There’s a lot of buzz about content marketing at present, and how essential it is to earn higher rankings. And while there is truth in the hype, it’s easy to forget about all the other tools that good SEOs and marketers have at their disposal.
There’s an idea that the only thing SEOs do anymore is content creation — this is truly minimising the job requirements, which are vast. So we’ve listed 6 ways (out of many) that you can earn higher rankings without investing in content marketing.
When I say snippets, I’m talking about what shows up on a search results page: your titles, URL, meta description, maybe even an author profile or a video. All of these things lead to your page, and if you change or tweak then to be a little bit more compelling, you will be able to drive more traffic to your site. But you can’t stop at simply making your teasers more interesting, you’ve got to make whatever is on that page match what is on the snippet, or vice versa.
If the snippets and the page don’t make sense together, you run the risk of people clicking, then jumping off the page, often called “pogo-sticking.” Pogo-sticking can hurt you in two big ways; first, the engines look directly at this behaviour and think, “Oh, people don’t like this page. I don’t want to rank it.” Second, you lose the opportunity to convert these viewers into buyers or someone who would share or link to your content.
2. Improve crawl-friendliness
Search engines frequently crawl website pages in order to determine which ones are indexed in their search listings. Search engine crawlers, also known as robots or spiders, collect, store and download pages they find important, such as a sites’ homepage. The search engines may not download pages they find irrelevant.
Go through your website; you may click around and find pages that don’t help anyone. Get rid of them or remake them; you’ll significantly improve your crawl bandwidth and the contentment that Google sees in your site.
Improving your good v. bad page ratio, making sure your models of navigation are clean and your site more index-able will greatly improve your site’s traffic.
3. Make pages faster
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you make your pages faster, the internet will reward you. Some of the benefit will be reaped through Google directly (small factor in the ranking algorithm), but mostly it will be indirectly — lower bounce rates, reduced pogo-sticking and more opportunity to convert viewers.
4. Leverage your network to attract links
Leverage your networks to help attract links, shares, traffic, endorsements etc. Ask your followers — if you think you’ve gotten something great out of working with us, by buying a product, by using our service, interacting with us, please share it.
5. Identify pages that make your viewers happy, but aren’t getting organic search traffic
These are the pages that have a high engagement, low bounce rate, good number of visits, high browse rate, but for whatever reason, they aren’t getting organic search traffic. Often times the problem is keyword optimisation and keyword targeting isn’t quite there. Find the keywords that these pages should be ranking for and update the page, title and content to suit. In most cases you won’t even have to tweak much of the content to get the targeting right.
If you do happen to do a more significant update, relaunch and re-share it — especially if people or search engines have started to forget about it. Just a quick little update and reminder can help you just that little bit more when it comes to rankings.
6. Link building
For search engines that crawl the web, links are the streets between pages. Links aren’t everything in SEO, but search professionals attribute a large portion of the engine’s algorithms to link-based factors (see Search Engine Ranking Factors). Through links, engines can not only determine the popularity of a website and page, but metrics like trust, spam and authority. Trusted sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources.
Using link building tools, such as Link Intersect from Moz, you will be able to participate in competitive link building by finding pages that two or more of your competitors are linked to, but you are not. From here, you can create a prioritised list for outreach and start getting in touch. For example, if a journalist has written about your competition and not you, ask what you can do to be featured next time — it’s probably something really simple!
These tactics and hundreds more like it are all in the realm of what modern SEOs still need to do in addition to the newer obligations that we have around content creation and content marketing. If you want some advice about how to establish some SEO best practices within your organisation, come to us. Our Digital Manager, Veronica Nobbs is ready and able to take your strategy to the next level.