When working on your SEO strategy it can quickly become overwhelming. This is due, in part, to the high volume of material across the internet about SEO and internet marketing.  It is all too easy to get lost in a fog of confusion, which makes action and forward progression with your SEO strategy a challenging task.  But it doesn’t need to be this way, as there are some enduring strategies that stand the test of time and only a few new dynamics to be aware of (e.g. changes to the way in which search engines like Google evaluate the content of our sites).
So let’s look at the top 5 SEO strategies that will work in 2013.
1. Research is King When Building an SEO Strategy
There is often a phrase coined around internet marketing that ‘content is King’.  However, without research there is no quality content – so really it is RESEARCH that is KING.
One aspect of your SEO strategy that will never change is finding out what people are searching for around your niche or your client’s niche.  For a decent niche, you should be able to find 1,000s of keywords without too much difficulty using free keyword tools (such as Google’s keyword tool), competitor’s sites, forums, blogs and basically places where your target audience hangs out online.
Once you have your bag of lovely keywords you need to take some quality time to sift through them looking for golden opportunities (e.g. high search volume / low competition). You need to take into account what keyword phrases are more likely to predict conversion behaviour (e.g. buy car insurance, life coaching course, etc).  I call these action keywords as these generally provide better conversion rates (visitors taking action on your site) than people who are looking for purely information.
2. SEO with Crystal Clear Purpose
At the centre of an SEO strategy is relevant and high value content – that’s the type of content that other people will want to link to.

  • Before you even start to optimise content you need to know why it will exist in the virtual world.
  • So decide who you are writing the web page for and why they need to read it.
  • I have found that the best content is around offering value and help to your customers / clients in some way or making them laugh at a joke related to the niche you operate in.

When you focus on giving great value people will be attracted to you through your virtual calling card – your content.  Forget for a moment about PageRank and unique visitors as these are by-products – an end result or effect of your web page. There is a great phrase in business schools around making your products and services a success one person (or visitor) at a time.  So focus on a target group of people (or specific type of person) and design your content for them in a purposeful way.  The more value you offer the better the chance that people will want to link to your content.
3. SEO Jedi Tricks
There is a lot of hype around SEO.  However, the old favourites have got me some excellent rankings for reasonably sought after keywords.  These are:

  • Having relevant content to start off with,
  • Having keywords in the title of the page and in the first heading of the page,
  • Keeping keyword density to below 3% (there is no official figure),
  • Having the keyword phrases in bold and to link to the page with internal links via other relevant pages.

Before I put my page up I run my work through a word density tool to ensure that I’ve not got any unintended keywords in the text.  I make my adjustments and the page goes live. Of course there is also the whole infrastructure of the website that is important (e.g. logical categories/keyword tags/folders) and the homogeneity (sameness) of your content.  The more homogenised your site’s content is, the greater the chance is that Google will see your site as an authority site and your visitors will see you as credible.
If all this sounds like too much effort then you could employ an SEO professional to assist you.
4. Get Found Easily
This is about the exposure of your site online. How many sites link to you and in which way have those links been acquired.  It matters greatly to Google who links to you and how they are linking to you. The recent Panda and Penguin updates to Google’s algorithm all point to Google penalising those sites that have inbound links that are identified as unnatural.
If you are unsure as to how to go about generating natural links then I’d urge you to buy in an SEO professional. An SEO professional will help you to both link naturally to other sites and get the greatest bang for your buck (or in others words make the links count).
Google Plus: I’d recommend getting a Google Plus (g+) account setup today as this could keep you well placed in 2013. As all the signs from Google are that they are pushing author authority rank on their search engine results pages (SERPS) by adding author rich snippets to search results. This adds credibility in the SERPS for those who have setup their g+ accounts. There is strong speculation that author authority rank will be included as a key signal in Google algorithm moving forwards.
And lastly remember to have a title that sizzles. There’s no point coming top of the search results if the title sucks. A lame title will lead to a low click through rate.
5. React to Visitors When SEO Works
Not really a conventionally SEO strategy, but it is the end game.  Many sites miss the point that comments mark the success of your hard work.  People are all too eager for sales and sign ups. However, comments are the start of your business relationship and they count! The whole purpose of your efforts was to get found so when you are found you need to react quickly to those who reach out to connect with you.  It is all too easy to overlook real people on your site – this is especially true for a blog.
The main barrier is real comments getting lost in a sea of spam comments.  So if you do have a blog or other content management system then make sure you limit the amount of spam with an anti spam tool.
When your SEO strategy works your content will get found and when that happens you will want to have a lead capture system in place so that you can market effectively to those visitors.  It would be a great shame if your target visitors only came once and then forgot about you.
I invite you to have a read of my blog for ideas to help you generate leads online and then convert them into paying customers. Remember that a visitor might not buy from you today but they may do after a number of contacts with you.
On the topic of reaction to content what are your thoughts on SEO strategies and tactics that will help get your pages ranked high in 2013?
I’d been keen to read your thoughts on this. So please take the time to share your views below.
This post has been written by Internet Marketing Coach Howard Clemence. Howard is the Founder of The Cornerstones of Internet Marketing, which helps small to medium businesses, get the maximum benefits from their online presence.