SEO Beyond Keywords: 4 New Tactics
Recently I attended Mozcon, the inbound marketing conference from Moz (formerly SEOMoz). If there's one message that resonated, it's the fact Google is putting so much stock into what they call brand or entity signals.
1. Become a Brand Entity: Brand entity focuses on earning real publicity by providing real value, resulting in links, mentions in blogs, online reviews and authentic social engagement (especially on Google+). The more reputable your brand, the more people will cite you as a source.
2. Your Content Management System (CMS) is Important: The way your CMS is configured is important. Many businesses rush to publish a site because they feel something is better than nothing at all. While that might be true, learn your CMS inside and out, configure it with SEO and usability in mind. Far too many businesses have been painted into a corner where they can't edit their own content or make the necessary code changes to stay ahead of the changing search landscape. If you don't have the resources in-house, hire a search engine optimization (SEO) expert when you begin your CMS research.
3. Site Architecture: Structure your site to follow a logical hierarchy, branching out from the homepage. No content should live more than three or four clicks from your authoritative homepage, depending on the scope of your site's information. Site architecture should follow the basic outline of: Homepage >> Category Level >> Detail Level >> Sub-detail.
Using clean URLs with descriptive words ("fakesite.com/widgets/blue-widgets/") will help search engines and humans understand context of the page, and make social interaction more likely. Often as those pages earn links, people will paste the URL directly into a post and those keywords provide better anchor text than "fakesite.com/?page=1234." SEO strategy is irrelevant if your site isn't organized properly.
4. Convert Your Traffic: User metrics are being considered as a ranking factor. SEOs must apply conversion tactics to the sites they optimize for search. If someone searches for a phrase on Google, clicks on the first listing, but then bounces back to the Google results, it is possible Google could reposition the site.
SEO is more than keywords and traffic. It is important to help visitors find the information they're looking for by offering relevant calls to action throughout your site. Those visitors are in search of some product, service or information and your site should cater to that need. Satisfying that need through relevant content and conversion optimization will lead to happy visitors who don't need to return to Google.