SEO Tips to Make Search Engines Work Better

You’ve heard it before: New Year, New You. While you’re at it, you’re probably considering a revamp of your firm’s online communication strategy- and if you’re not, you should. Many SEO tactics just don’t cut it anymore, forcing many communicators to rethink their entire approach to SEO.

Here are some quick and actionable tips to get you started on a better footing this new year.

  1. Don’t use “#” signs in URLs. Googlebot does not support index URLs that list a “#”.
  2. Google will, however, show emojis in search results. Those little smiley faces can actually play a huge role in local search- just try searching for a coffee shop nearby using an emoji!
  3. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, use Google AdWords distance and store visit reports to make the most of what geographic regions and user locations are pushing the most in-store purchases.
  4. Penguin has gone real-time, so it is vital that you monitor your backlinks in Google Search Console (Search Traffic > Links to Your Site). Disavow them once a month.
  5. Stop using widget links as a link building tactic. If you’re attached to widgets, use them only to boost brand awareness and UX experience.
  6. Keep site speed to 2-3 seconds for your users, and test frequently using tools like WebPageTest.
  7. If you’re an e-commerce brand, you best be on Instagram. Based on the social media outlet’s early success with shopping features, these tools are now being rolled out to countless businesses across a number of industries.
  8. Invest in Facebook customer service. No longer just for wedding photos and articles shared by your estranged Aunt, you can now sell and purchase goods through the platform using Facebook Messenger. Get on it.
  9. Experiment with LinkedIn ads. It might not be for your, but the platform does allow you to track conversions for users from your sponsored content and ads.
  10. Similarly, give 360-degree videos on Facebook a try.
  11. Reddit is often overlooked as the weird cousin of the major social media giants, but the platform is actually the ninth largest website in the US. You want traction on the site, so  start by experimenting with Reddit’s sponsored content ads.
  12. Rewrite “thin” content, or get rid of it completely. Quality is everything, with long-form content proven to get higher search results time and time again.
  13. Track which users are leaving your site by assessing exit pages. Why are they leaving your site? Do these pages need fixing? You might want to revise them to boost time spent on that website you’ve worked so hard to make.
  14. Old content can still drive traffic. Is this the case for you? If so, why not create a new post with similar content to drive fresh traffic to your site.
  15. Remove pop-ups on mobile. A year ago this month, Google announced it would implement a penalty for pages still relying on intrusive pop-ups and interstitials, so investigate your alternatives.

Whether your new to SEO or a content vet, it never hurts to revamp your online strategy. When done correctly, SEO can be the difference between an average year and a great one.

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