Out on the interwebs, a battle is raging. Marketing research shows that 48 percent of consumers start mobile research using a search engine and 68 percent of companies have a mobile marketing strategy in place to attract those consumers. With so many companies clamoring for attention, you need a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to get your brand noticed. Here are three communications strategies that will improve your search performance.
Become an Expert
SEO is about positioning yourself as an authority. People trust an expert. Becoming an authority isn’t just about knowledge and expertise. It’s also a bit of a popularity contest. In search engine land, popularity translates to the number of backlinks pointing to your website. The more backlinks your website has, the more of an authority Google deems it and the higher your website will rank in searches. There are three ways to gain backlinks:
- Implement content marketing. If you still don’t have a content marketing strategy, why not? Websites with blog content have 434 percent more search-indexed pages than those that don’t. Content marketing is six times more successful at converting leads into customers, with 61 percent of U.S. online shoppers saying they made a purchase after reading a recommendation on a blog. With content marketing stats like that, it’s time to get cracking. However, avoid sloppy blog posts and create high-value content that others will want to reference. Strong content is important as no one wants to link to a site with weak content.
- Guest post on other blogs in your niche. Try to get published on sites that offer do-follow links as these allow search engines to follow the link back to your website.
- Be strategic with press releases and aim for the media to name you as an authority, thought leader, or subject expert wherever possible. The more mentions you get in the media, the more it positions you as an expert. If you have a good relationship with a publisher, don’t be shy to ask them to include your targeted keywords in their article.
Build Your Voice
Although traditional media still has its place, no PR strategy is complete without digital media. More than half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. People prefer to consume information on their smartphones and tablets. To build your voice, spread your public relations strategy across multiple digital media channels. These include:
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and gets a staggering one billion unique visitors every month. If your brand is not using video, that’s a ton of web traffic and potential revenue that you’re losing. Attention spans are shrinking and a short corporate or promotional video is easily digestible and shareable.
Podcasts, Webinars and Vlogs
If you nurture your network of media, bloggers and influencers, your name will come to mind when they’re looking for experts to interview on their podcasts, webinars and vlogs. Your website can score some serious search engine juice if they’re happy to include a backlink.
Images, Infographics and Illustrations
While content creators sweat over the right words to increase web traffic, they often overlook the power of graphics and images. You’ll be surprised how many visitors arrive at a website via an image search. More importantly, images contain alt tags and title tags that help search engines find them. To optimize an image include the article’s focus keyword in the alt tag.
Tap Your Network
Gone are the days you could use press releases as an SEO strategy to build backlinks. Search engines are ignoring press release listings as they no longer trust the content. They view press releases as one-dimensional and subjective. This means your story is less likely to be discovered by the media. You’ll have to reach out to publications and explain why your voice matters. Your relationships with key influencers and the work you’ve done to entrench your name as a credible expert starts to pay off at this stage. Not only can you tap your network to help get your story published, but publishers are likely to start approaching you for input into the stories they’re writing. That’s when you’ve hit the sweet spot.
Boosting your search engine performance requires an integrated communications plan and an investment of time. Take the first step by partnering with an agency, like 1205 Marketing, that can create an integrated marketing strategy that tells your story across various platforms.