By James Scott
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) represents a pivotal part of digital content creation. It makes content more visible and appealing through search engine algorithms. However, sometimes even SEO isn’t enough to rank higher than the competition.
Companies, affiliate marketers and independent bloggers alike are always on the lookout for tricks and tools which can help them get the upper hand – which is also why we are here today. Let’s take a look at several guidelines and tactics which can help you rank better even without to-the-letter SEO optimization.
1. Audience Targeting
The best way to approach your audience is to know exactly who you are looking for. Every blog has a specific reader profile in mind. You should approach your content creation and choice of topics based on that thinking.
James Daily, writer, content manager, and blogger at Brainished has stated recently:
|I like to imagine a group of people in front of me whenever I come up with new content. That way, I can see their reactions to the topics I came up with before I devote my time to writing. This has proven to be a useful tactic in my years-long career as a content manager.|
Come up with your perfect visitor and try to think of actionable, useful and original content to provide for them. Use tools such as Google Adwords to efficiently segment your audience and start creating content. Don’t think about keywords or what the industry says about trending content – you want to differentiate above all else.
2. Interesting, Original Content
Chasing after trends and popular topics won’t make your site or blog stand out – it will do the opposite. If you talk about the same topics as everyone else, you will quickly become a part of a mass of websites with the same content on offer. In this case, only SEO can help you reach a somewhat satisfactory level of traffic and user engagement.
Amanda Sparks, marketer and author at TopDownWriter blog recently spoke about her thoughts on content creation:
|A great content plan can help even small or mildly-successful sites find new audiences. All it takes is for the site administrators and writers to sit down and come up with a long-term plan instead of relying on improvisation – which rarely works.|
Go the opposite direction of what big brands do and see if you can come up with new takes on familiar topics. Tackle trends from a completely unexpected point of view or offer arguments and opinion pieces. A stand-out blog can make any company or e-commerce storefront appear professional and trustworthy in the eyes of the public.
3. Optimized Multimedia
No matter what your target audience might be, chances are that their bandwidth is limited in some way. Either that or they might be impaired in some way which might stop them from experiencing your content to its fullest.
In that regard, it’s always good practice to optimize your content from the technical, non-SEO perspective. Make sure that your website is quick to load and doesn’t feature flashy animations or auto-loading videos. These content types might work for some industries but rarely work for small businesses or affiliate marketers.
Try to make your content as easy to access as humanly possible. Tools such as Content Samurai, Canva, BestWritersCanada as well as Piktochart will do the trick for most content types. Make it a habit to run your content through these platforms before publishing it to ensure that they are as accessible as their content (pun intended) allows them to be.
4. User Interface (UI) Redesign
User Experience (UX) plays a huge role in the modern digital content era. So much that people are inclined not to use certain websites and brands just because their UIs are not user-friendly. In order to avoid misunderstanding and poor UX, make sure that your web design solution is adequate.
Joseph Smith, SEO specialist at Canada-Writers explains it this way:
|There is very little you can do from an SEO standpoint if a website features poor design choices. The navigation bar and landing page, in particular, are two key elements of an attractive and successful website.|
Consult a professional designer or look for quality WordPress themes which come in all shapes and sizes depending on your industry of choice. There are numerous ready-made elements and UI guidelines out there so there is very little reason for you to improvise and hope for the best.
5. Internal Links
Some would argue that outbound links and promotional content can indeed increase site ranking. While that may be the case to an extent, internal link building can do the same if not even more. All the content featured on your website should create a “web” of sorts and be interlinked amongst different categories, blog posts and products.
|I advise every client to build their internal page network just to be safe. Even though SEO optimizes each individual content page, it’s the whole website that needs to be a cohesive whole. The most important rule here is that all the site pages should link to your homepage.|
There is no reason to pass on the opportunity to promote your own products, services, and affiliate links if you can do it organically, through your own content. This will not only increase your search engine ranking but also ensure that the traffic you generate is directed on internal links, not outbound websites.
SEO For Good Measure (Conclusion)
Relying on these tactics doesn’t mean you should neglect the importance of SEO in your content. Do your due diligence when it comes to SEO and make sure that your content passes the necessary technical checks.
However, the further you go into optimization, the more you should rely on DIY methods and tactics such as the ones we discussed previously. There are no universal rules to follow and you should use your best judgment when deciding what to use and what to pass up on. Combine the two optimization approaches in order to find the perfect middle ground which works for your business or website in particular.
Filed under: SEO