Most websites fail to use the right SEO tactics.

Search engine optimization (SEO) tactics are very important to your business. Bringing customers into your website through organic searches is cheaper than pay-per-click or other types of advertising.

Understanding SEO also saves you time. Traditional advertising and cold calling are less effective. With search engines, you know what a customer is looking for. They come to your website already interested in what you have to offer. Optimization allows you to grab their attention.

Understanding the latest SEO tactics will help you stand out from your competition.

Here are some tips to improve your website:

1. Start with great content

Straightforward SEO starts with making sure your website appears in searches. Traffic from other websites gives your content a boost. If you develop great content, other respected websites will want to share it. Understand what your customers want and deliver high quality content.

The truth about great website content:

  • Most websites don’t have great content. Even though content marketing has always been an important SEO tactic most websites still have little content.
  • Great content takes time to write. A valuable blog post could take you 20-hours of work or more. A 300-word fluff article is not great content.
  • Even great content must be promoted. Once you have published your content you must reach out and promote it.
  • You want content that is valuable to your target market. Most websites have content that is valuable to the owner of the website.

2. Know your competitors

Do your research. Run test searches to determine what companies come up when you search for similar products. If your company does not come up, you need to change. Be where your competitors are and stand out. Similarly, review your competitor’s links and learn from their success.

SEO tactics to learn from your competitors:

  • After you have identified your target keywords, make a list of the top 10 websites that rank on top.
  • Also check what keywords your competitors have optimized for. Are there keywords there you haven’t thought of?
  • How many backlinks to do they have?
  • How much content do they have?
  • What kind of content do they have, text, video, audio? Can you improve on their content?
  • Do you see weaknesses in their SEO? How can you do it better?

3. Offer to replace broken links

Look for broken links on other websites. Publishers of other sites want to make sure their information is up to date. This is where you come in. Offer to replace a broken link with content from your website. Look for sites with lots of traffic. If you fix their links, you benefit from the increased views.

Find websites that are relevant to your industry. Identify broken links on their sites then contact the website owner. After you have pointed out the broken link to them, ask if they would be interested in linking to one of your articles. The best is if you can offer a replacement link for the broken link you contacted them about.

4. Maintain your links

Sometimes your links will break. Other times websites will not give you credit or link to your content. These are missed opportunities. Finding sites with lots of traffic is useful here as well. Use Google Alert to track when another website mentions your company. If they do not attribute your work with a link, ask them to add one. If you develop great content, you deserve to be recognized.

5. Ask for a link

Just asking for a link seems very simple. However, don’t overlook this opportunity. Find a site with good traffic and ask them to link to yours. You can also return the favor. Building relationships with other companies can boost your views.

Look for web pages that rank on page one for your target keywords.

Then, check to see who is linking to those pages. Next, you need to reach out to the site that link to the top ranking sites. Ask them to link to your website.

Note: Your content has to be superior to the web page they are linking to now.

If the article they link to is 1000-words long, make sure your article is 1,500-words.  The bottom line is that your article has to be longer, better researched, and better written than the other article.

6. Understand what words bring in money

Understand your return on investment (ROI). Don’t get caught up in keyword rankings. Focus on what brings in money. Spending time on worthless keywords is a waste of your resources. Achieving the #1 rank in search doesn’t matter if it doesn’t lead to a purchase.

Usually the higher the competition for a keyword the more potential for making money.

Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to check to see how competitive a keyword is:

seo tactics

7. Know your audience

Develop an understanding of your customers. SEO won’t do all the work for you. Focus on keywords, but support them with great content. Figure out what “triggers” your customers to make a purchase. Do your homework. If you don’t know your customers, you can’t sell to them.

Create your customer profile with the following steps:

  • Which major type of market are you going after, consumer, business, or reseller?
  • Describe your customers. Who is the ideal customer?
  • Who would benefit from your product or service?
  • What are your customers’ goals? How can you help them achieve their goals?
  • What language do they use to talk about their problems? Include the language within your website content.
  • Why would a customer hesitate to buy from you?
  • What are the best ways to connect with your customers?
  • Where are they? Are they more likely to be found on Facebook or LinkedIn? Find the sites where they hang out.
  • What type of content do they prefer, video, text, audio, or images?

8. Optimize for multiple channels

Google has the most users, but don’t forget other engines. Optimize for multiple channels and users. Do you know Baidu, Bing or Yahoo? These are three other engines used by millions of people. Research what search engines and browsers your customers use. Different kinds of people use different engines. How people use the engines also varies. Use this to your advantage.

9. Stay current with new technology

How people search changes as technology changes. Mobile devices encourage searching with fewer words. A full keyboard makes it easier for users to type longer questions. Develop a marketing plan that includes computers, phones, tablets and other devices. As new technology emerges, consider how this will affect your business.

Always consider the following SEO tactics:

  • Focus on more than just keywords. Think about user experience. What can you do to create the best possible user experience for your visitors? Do you have videos? Are you using great images? Are your articles detailed and up-to-date?
  • Instead of just focusing on keyword phrases focus on answering real questions. Some people might type “web designer” to find a web designer, but others might type a complete question such as “Who is the best web designer in San Diego?
  • Longer content is better for SEO. There is no rule how many words an article should contain. Longer blog posts seem to rank higher than shorter ones. I try to post articles that are at least 1000-words. 1200-1500 word articles are even better.
  • Mobile websites are a must for SEO. There is no such a thing as a mobile website anymore. The fact is that all website must work equally well on mobile devices.