As we approach 2014, I want to take a few minutes to reflect on what you should be thinking about this upcoming year as you plan your online marketing budgets, especially towards driving traffic to your website. I call it SEO, or search engine optimization, but really, it’s an overall online marketing strategy to drive traffic to your website.
1. Anticipate Google. We know that Google is continuously making changes, rolling out new algorithms and throwing us off. Be one step ahead of them and anticipate the change. Ask yourself, if I were searching the Internet for something specific, what would make the best search result.
2. Audit Your Website(s). Continuously make efforts to ensure your links are all active and remove any inbound links that are not natural.
3. Create Great Quality Content. You have no choice, because no one wants to read garbage, so Google won’t let them.
4. Deliver Great Quality Content. If you create great content, then you have to share it to your constituents. They will determine if it’s great content and share it with their constituents.
5. Develop a Social Media Strategy. It’s all fine and dandy to have social media profiles, but you should create a social media strategy that will help deliver your great content as well as engage with your constituents. Find out what they want, what is going on in your industry, and listen.
6. Remain Active on Social Media. It’s great if you have the profiles and the plan. Now you have to stay active and engaged. It’s a lot of work, I know.
7. Offer Sharing On Your Website. If you have any content that is shareable on your site, make sure it sharing is enabled. Make it easy for it to be distributed.
8. Connect With Influencers. Are your constituents the people or businesses that matter to your business or organization? Make sure you know who you are connected to and find value in that connection.
9. Google+. I don’t really need to get into this. Just read my other blog post.
10. Google Authorship. Make your content alive by tying it to a human being through Google Authorship.
11. Responsive Websites. Almost everyone that you are probably trying to reach (with the exception of a few) use mobile devices to access websites. You better have a responsive website in order to capture those people. Very few people have the patience, or finger capacity, to navigate a full desktop website size on their mobile device.
12. Know Your Followers. If you know them, you know whether you should write short content, long content, simple content, complex content. Pay attention to what they are currently sharing.
13. Test PPC. Google wants you to use their Google AdWords platform so you can get keyword data. Test it out and see if it’s worth paying a few dollars to learn more about your keyword strengths and weaknesses.
14. Two Words. Guest Blogging. This is such a great way to share your content and website to a new group of people and businesses.
This just scrapes the tip of the iceberg, but is a great place to start. As you can see there is a lot more to driving traffic to your website and getting in the good graces of Google (say that one 10 times fast) than plugging in a few links and keywords. Cheers to 2014!