Stephen Spencer, Jessica Bowman, and Calum MacLeod hosted a great session offering insight into the latest tricks for maximizing your SEO efforts. If you already have an SEO plan in play, you should want to revisit some of the initial steps you took to build your campaign and make changes and updates. For first-time SEOs, there is a lot to be learned on researching, building, and maintaining a stellar SEO plan.
Keywords are the heart and soul of your search campaign, and you should put significant thought into the words that you choose to target. You’ll certainly have your seed list of obvious keywords that you want to hit, but you should expand your research and uncover other terms that you are coming up in the SERPs for. Utilize tools such as Wordtracker, Trellian, WordStream and Hitwise, which are sites all recommended by Calum.
Next, you’ll want to add keyword volume based on analytic data. Collect your ranks from major search engines, and focus on geography when relevant. Utilize helpful sites like Majestic SEO and SEOmoz to get rank data and establish where your links are coming from. Become a metrics addict — check backlink counts, ACRanks, and other pertinent data that will give you insight into where your SEO efforts can improve.
Next up was Jessica Bowman, who shared valuable insight into managing an in-house SEO campaign. Her first point of emphasis was to look towards tactical ways to obtain links, such as: diversify link portfolios, build your brand, stay in the know of gap analysis – you vs. the competition, check root domain metrics, and define your linking strategy and set your goals.
So what tactics are considered “old” in today’s link world? Directories, forums, and blog commenting. What’s remained the same? The value of mining competitor links, boosting the value of existing links, and widget placement. And what about the new? Jessica recommends fixing URLs with anything other than a 200 or 301 redirect. Also, take up guest blogging, and link back to sites within the page rather than just the homepage. Get creative with content: conduct a study, commission a cartoon, create a quiz. Explore partnerships, contests and giveaways, and build relationships with vendors. Another trick is to find where you are mentioned on the Web but not linked to, and ask the site owner to add a hyperlink where you are on their page.
In addition to the advice from Calum and Jessica, Stephan Spencer took to the mic to share his thoughts on mobile. Mobile search behavior differs from traditional search and your SEO campaign should tailor to both. Include vital information like business hours, location, and certainly make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Utilize sites like Schema.org and update Video Object and RDFa formatting.
Erika Thomas is an SEO copywriter and link building specialist at Tandem Interactive, where she has worked for two years. Thomas also operates fashion blog Blah Blah Blonde and is a freelance writer. Her Twitter handle is @itsmeerikat. Also, Stephan offered a final caveat to the audience: Negative SEO is on the rise. Utilize the Bing Disavow Tool to remove bad links and let your site undergo a link detox of sorts.