In an ideal world, Google would like everyone to follow their rules to perfection. All webmasters would be wearing a “white hat,” to use the lexicon that we have become familiar with over the last ten years. That means that spammy link building techniques would be nonexistent and everyone would be putting out extremely high-quality content. However, we all know that while the above techniques are certainly effective, they’re not the only pieces of the puzzle.
You need to use creative thinking and strategic link building and promotion if you want a chance of standing out amongst the thousands of websites that are being launched every single day. Even within your own niche there are usually at least 10 serious competitors for your visitors’ attention. Simply “putting out good content” is not enough to market your website.
Forget Hats and Get Creative
It’s time to throw the hat analogy out of the window. You need to be constantly thinking of creative techniques for marketing your website in order to stand out. One of the most helpful techniques that we have come across is working with the “help people” mindset. This means that you go out of your way to serve as many people in your niche as possible. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Point out 404 errors on niche-related websites in exchange for links
- Reach out with HIGHLY targeted and informative guest post content
- Monitor Twitter for buzz words and direct message users that you can help
- Set up Google Alerts for a large list of keywords and monitor for blogs you can post value-added comments
- Create a funny image or video and promote it on your social channels
Creative Link Building Tips
Few people realize the power of some of the existing social media websites. Here are a few tips that can help you increase your links, traffic, and social shares:
- Create a mind map presentation on MindMeister, include highly targeted long tail keywords, and link to it from your site. Mind maps rank well and you can get traffic through them, especially if you manage to rank on MindMeister’s home page
- Create a SlideShare presentation and optimize it with your keywords. Slideshare presentations rank very well in Google and create amazing link bait.
- Have you noticed how well Quora ranks for many keywords? Create an active presence on Quora and watch as you gain traffic and rankings
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creatively marketing your website. There are a LOT more techniques that you can find if you just put on your thinking cap for a while. Every single niche has a lot of specific techniques that can be used (programming niches can use software directories, for example) that you will discover if you have a deep knowledge in the niche.
Social Shares is the new SEO
Although at SESSF 2012 Matt Cutts stated that Google is very cautious about using social shares as a primary ranking signals, they have openly admitted that they DO use social shares as an important ranking signal. Although links will continue to be a ranking factor, social shares now play a part in how your website ranks in Google. Through Google+ and their +1 buttons they can determine how content is being shared. Additionally, when people add social sharing code to their analytics account, this gives people even more access to information on how people engage with content.
Creating content that is shared and stimulates engagement is a clear indicator that a site is worth showing in the SERP’s. Additionally, Google’s goal of creating a personalized search experience where results are served based on Google preference is also important to remember.
Start creating content that stimulates fan engagement, run contests and sweepstakes, and more to increase your social shares!
Improve your AuthorRank
Google recently launched the Rich Snippet Author tag. By setting this up in your Google plus profile and creating the necessary content, you will gain authority in your niche based on the quality of the sites that you contribute to. AuthorRank is rapidly becoming the new PageRank so be sure you build up your authorrank by contributing content to other sites, writing your own content, etc.
With just a few of these techniques you’re going to put yourself far ahead of the curve compared to your lazier, less creative competitors. These are likely people who relied on a lot of the black hat techniques that Google devalued, so they’re already behind when it comes to the latest creative techniques. Put on your creative hat and start outranking them!
Check out our previous articles:
- Not Getting the Desired Traffic? Time to Change your Web Design!
- Big Ideas Make Big Things Happen – SEO Analysis
- Doing the Internal Linking the Right Way
- Google’s Search Results Requested To Be Removed
- Apple Safari 5 – What’s in it for a Windows user?
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