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Inbound Marketing Blog

    21 SEO Experts Share Secrets to Remarkable Results

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Real Advice from Real Experts


    In many ways, inbound marketing and SEO are like a marathon. You put in tons of effort over a long period of time, and eventually see remarkable results. However, there are a few tactics you can adopt in SEO that provide surprising changes overnight. We posed this very question to some of the sharpest search engine professionals we know recently - how can small and mid-sized businesses quickly improve their search ranking. The results are shared below:

    seo tactics1. Just Say No to Low-Quality Link Building

    Steve Webb, PhD. SEO Audit Specialist @Web Gnomes

    @SteveWebb

    Don't utilize low-quality link building techniques.  Completely avoid article marketing sites and low-quality directories, and strive to earn editorially endorsed links from high-quality, relevant sources.

    2. Look Toward Your Business Relationships for Links

    joel chudleighJoel Chudleigh, Founder/CEO@Deep Footprints

    @DeepFootprints

    Look at all of your business contacts - suppliers, industry bodies, awards bodies, related businesses that you know - if there is a reason based on the existing relationship why it would make sense for them to link to you then, ask them. For example, if you sell used Ford cars then you could ask all of the Ford owners clubs to link to you.

    3. Improve Site Speed

    rhys wynneRhys Wynne, Director @Winwar Media

    @RhysWynne

    The quickest wins for SEO is on page SEO, in particular improving site speed. SMB's can find things such as Content Delivery Network for rich content are an inexpensive way to improve site speed.

    Furthermore ongoing optimization with speed in mind (such as minification)can further improve speed which is seen as a factor in ranking. If you use a CMS such as WordPress there are plugins and addons that can practically automate these improvements.

    4. Audit Your Page Titles and Meta Data

    chris yokoChris Yoko @Yoko Co

    @YokoConsulting

    One of the simplest things [businesses] can do with their existing site and pages is to make sure their page titles and meta descriptions are reflective of the page content. And of course that the page content is useful for their target audience.

    5. Approach Global SEO Carefully

    matthew baronMatthew Baron @Churrasco Shop

    @ChurrascoShop

    Take a look at what languages your website is being translated into, and find a writer that
    can speak that language.  You have to trust the writer. Do not just write an article
    and put it in Google Translate. People will not respond to [something that was] poorly translated by a computer. Encourage people to read text in their own language.

    6. Stay Ahead of the Curve

    Craig Streaman, Director of Marketing @Consumer Action Law Group, PC

    craig streamanThe firm I work for helps homeowners stop illegal foreclosures. Not surprisingly, many valuable visitors come in with terms surrounding "stop foreclosure." Laws change by the year, and everyone wants to know what is the latest and greatest options they have to stop their home from being foreclosed on. So, in late 2013, I wrote a post titled "How to Stop Foreclosure in 2014."

    This post currently ranks #1 for the keyphrase "stop foreclosure in 2014" as well as many other similar terms!

    7. Google+ is Not a Barren Wasteland

    lance padgettLance Padgett, SEO @Formstack

    @LancePadgett

    Even though most people perceive Google Plus as a barren wasteland, you should be using this network to your advantage. Sharing your content on Google Plus has shown to get your content indexed faster, not to mention the search result benefits you gain by being in someone’s circle. It’s a great networking tool.

    pam aungst8. Use Google Local Like a Social Network

    Pam Aungst, Web Traffic Controller @Pam Ann Marketing

    @PamAnnMarketing

    Google Maps listings are being upgraded to Google Plus Local Business Pages, giving companies the capability to use their maps page as another social profile. [This] will give...business[es] a ranking advantage over companies in their geographical region that are not clued into this yet.

     

    9. Encourage Positive Reviews

    tom lettsTom Letts, Digital Marketing Coordinator @{CMDS} Marketing Agency

    @CMDSOnline

    Encourage [your]customers to write reviews on Yelp, Yellowpages, [and] Angies List.

     

     

    10. Check Your Search Query Data

    romain dameryRomain Damery, Digital Marketing Strategist @Path Interactive

    @RomainDamery

    Check your Google Webmaster Tools' search query data to find which keywords are getting lots of impressions and yet have a low CTR. Optimize the most relevant pages on your site accordingly to get rank even higher and get more clicks (also optimize what's visible on the SERPs, such as compelling Title tags, Meta descriptions, rich snippets, etc.)

    11. Fix Duplicate Content Issues

    aaron dicksAaron Dicks, Managing Director @Impression

    @aarondicks

    Sometimes, smaller business websites accidentally fall into the potential spam pile by showing content that appears on the website in multiple locations throughout the website. This is not a signal of quality to the engines. Content simply copied and pasted from elsewhere is also an
    extremely bad move. Website managers should clean up all of the problem pages when possible as this will remove any potential algorithmic penalties holding your website back.

    12. Get Local SEO Right

    ian st. clairIan St. Clair, SEO @Clicks and Clients

    @ianstclair

    Make sure 100 percent of your business mentions on the web are the same address, phone and website.

    Get listed everywhere:

    o Yellow Pages sites

    o Yelp/Foursquare/MerchantCIrcle

    o Google/Bing/Yahoo

    o Regional/Industry Directories

    Get local right and you’re better off than 50 percent of your competitors on the web and 75 percent of your competitors, including those who don’t invest in the web.

    13. Get Your "Low Hanging Fruit" Links

    john leo weberJohn Leo Weber, Search Engine Marketing @Geek Powered Studios

    @GeekPowered

    Make sure to get links from all of your social profiles, any groups you may be a part of, and from your other web properties. These links take very little effort and can be done quickly.

    14. Separate Your Content Effectively

    oleg koOleg Korneitchouk, EVP SEO & Web Development @Smart Sites

    @OlegKo

    Make sure all of your content is unique & separated. Many small businesses offer the same products/services as others and figure they can save time by just copying/pasting someone else's explanations. DON'T. If you copy/paste from other websites, your content will rank worse or not at all.

    15. Make Sure Search Engines Can See Your Content

    Rebecca Haden, Creative Director @Haden Interactive

    rebecca haden@RebeccaHaden

    One of the fastest ways to improve your search results is to make sure that you have enough content on your home page -- and that search engines can "see" it. Often, a great-looking website will have few words, and many of them will be in graphics, or perhaps in a Flash slider that search engines can't read. Another common problem is failing to explain what you offer in a way a computer can understand. For example, a law office might have the name of the lawyer, headlines like "Estate-Family-Criminal" and phrases like "serving the tri-state area" but never use "lawyer" or "attorney." That makes it harder for search engines to get the idea -- and less likely that they'll offer the site to people searching for a lawyer. Making sure that you have 280 - 480 words and that it's completely clear what you do can make a difference in days.

    16. Identify "Almost High" Ranking Pages

    andy crestodinaAndy Crestodina, Principal/Strategic Director @Orbit Media

    @Crestodina

    Find the pages that "almost rank high" in Google. The best way to do this is looking in Analytics at the SEO > Queries report and finding the phrases that you're ranking for high on page two. You can use an advanced filter to see data where the "Average Position" is greater than 10, since generally speaking, if you rank 10 or higher, that's usually page two.

    17. Create Content

    yates mug resized 600Scott Yates, Co-Founder @Blog Mutt

    @BlogMutt

    The most important "win" for small business is to be blogging at least once a week on the business site.

    I know that doesn't sound like a quick win. Setting up a blog is easy, but the regular blogging is anything but "quick." Still, all the experts agree it's the one thing you absolutely must do for SEO.

    18. Pick  Handful of Categories

    maggie coffeyMaggie Coffey, Inbound Marketer @Hireology

    @Hireology

    Focus your SEO efforts on just a handful of categories each quarter...My marketing coordinator and I will pick five keywords we want to rank for at the end of the quarter. To achieve this we'll write blogs, eBooks, white papers, and other such content pieces including these keywords.

    19. Be Careful with Your Anchor Text

    adam connellAdam Connell, Founder @Blogging Wizard

    @AdamJayc

    Make sure you are not using over optimized anchor text. This tip should extend to your internal links, not just any link building you're doing. [Latelyt] I'm seeing a lot of correlation between loss of rankings for certain sites and level of optimized anchor text on internal links.

    20. Know Exactly What You're Working With

    ben reckelhoffBen Reckelhoff, Marketing Director @US Water Systems

    @USWaterSystems

    We created a free trial account with SEO MOZ. We were shocked to learn that our site had over 10,000 bad links that didn't go anywhere or generated a 404 error. The first step to improving SEO is to redirect any bad URLs to a relevant page on your site:

    us water systems

    This alone can have a HUGE impact on bounce rate, conversion rate, and average time on site.

    21. Check Your Title Tag

    jason breitsteinJason Brietstein, Founder @Brand Elevater

    @Brandamos

    It's a simple thing but one of the most common things people skip over is the title tag. You won't believe how many websites have a horrible title tag for their homepage. Many sites title tag are set to "Home." You want to add a little bit more than that if you want the search engines to index you competitively.

    If you are an artist living in Washington DC and your name was John Smith, and specialized in Watercolors, your title tag might look like this:

    Current Title: Home

    Better Title: Artist John Smith - Washington, DC - Watercolor Painter

    How to do it: You place this information between the <title> and </title> tags.

     

    This post was originally published in 2014 but has been updated to reflect new content. 

     

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    Topics: SEO