With all the attention content marketing is receiving and how it’s a great way to improve your search rankings, people often neglect other methods that can be used to get better rankings. We’ll examine several methods you can use to gain better rankings without any content marketing expenditure.
We would like to address the false notion that all SEOs can do to improve rankings nowadays is to engage in content marketing. Therefore, there is a lot more than can do besides generating content and engaging with people on social media platforms and attempting to get them to create a link to it.
This notion tends to minimise the work that SEOs do, which is far larger than just marketing content. Therefore, we would like to mention just a few of the many actions SEOs can take to improve rankings without engaging in content marketing.
Improve Your Snippets
When someone performs a search they’ll see a group of titles with an URL beneath each title, followed by the meta-description. There may even be an author profile and video snippets if the site owner has included some addition mark-up using rich snippets. You can improve this information by adding video, rel=author or otherwise adding additional mark-up. This may involve changing your description or your title to make your listing more compelling for searchers and improving the chances they will click on your search listing.
This will not simply involve making your listing more compelling, but it will also involve making your snippet align well with the landing page that users are directed to. This is because when users quickly bounce off your page, it is harmful to you. First off, a high bounce rate will harm your search rankings. Secondly, you won’t get the opportunity to convert these people into customers and they won’t share or link to your content.
Improve Crawling And Page Value Ratio
Particularly if you have a large site, improving crawling will result in more traffic from organic search.
Examine your site. If you have some pages that really aren’t providing much value to your users you should either improve them, or eliminate them. This will serve to give you improved crawl bandwidth and Google will look upon your site more favourably. In addition, make sure you’re not linking out to low quality sites.
This will also improve the value ratio of your pages. You should also examine your navigation. Design your navigation so that users can get to the inner-most pages with just a few clicks. Make sure all the pages on your site are easily accessible in order to improve indexing and improve the traffic to your site as well.
Improve Page Load Times
If you minimise the load times of your pages, you will be rewarded. Some of this reward will come in the form of improved rankings from Google. A lot more of it will come from happier users. This will reduce your bounce rate and further improve your rankings. More importantly, it will provide you with more opportunity to convert these visitors into leads and paying customers.
Leverage Your User Network
A great way to build links is to reach out to your client base. Reaching out to people that you have assisted in the past and are happy with your work is a great way to get endorsements, shares, links and more traffic. Whenever someone appreciates your service and thanks you for it, thank them and tell them that you would be extremely grateful if they would tell their friends on social networks about you, or even link to your site themselves!
Don’t be concerned about getting a no-follow or follow link. You aren’t really asking them for links. What you are really asking is if someone believes they have received something of value by using your service or buying your product, they should share it in some manner. Simply ask people who you have helped to share your site. This is a great way of earning the social signals that will improve your rankings and getting some more links as well.
Identify Site Pages That Visitors Enjoy But Don’t Get Search Traffic
These will be pages that have a bounce rate that is low and have good user engagement and quite a number of visitors. Additionally, these are the types of pages that prompt visitors to view additional pages on your site. Despite having these positive traits, they will be pages that do not rank well in organic search.
This scenario plays out quite often. Frequently the problem will be that the page is not well optimised or targeted for relevant keywords. Often these types of pages were written by people who are not SEOs and the content was not targeted at specific keywords or the keywords that were targeted are no long searched for very often. You can improve these pages by determining which keywords they should rank for and then update them accordingly. You can update the titles, pages, and the content slightly. You will probably not have to change the content very much in order to improve the targeting. At times it can even be helpful to change the URL and have a 301 redirect to the new URL.
You can then share the content again on your social networks. Those additional social signals may get your content noticed again and improve your ranking.
Old Style Link Building
Link building is not completely dead. Links remain an important ranking factor. It is clear that low quality directory links, guest posting and many other scalable types of link building are gone. However, building quality links for rankings and for referral traffic is still very much alive.
You can use tools like Fresh Web and Open Site Explorers to identify sites that are linking to your competitors. Majestic also has tools available for identifying these types of links. Then you can develop a list of webmasters that you can reach out to.
It can be a bit difficult getting these people to link to you, however, if you notice there is a journalists that is already following you on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google +, and they have already written about some of your competitors, perhaps you can get them to write about your business as well. Engage in some research and find out what you may need to do to be featured in their next post.
These types of activities, and many more are the types of things SEOs should be engaged in along with social media engagement and of course content marketing. Certainly you should engage in content marketing, but there are a whole host of other activities that you shouldn’t neglect.