At Rhyme & Reason Design, our purpose is to combine beautiful designs and smart ideas to help our clients develop successful comprehensive marketing campaigns. These campaigns can include the creation of everything from a logo design to a fully responsive website and everything in between.
Over the years, we’ve discovered that some of the most successful campaigns are those where we have the opportunity to partner with additional experts to truly elevate the process and the project — especially when it comes to websites. In fact, websites that have great UX (user experience), are beautifully designed, contain valuable content and integrate smart SEO strategies are by far the most effective. Since our core capabilities are focused on responsive WordPress website design and development and less on the SEO side of things, we’ve been fostering relationships with some seriously smart SEO experts, and boy have we learned a lot! So much so that we think it’s only fair that we drop some of their knowledge on you all in hopes that we all can work better together.
Of course, when it comes to SEO, there is a new algorithm to learn nearly every day (Google is making 500 algorithm changes a year), and keeping up with the searchable Joneses is quite literally a full time job — one you probably don’t have time for. However, you don’t have to be an SEO savant to improve the relevance and search-ability of your site. Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way that you can start using today!
Understand your customers
- There are two types of audiences when it comes to SEO: search engines and humans. The successful sites know they need to talk to the humans in order to matter to the search engines. This means that the golden rule of PR applies big time — know thy audience. To be honest, if you don’t understand your customer, it’s highly likely that all of your marketing efforts are failing. However, since we are talking about the web, let’s stay focused on understanding your customers on the web. Do you know how they search? Where they search? Does your site answer the questions they are asking? Are you creating content they want to share? Do they actually like what they find when they arrive at your site? Is your site easy to read? Is your site mobile friendly?
- Were you able to answer all those questions? Were your answers positive? Any negative? If you found that you couldn’t answer them or that you didn’t like the results, it’s time to make changes. Don’t know where your customers search? Try asking them. Is your content not getting shared? Ask them why not. Don’t be afraid to get to know your customers — they’ll be thrilled you asked, and you’ll build a better product, service and company because of it.
Develop quality content
- If people are coming to your site to learn about your city, business or national organization, make sure that you are providing them with information that is relevant to them and focused on topics that apply to your industry. In-depth content that concentrates on one message has been found to outperform fragmented content that jumps around multiple topics. Long-form articles (we’re talking between 1,200-1,500 words) that are broken into digestible sections are actually preferred by end-users and search engines alike. Sure, bite-sized content is great when you are on the go, but people want to read smart, topically relevant posts that go into detail.
- Viral content is seen as the holy grail of the web, but content only goes viral if it is easy to share and people want to share it. Again, this goes back to creating valuable, quality content that talks to your audience in a way they understand, at the time they want it and in a location where they can find it. So work on creating this content, develop an editorial calendar that appeals to your audience and be up on the trends, but only use the ones that matter to your readers and don’t be afraid to write a lot if the information is good.
Link internally and externally
- The effectiveness of paid links may be down 55 percent, but this doesn’t mean links are out. It just means that search engines are getting smarter, content is more valuable and Google is leveling the playing field. So what should you do? Link internally within your site to content that matters and get yourself some external links while you’re at it. Backlinks are the No. 1 most important ranking signal that Google uses, which means it is highly advisable to have backlinks from a variety of different domains; just make sure they are places that speak to your customers and offer valuable content.
- Not sure how you can go about developing links that make sense? Don’t forget about social platforms. Likes equal links. That said, in the content calendar you are developing, be sure to include a plan for posting and sharing on social media because those posts are great (easy) ways to add external links and boost shares, #winning.
Keywords, what’s the deal
- In the wide world of SEO, it’s highly probable that you’ve heard about keywords. Back when SEO became a thing, keywords were the bread and butter of search. Nowadays that’s changed — a lot. Keywords don’t matter as much, not to mention you no longer need an exact keyword to offer a relevant search result. 75 percent of search queries are between three and five words long, and if your content can answer questions that people would be using when they search for a word or phrase, you are doing things right.
- Now, we’re not saying that you should throw keywords to the wind. They are still useful and should be incorporated in the page title, URL and header. And make sure those keywords are as relevant and valuable to your customers as the rest of your content is. Want to see some popular keywords and how they are being used? Check out Keyword Planner . Pick a word or phrase, then search and see how the competition is writing about those focused words.
Implemented these ideas and are now ready for your SEO vocabulary to include structured data and knowledge graphs? Give us a call and we’ll connect you with our preferred partners to bring your site from SEO-kay to SEO-wesome.