
Links are very important but are also frequently overlooked. They can keep a visitor on your website longer if they are properly optimized. In this way, each visitor will see more content and maybe come to bookmark your page if they like the offer.
Still, links should the visitor find only what they are looking for, not lead them to unrelated pages.
The best practice is to use shortened links, but don’t use shortener tools. Why? Because links generated in this way feature random letters and numbers that don’t tell the visitor what the page is about. It’s better to do this manually so that the link is clearly understandable. So in short, your link should create order, not cause more confusion.
Unique, quality content is the best selling point of any brand. Brand websites featuring poor content cannot hope to build reputation ever.
First of all, content must be literate, educational, properly written and answer the exact question that has led the visitor to the target page. Keywords serve this purpose, but so do visuals and high-quality data. Keeping mobile visitors in mind, feature one font only, use a proper font size and text formatting. To highlight certain points, use a larger font size or a different color (particularly for headers and sub-headers).
Optimize Visual Content
Visual content - notably podcasts and videos, should also be optimized.
It would be ideal to provide tapescripts and make sure they feature target keywords.
Focus on Social Media
Content shared via social media gets more views and shares. It is imperative to share all new content on your social media profiles, but also to re-share older content new followers may not have seen.
Social media are great for advertising products, campaigns, and special offers and are, hence, a great boost to email marketing campaigns. Make certain to share EVERYTHING on social media and also keep communication alive.
All successful marketing campaigns rely heavily on communication and feedback, so keep an eye on the comments and respond to all queries.
Since we all have more time on our hands due to the pandemic, SEO should be given priority. In fact, now is the perfect time to go step by step and address all optimization issues on your website. You can also make templates and lists to help you with future content optimization.
While there is no general rule to creating a perfect digital marketing campaign, there are some tips:
- Infographics are hugely popular and should be used whenever statistics is involved.
- Images should be used to break up the content, but they should be relevant and well optimized.
- Everything should be optimized for mobile devices.
- Podcasts and video content get more shares than blog posts.
The list goes on, but these are only the essential guidelines to help you get started with your marketing strategy. As ever, listen to feedback and be adjustable. The finest brands evolve together with their audience.
Angela Ash is a writer at heart, focusing on numerous topics related to business, productivity, mental health, travel and more. But, she also loves to edit, is addicted to HARO, and somehow finds time to write poetry and play the piano.