In today’s competitive environment, marketers and webmasters alike are tempted to short cut and game the organic Search Engine ranking system. After all, much like its non-digital equivalent, the success of today’s ecommerce strategy is often attributed to “location, location, location”.
Rather than taking an approach to beat algorithms, brands must instead focus on their customers and members in a similar way that a traditional store owner builds an impeccable reputation by providing their guests with what they want and value.
Also, keep in mind that Google and Bing have an implicit duty to protect and advocate on behalf of their respective user base. These popular search engine destinations actively reward and penalize sites based on the virtues of integrity and relevancy.
Assuming that this article’s readership is fully engaged in ethical business practices and established as authoritative resources of information, we will skip straight to the principles of relevancy.
To outperform your competitors and capture increased mindshare of your audience, you must allow the concept of relevancy to drive your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. When planning for your holistic content strategy program, keep 3 basic tenets in mind: Organization, Content and Reach.
First, carefully rationalize and structure your site around the value proposition it intends to offer visitors by employing the following tips for site Organization:
1. Re-engineer site directory structure and categories based on user taxonomy to improve usability
2. Design simple and intuitive navigation with transparent ‘wayfinding’ techniques
a) Offer Bread Loaf >>> Bread Crumb >>> maps
b) Provide back door “escape routes” to the landing page
c) Configure easy to understand URLs with predictable naming conventions
3. Guide different audiences to different content or points of interest
4. Construct a flatter structure to keep pages closer to the initial entry point and reduce the maze effect
Next, differentiate your company’s portfolio of products and services by adopting these best practices when writing meaningful Content:
1. Compose accurate, concise and descriptive product information
2. Represent distinct product characteristics with core keywords
3. Use conversational language
4. Associate memorable and relatable meaning to benefits, not features
5. Organize a naturally flowing message
6. Articulate and position high value content for a strong impact
7. Motivate visitors to initiate and fulfill the stated Call to Action
8. Format links for optical discernibility
9. Optimize site content around general and specific terms to improve search visibility
Finally, you must continuously enhance your site with ongoing Reach programs to keep pace with emerging SEO trends and traffic influencers by taking these steps:
1. Increase Power Linking (referral traffic from other sources)
2. Embed tags of code for test & target and web analytics programs
3. Submit a robots.txt file for web crawlers
4. Enhance meta data using better
a) Anchor text
b) Heading tags
c) Alternative (“alt”) text image data for screen readers
5. Stream sticky rich media like video
6. Enable sharing and popularize content via social media
7. Design a responsive, device agnostic site for both touch and non-touch interfaces
8. Consolidate separate mobile and desktop URLs to eliminate redundancy penalties
9. Analyze the backlinks of your competitors to identify new trends
The main lesson here is begin working “from right to left” along your roadmap to deconstruct milestones and construct an executable plan for projecting relevancy, rather than deciphering an ever-changing algorithm. If your end goal (i.e. the “right” side) is to increase repeat visits or improve lead/sale conversion rates, then you should align your strategic thinking with these three aforementioned principles to drive organic search visibility and maximize response rates early in your planning phase.
The expected outcome for extending market reach will naturally fall into place as long as your website meets the needs of its target audience by providing relevant information for the products or services they seek.
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