Making it to the top of Google's SERPs seems like a great game of chance. If only you had a pretty lady (or a hunk) to blow your SEO dice – maybe then you'd be able to gain a competitive advantage. If there's anything you need to know about luck this St Patrick's Day, it's this – luck is less about chance and more about putting yourself in the right circumstances. Internet marketing is all about getting yourself out there and improving your chances of getting noticed.
The same goes with search engine optimization – incorporate SEO seeds into your advertising strategies and watch them blossom into increased traffic and possibly more revenue for your website.
Keep Up with the Times
The worst thing that can happen to a website is for its content and SEO strategy to become outdated. As we know, Google is always updating its algorithm, which means you need to stay on par. Over the past few years, Google has unleashed a number of updates, including Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird, to name a few. This has slowly but surely eliminated spammy blackhat websites from the ranks. This is good news for owners of websites that produce quality, relevant content.
If you want the Gods (Google) to shed light on your website this year, you need to make sure you're following protocol. Get acquainted with the recent changes and find a way to revitalize your campaigns to reflect them.
Structure Data for Google's Answer Box
This could be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for your website. You've noticed the box at the top of Google search results that displays answers to queries users make. For a lot of Internet marketers, this is a sign of bad luck. But any savvy person will find this as an opportunity to get their content displayed.
The good thing about this box is that it shares the link to the site it scrapes answers from. So by structuring your content in Q&A format, you may be able to harness the power of the almighty answer box. Just make sure you're asking and answering questions your audience most commonly ask.
Social Media is Your Friend
In fact, it's more than a friend, so don't treat it like a sleazy one-night stand. This is an acquaintance that can quickly grow into a beautiful relationship and potentially a long-term marriage. It's the perfect way to build links and boost organic traffic, in most cases for free. You can even raise the stakes with the paid ad route. You just need to make sure your content meets the demand of your audience, in the form of quality, relevance and value. Take away any of the three amigos and you risk losing people at the gate.
Include Keyword Variations
Google's new AI has become even smarter – lucky you! Why? Because SEO has just gotten that much better for content marketers. No more using the same old keywords in a piece of content. We can now speak even more natural, switching up keyword use as we go. You can use variations of a particular keyword and still rank for it as one. This gives you more ground to cover without losing momentum.
An example would be: dogs, dog, doggy, puppy or Florida hotels, hotels in Florida and Florida resorts, Resorts in Florida.
This is great news for content creators who feel dragged down by the typical singular keywords we've all grown accustomed to.
Be Mobile Responsive
Ignoring the fact that mobile users are dominating the digital scene is counterproductive. In reality, smartphone and tablet users are conducting more searches on Google and using social media sites like YouTube and Facebook. Not having a mobile-friendly design is a lot like going on a first date wearing a lime green shirt and fuchsia pants – it's a huge turn off!
Some people are trying to avoid this inevitable talk by building mobile apps. An app is great, but only if it suits the needs of your audience, such as a cooking app, weight loss app or accounting app. No one is going to want to download an app simply to view your content. Stop beating around the bush and revamp your site so that it has a responsive design.
Roll the Dice More than Once
If you really want to gain max visibility for your content, you need to be proactive with pushing it out. This means creating multiple pieces weekly and using your social media channels to gain traction. Don't expect to gain traffic from simply clicking the “publish” button. That will rarely get you any visitors, unless you already have an established and loyal following. If that's the case, lady luck has already blessed you with her presence.
How Lucky Do You Feel?
It doesn't really matter, at least not when it comes to SEO. If you play your cards right, you can get a royal flush every time. Keep your eyes on the stars (Google algorithm updates) and you shall succeed in your Internet marketing endeavors!
Hugh Benjamin has been building start-ups for his whole career. He has a proven track record of growing companies from two employees to 200 using his unique brand of high-energy, responsible scaling strategies. Hugh currently runs business development at I Think an Idea, an SEO and content agency in Los Angeles, California.