Archive for December, 2020

A Guide to Developing a Successful SEO Strategy in 2021

Monday, December 14th, 2020

There have been certain trends in search engine optimization (SEO) that will continue well into 2021 and the decade ahead. While some have to do with developing technology that’s giving people more to do with content, the biggest transformation seen in SEO is the intent behind optimization.

Old-school SEO used to be about optimizing for search engines, with large amounts of content and a mountain of keywords. Today, SEO is all about optimizing for people instead of search engines, which will help you get ahead on Google and other platforms. If you can develop content that people want with certain SEO strategies mixed in, you’ll be able to succeed with your campaigns throughout 2021.

The following is a complete guide to help you develop a winning strategy as you plan for the next year.

The Types of Content You Need to Utilize for SEO in 2021

In addition to blog posts, product or service pages, video ads, and other types of content businesses have been utilizing since the dawn of digital marketing, there are other types of content to consider producing in 2021. As new technologies develop and advance, you’ll be able to engage customers more than ever with new capabilities.

Interactive Content

You can concentrate on conventional content and keyword research all you want, but interactive content can be the key to increasing engagement and driving sales. Whether you introduce quizzes in emails or create content that’s customized based on viewers’ input, there are many ways to use interactive content to connect with your audience.

Audio Ads

If people can’t see your ads, you may be able to use audio ads to complement visual ad campaigns. Similar to radio ads, audio ads can play during breaks while streaming audio programs such as Spotify. They can also show up in the form of sponsor ads on podcasts, in which the host of the podcast might promote your products or services while functioning as a trusted influencer.

VR and AR

Contemporary virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) capabilities make it easy to present prospects and customers with more interactive videos or experiences. For example, you could use VR to allow people to explore a virtual showroom composed of videos or images of your physical showrooms or computer-generated spaces. AR is useful in giving people a taste of your products by essentially projecting them in a physical space using the customer’s mobile device.

How to Optimize Your Content for Good SEO

Some traditional SEO practices will continue to work in 2021, but there are some newer developments that you should also implement if you want to consistently outrank competitors.

Create Content for Position Zero
Ranking for the first position on the first page of Google search results isn’t good enough if you want to grab everyone’s attention. You should also try to rank for “position zero,” which includes answer boxes, Rich or Featured Snippets, or other pieces of information that Google may present before the rest of the results it finds. For instance, someone may perform a search for “brownie recipe,” which may cause Google to present a short list of basic ingredients from a top-ranking result, eliminating the need for the user to ever leave Google.

Items are often likely to appear for mobile searches and voice searches, making it necessary to do what you can to optimize for them.

Using schema markup code, you can give Google some context for certain types of content, which can enable the search engine to more accurately match your content with relevant search queries in Featured or Rich Snippets. If you can also optimize content to provide brief answers to popular questions or short lists, these could also wind up in “position zero.”

Use Predictive Analytics

Businesses used to be stuck with historical analytics to determine how best to market to their audiences. However, Google has made it possible to use what are known as “predictive analytics” to allow for more accurate predictions. Google enables you to look at customer behavior using certain predictive metrics that measure the probability of future purchases. Based on the data presented, you may be able to make a more informed decision when modifying your marketing strategies.

Optimize for Voice Search

The increasing popularity of tools like Google Assistant and Alexa are making it easier for people to perform voice searches. Going back to the point about “position zero,” many people are likely to yield those results when searching with virtual assistants. If you want to make sure people find your content using a voice search, try to include conversational questions in your content that people might ask. You should then write content that Alexa, Siri, and other programs can read to the user.

The Need to Optimize for the User

As mentioned, the biggest thing to keep in mind when optimizing for SEO is that the user is the most important factor. If you’re trying to rank for Google, you’re not going to experience the same success as you would years ago with old-school techniques. It’s all about trying to make people happy with your content and giving them the information they need, with the trustworthiness and authoritativeness they demand.

The following are a few ways to optimize primarily for your target audience.

Focus on Providing Information People Want

Give people the answers they want to their questions, first and foremost. Try to answer those questions in as little as three seconds or fewer. Through a combination of text and visuals, people should be able to find what they’re looking for without hassle when browsing your content.

Optimize Load Speed

When it comes to loading times, the magic number here is also three. If your pages take longer than three seconds to load, people are much more likely to leave your website and browse elsewhere. By compressing or eliminating images, using a good page structure, and optimizing for mobile users, you can keep people from leaving out of impatience.

Use a Responsive Design for All Devices

More and more people are using mobile devices to browse the internet on a regular basis, whether to perform a quick search on Google or to make a purchase. If you want to give mobile users an optimal experience when on your website, make sure you utilize a mobile-responsive design.

Other Tips for Good SEO in 2021

Now that you know the essentials of content optimization and the importance of optimizing for people instead of machines, here are some additional tips to help you perfect your SEO strategies.

Create High-Quality, Fresh Content

Google loves high-quality, fresh, and unique content. If you want to get the best results from your content marketing strategies in addition to technical SEO, write and produce great content that’s easy to digest. At the same time, avoid stuffing your content with too many keywords, especially awkward phrases that don’t really work in any context. Keywords like “best search marketing Georgia” simply don’t work the way they used to, especially since Google now recognizes context clues without the need to use exact-match terms.

Track Metrics Based on the Goals You Set

Make sure you have specific goals in place when developing SEO strategies, which will help determine which metrics actually matter when measuring the results of your campaigns. Do you want to bring more traffic to a certain page? Page visits might be the key metric to examine. Is your goal to convert more leads toward the bottom of the sales funnel? Conversion rates matter most.

One feature making it incredibly easy to gauge the performance of your content and get more insightful data is the Search Console Insights feature in Google Search Console.

Build a Network of High-Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors in SEO, and they will be just as integral throughout 2021. Make sure you develop a backlink strategy that helps build high-quality backlinks. You can submit guest posts on reputable industry blogs or magazines, or simply produce great content that people will naturally want to share.

Taking all of these aspects into consideration as you develop your strategy can help you determine how best to approach your campaigns. You’ll be able to implement winning SEO strategies that appeal to both search engines and your audience.

21st Century Digital Marketing Tips for Freelancers and Gig Workers

Monday, December 14th, 2020

After growing slowly for several decades, the gig economy has taken off in a big way. The availability of high-speed internet service has made it possible for freelancers and gig workers to connect with the employers who need their services. At the same time, specialty websites have sprung up, allowing individual homeowners to subcontract everything from putting together a piece of furniture to mowing the lawn.

If you are a participant in that gig economy, you already know the freedom and flexibility this lifestyle can provide. At the same time, you worry about the uncertainty of your income stream as you wonder where your next corporate assignment or adhoc gig will come from.

Being a freelancer or full-time member of the gig economy is not for the faint of heart, and it can be difficult to cobble together a solid income. If you want to succeed in this brave new world, you need to take a proactive approach to marketing your services and demonstrating your products.

Even if you are not used to tooting your own horn, a little self-promotion can pay off big time in the gig economy and the world of freelancing. Here are some practical tips to get you started.

Market Yourself on Social Media

Do your Facebook friends know that you are moonlighting as a handyman? Do the subscribers to your Twitter feed realize that you are also an accomplished photographer? Your existing social network could be the key to landing more and better gigs, so let the world know what you have been up to.

You do not have to turn your Facebook page into a steady stream of ads; in fact doing so could be counterproductive. Simply sprinkling a few mentions of your freelancing or gig work could be enough to get the attention of would-be clients.

Do not forget that every Facebook friend, Twitter follower and other social media contact could connect you with dozens of potential clients. So do some bragging; it might mean more money in your wallet.

Use Video to Showcase Your Expertise

The beauty of freelancing and gig work is that it allows individuals to benefit from their expertise and profit from what they know. Whether you are a wiz at assembling those baffling furniture pieces from IKEA or a genius at computer programming, showcasing your expertise on video is a great idea.

Whether you set up a formal YouTube channel or just post a few random videos, the visual format gives you the opportunity to show off what you know and advertise what you can do. Just add your contact information to the content you post and wait for clients to beat a path to your door.

Tell Your Own Story

Every freelancer has a personal story to tell. Every member of the gig economy is there for a reason. Yet few members of this brave new world of work take the time to tell those stories.

If you want to land more clients, build repeat business and establish a solid personal brand, start by telling your story on your terms. What made you abandon the security of a full-time career for the exciting but uncertain world of freelancing? What do you love most about freelancing? What drives you crazy? Connecting with would-be clients on a personal basis could be the first step to a lucrative new career.

Recognize That You Are Your Brand

In the corporate world, companies spend millions of dollars to build and maintain their brands. In the gig economy and the world of freelancing, each individual is responsible for the branding they do.

When you work as a freelancer or participate in the gig economy, you are your brand, and you need to take that responsibility very seriously. Developing a solid brand identity and working hard to maintain it are integral parts of your business, and they should be treated as such.

No matter what happens to the economy at large, the gig economy is here to stay. If you want to profit from that brave new world, you need to make marketing a priority. The tips listed above can help you get started – the rest is up to you.