By Danielle Walton, an EO Columbus member and president of Adept Marketing
In the world of search engine optimization, most small businesses struggle to find ways that take their search performance to the next level. We’ve all read the articles that look at the technical side of SEO, but I found a better solution to gaining search traction in the world of content. Today’s trick to impressing the search engine robots is to inspire real, live humans.
Here are three steps to inspiring humans and impressing robots:
Step 1: Start with the story you tell.
The role of exciting, passionate and valuable content cannot be dismissed in today’s search environment. A strategic content strategy will give your website greater play and increase the range of your organic influence from a few simple words to a world of phrases and ideas.
To get started with content, define your story. What makes you unique, interesting, and necessary? The answers to those questions will determine the direction of your content and will be the foundation for building your authority. Search robots dig the authority types.
Step 2: Make it easy for visitors to interact with your story.
Creating content surrounding your brand, product or service ensures that your site becomes an experience, not a brochure. Brochures are read and quickly tossed in the trash. Experiences create memories that inspire immediate and future actions.
With experience in mind, I have discovered that re-evaluating both the layout and the content found on your website is a helpful place to start. With the Google Analytics data, ask the following questions for each page of your website:
- Why did someone land on this page? Were they prompted (paid search), recommended (social), or discovered (organic)?
- What should visitors have been expecting when they landed on the page?
- Why do you think they left? Did they have a bad experience? Did they get confused?
- And, for the robots: Is the metadata on the page conflicting or repetitive? Are the title tags and head terms working for you or against you?
When approaching site content, I treat each page like a chapter in a story. Each chapter has a unique function and purpose, whether to further tell the details of the story or to draw someone in to become a character and makes your site more reputable in the eyes of crawling robots.
Step 3: Be trustworthy and relevant.
Trust is steadily becoming an influential metric in this experience-driven search environment. Site trust is determined by who is talking about you, how often they are talking about you and where they are talking about you.
As a result, search robots aren’t just looking for the number of links that your site is attracting; they look for the quality of links and the value of the sites that send traffic your way.
The only way to develop trust is to earn it. I’ve learned you can build trust by:
- Seeking out people in your industry that you respect and admire that have engaged audiences.
- Contributing to the conversations created by their content by leaving comments and sharing their stories on your social feeds.
- Getting creative. Rather than a post, offer an infographic that furthers a message they’ve told.
It should be noted that organic contribution only works when it’s authentic. Remember it is more important to establish relationships and contribute than pitch your products or services. Do the former, and the latter will happen naturally.