When it comes to SEO, your goal is to get your company website (or your client’s website) to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is usually a full-time effort. It’s challenging. It can be frustrating. Sometimes it even feels impossible. In this article, I’ll share a few tips and tricks I use to get my way to the top.
I can hear you thinking, “But Scott, how many of these tactics are white hat and accepted by Google?” All of them!
Some of these SEO tips might seem obvious. You might slap yourself hard in the forehead for not thinking of them first. In fact, you might have thought of them, but didn’t realize their value.
Hopefully, I can open your eyes.
First up, Google Ads.
Pay enough for an ad targeted to a single keyword and you basically have first position in search engine results – guaranteed.
Your ad copy, which you can think of as your title tag and meta description, will be the first thing people see when they search your target keyword or phrase. Sure, it’ll look like an ad. But you’re there, in first position. Say the right thing and you’ll earn a click.
Second, listing sites.
It’s a common SEO practice, particularly for local SEO, to try to get your website listed on web pages that aggregate similar websites.
For example, if you search “Top Web Developers in Denver,” you’ll probably find the SERPs dominated by aggregators like Clutch or UpCity, an online marketplace that connects businesses with qualified agencies and digital marketing service providers.
Getting listed on those sites is easy. Convincing them to put your site at the top might be a little more challenging. But it pays dividends.
When somebody searches for the top web developer in Denver, they’re likely to click on those listing sites. And once there, they’re fairly likely to click on the top result.
Think of these types of sites as secondary SERP – just a click away from the original. Rank at the top and you’re golden. Often, it’s far easier to get to the top of listing sites than it is to achieve first position on Google.
Third, guest blogging.
See this article you’re reading right now? It isn’t published on some small business blog that Moz ranks with a 14 Page Authority. It wouldn’t have any chance to rank if it did.
But it does have a chance to rank on a much larger website. One that consistently publishes helpful content. One with a built-in reader base.
If you’re struggling to get the articles and blog posts you’re publishing on your own website to rank, stop publishing them there. Find guest blogging opportunities to get your content in front of people by contributing to online magazines and websites that are already ranking.
Platforms like Medium are a good choice but even then, you might drown in a sea of varied content. Better to find an online magazine or targeted trade journal that regularly publishes content related to your industry.
Naturally, you should continue to do everything in your power to get your website (or your client’s website) to the top of the SERPs on its own. That’s the best value. When it happens, you’ll be rewarded with lead after lead after glorious-organic lead.
But that could take months. Or years.
So until then, hack your way to the top. You don’t have to get all gray and black hat about it either – Google approves of everything I’ve suggested above. So work smarter in addition to working harder and I’ll see you in first position.
Scott Beckman is the Digital Marketing Director for Devetry, a custom software development company in Denver, CO. He holds a Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver and, as an avid growth hacker and lead generation specialist, he has experience with SEO, web design, email, social, digital advertising, and marketing automation.