Search engines are smarter than ever. Gone are the days of manipulative SEO techniques like spammy link building and keyword stuffing or inputting an exact match of the keyword you want to rank for in the title and body of your content—even if it doesn’t make sense. Today, it’s all about semantic meaning and how relevant your content is to users, and search engines can easily pick up on cues that determine if a post has value or not, without looking at exact keyword matches.
Should you scrap keyword research altogether?
Well, not really. Keyword research is still essential in internet marketing, as they can be helpful in topic discovery and tailoring content according to what your target audience usually searches for. However, insisting on using exact keyword matches no longer bears so much weight on where you’ll land on the SERPs.
Here’s how keyword research come into play today. For instance, you want to rank for the keyword best hotel in Arizona. In the past, you need to include that exact phrase in the title of your article and about three to four times within the body. But now, you don’t need to stress over how to weave in exact keyword matches in your content, because search engines has the capability to gauge whether your content answers or relates to those search terms or not. So as long as you stick to the topic and provide substantial information related to it, you’re fine. In fact there are cases when you unconsciously get to use certain variations of a particular keyword, because they just come out naturally as you tailor content.
Now that we’ve put keywords exact match aside, what should you pay more attention to when creating an internet marketing strategy? Here are four elements that you should prioritize.
1. User Experience
Throughout the years, Google has done a great job of tailoring its algorithm to generate search results that are most beneficial to users. Thanks to that, manipulative techniques are now the bane of SEO and internet marketing.
So, if you want to rank, reach more people, and increase your conversions, you need to be more user-oriented and provide them an excellent experience in your website. So how do you do that?
- Easy navigation – When people go to your site, they are looking for information. But information, no matter how good, will all be for nothing if people can’t find it. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate so that people can see what they’re looking for
- Functional design and layout – Your website should have a clean look and every button, section, link, and element should have a purpose. Don’t put something there just for the sake of “design”. People are more compelled to stay in a functional and uncluttered
- Informative content – Content comes in many forms—from articles, infographics to videos. Provide variety to people, but make sure that each content, regardless of what form, should not just be relevant, but also original. Sure, you will have to gather information from different sources, but what will make it standout is your unique touch or voice, which is what users will not find elsewhere.
2. Provide Something of Value to Customers
Today, it’s no longer about telling people what they should know. It’s more of providing information that they want to know or see. So on top of excellent web design and well-crafted content, consider providing the following:
- Mobile app – A report shows that 30% of e-commerce conversions are generated through mobile, with smartphones leading the pack. Furthermore, app conversion rates are 120 percent higher than conversions coming from mobile and desktop browsers. Meanwhile, estimates show that smartphone users are expected to grow by 2.6 billion in 2016. Now that’s a lot of people you can reach, and developing a mobile app can help you do exactly that.
- Freebies – You have a business and your goal is to increase revenue. That’s why you do internet marketing, right? However, giving people something of value without asking for any fee shows that you’re really keen on helping them. That’s how you build relationship and trust. Examples of freebies are downloadable e-books, free trials, coupons, discounts, or perks.
3. Conversion Rates
Sometimes, people need a little nudge in order to convert or perform an action that you want them to take. Here are some of the ways that you can compel them to do so:
- Increase click-through-rates – You can optimize your meta tags to increase click-through rates in SERPs listings. Meta tags are basically text embedded within your HTML code, title and description. Keywords in your meta tags should coincide with your content, so that search engines will recognize relevance with your site and niche.
- Call-to-actions – Place call-to-actions in different parts of the site. However you present your call-to-actions, make sure that you craft them accordingly so that they will standout and can be easily seen.
- Forms – Make sure all forms are functional and optimized for mobile use. Keep them short and avoid unnecessary fields.
4. Online Presence
Having a website is essential, but it’s not enough if you want to have a strong online presence. If you want to send people buzzing about you, here are some of the ways that can help you become remarkable in the realm of online platforms.
- Social Media – Regular postings is essential, but social media is not just for that. It’s also for establishing relationship with users, other influencers, potential clients, and like-minded entities and individuals within your niche. This is how you build your network, which will lead to a boost in your reach, reputation, and ultimately, ranking.
- Social Link Building – Forums and Q&As are great for link building, but you shouldn’t just focus on that when participating in these platforms. You can also maximize them by building a reputation in the community and encouraging others to check out your website or brand, which will pave way for conversion opportunities.
- E-mail Marketing – In some cases, it would also pay to go directly to your subscribers. Deliver the latest news about the company, articles in the blog, and new promotions straight to their inbox. It’s a personal approach that lets people know that you remember them and that they matter to you.
Today, internet marketing revolves around value and relevance. When you live by those principles in crafting and implementing your strategy, half of your battle for success is already won.