We all know that top notch on page SEO and high quality back links will send a website to the top of the search rankings, but there are plenty of other ways to improve your website’s search ranking. In fact, you may even be able to keep it there if you invest in the right long term strategy. Here are four tips for boosting your SERP that you may have overlooked:
Raise Your Ranking With More Facebook Shares and Retweets
As search becomes more social, the writers at SEO Moz have repeatedly addressed the possibility that fresh content with a high degree of engagement on Facebook and Twitter will rise to the top of search rankings—at least for the short term. Philip Petrescu shares at SEO Moz: “social signals are very important in the early stages of ranking. If your article gets shared by many influential people you get a higher exposure for a limited amount of time.” He goes on to write, “You need to use social signals in order to capture more links and to improve your rank according to Google’s categories: Quantity, Diversity, Quality, [and] Relevance”
The trick is that social sharing isn’t enough to put your content at the top permanently. At some point you’ll need to get more back links and keep improving the relevance of your website. Nevertheless, high engagement on social media has been proven by SEO Moz to correlate with a higher search ranking. Rand Fishkin of SEO Moz writes, “Social Metrics are Well Correlated with Higher Rankings: To me, correlation alone is interesting because I want my sites/pages to be similar to the pages that rank higher in Google, irrespective of whether those traits are directly measured in the algorithm. Pages that earn tweets + Facebook shares also correlate well with earning links, and send direct traffic on their own.”
Use Social Media to Find Trends and Back Link Sources
Every website needs high quality backlinks, but with so many black hat SEO tricks wrecking search engine results, there is a far more reliable way to find out which companies and websites are worth pursuing for backlinks: social media. By tracking keywords and trends on Twitter and following industry leaders on Facebook, you can figure out which sites are earning actual mentions from people in your industry.
A service like Ice Rocket makes it easy to search through the latest trends on Twitter, blogs, and other social media sites. By finding top sites this way and building reputable back links with them, you’ll ensure that you’re focusing on the right sites for links. Julie Joyce of Search Engine Watch writes, “A good link will send you nice link juice and help to boost your rankings so that you’ll get more traffic and hopefully more conversions. A great link will do the same thing but it will send you traffic on its own.”
Mention Your Competitors
If your competition is dominating the search results, you can get in on the action by mentioning your competitor along with the keywords your businesses share on your site. If customers are searching for products using your competitor’s company name in their searches, you can essentially use your competitor as yet another keyword that helps search engines find your business.
Lily Zhu of HubSpot writes, “The more you mention a competitor on your website, the more likely your website will be included in search results for your competitor’s brand and products. Through using inbound marketing to build the SEO authority of your site and mentioning competitor keywords you can create the opportunity to funnel search engine traffic away from competitors.” This is a strategy that you should employ carefully, remembering that you don’t want to offend your competitors in any way. Focus on differentiating your brand without causing trouble.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile Search
As the use of smart phones for mobile search increases, there are plenty of opportunities to optimize your website in order to cash in on the spike in mobile search traffic, especially from smart phone users.
Ben Goodsell of Search Engine Watch spells out three different ways to optimize your website for mobile search: “Serve the same HTML as the desktop version of the page and use CSS3 media queries to change the look of the site (ideal). Serve HTML and CSS that is different from the desktop version of the page. Redirect a user to a different URL utilizing mobile optimized content.”
The ideal is to continue using the same URL in order keep your site rankings higher and to streamline the user experience without confusing customers. As you develop a mobile-friendly version of your website, you’ll make it easier for search engines to crawl your website and for customers to find what they need.
SEO continues to evolve, even if the basics remain the same. As your customers access your site on mobile phones and become more invested in social media, there are fresh opportunities for not only improving your website’s search ranking, but ensuring that it stays high.