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By Steve Murphy Let’s face it: search engine optimization is getting harder every day. More companies are incorporating SEO into their marketing mix as customers continue to flock to the web to purchase, research and review their favorite products and services. With limited real estate on the first page of search engine results, it’s crucial to employ creative content and linking strategies to stay ahead of the curve. But fear not digital conquistadors, there are still plenty of creative search techniques that will help you dominate the SERPs. Below are four proven strategies to help you build a more effective SEO strategy.
In the land of SEO, content is king. Having a large supply of relevant and important content will give you more opportunities to rank for a broad set of keywords. Guest blogging is the perfect way to create new content without draining your existing resources. There are two types of guest blogging, and each has its own merits. First, you can have renowned experts write guest articles for your website. This helps you create a large library of unique content on your site without paying someone in house to write it. Can you say no-brainer? Conversely, you can also write guest blogs for other websites. The main benefit to this method is creating diverse links back to your website, and letting you control the anchor text. Publishing your thoughts on other sites will also expose you to new audiences that probably wouldn’t have heard of you otherwise.
Infographics are an extremely popular form of content because they relay valuable information in an easily digestible visual style. Because they require a considerable amount of planning and graphic design, infographics are often overlooked in many SEO strategies. This is perfect, because less common tactics often yield much higher results (supply and demand, anyone?) Infographics are like the Twinkies of content. Their long shelf life can continue to send you valuable links and traffic for weeks, months, and even years. Even posting infographics from other websites can help you. One of my colleagues posted an article in May 2011 containing several infographics that focused on small business statistics. To date, this post has gotten nearly 22,000 hits and countless links from major industry websites.
Despite the lack of creativity for this subtitle, sharing PDF content is an extremely creative SEO technique. Sites like Slideshare allow you to upload PDFs, images and PowerPoint presentations to share with the world. To help you rank, the site will also automatically transcribe the text from these documents so they can be easily indexed by search engines. As a bonus SEO trick, you can embed the presentation on your website directly from SlideShare and write a brief description about the content. An example of this is a post I wrote last summer focusing on the keyword “creative job search strategies.” After a year, the content is still ranking #1 and #3 on Google due to the power of SlideShare.
People use search engines to answer their questions. So why not create content that specifically answers the burning questions your customers are asking? Adding a glossary page and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to your website is an excellent way to attract visitors through a long tailed keyword approach. Though these terms don’t regularly get searched, they send highly qualified traffic that is more likely to convert. These specific keywords have less competition, and are much easier to rank for. I recently worked with a client who produced TV infomercials and direct response ads. After creating an FAQ section, they now rank at the top of SERPs for many specific questions, and often get a bulk of their traffic from these results. While there are many other SEO techniques you can use, these four techniques have shown proven results that endure the tests of time. Start to incorporate these tactics into your strategy and watch your SEO efforts blossom.