We’ve put this infographic together to help illustrate some of the on and off page SEO strategies that we find are still working in 2012 after the panda update last year. This infographic is by no means an end-all be -all list of SEO strategies, but a nice sample of methods that help your site have a diverse link graph and stay within the boundaries of Google’s webmaster guidelines. Granted some of the methods require caution as they say too much of a good thing is bad, so you want avoid being overly aggressive and ending up with an unnatural link graph that grows too quickly or relies too heavily on tactic or another.
SEO Tactics For 2012 That Work Infographic
SEO Trends for 2012
The wrath of Panda: In general more attention has to be paid to on page SEO, having quality fresh original content, and making sure you have a very usable, high quality, fast loading site. Gone are the days when you can slap a site together and build a bunch of links to it and expect it to rank and stay ranking. The Google Panda update sent tremors through the SEO industry and many site owners felt the bite of Panda 1 year ago when Google unleashed its furry. Sites with on page SEO issues, thin content etc, experienced large drops in rankings and site traffic. The new reality is that you have make sure your basic SEO on page factors are rock solid. Your mantra now when starting a new SEO campaign or site should be like the field of dreams: “If you build it they will come.” If you make a high quality site that is built with SEO, design, usability best practices in mind, and load the site up with high quality content that site visitors really want and appreciate when they find it, you will succeed.
Social Signals: Social signals will become more of a factor towards SEO rankings and visibility moving forward. Google plus one taking over the search results page was a real shot across the bow and clearly shows that Social signals and social search results are part of Google’s plan. Now, just having people in your circle of friends can dramatically change what you and they see in the search results. Also Google has hinted at the social signals effecting the search results themselves regardless of the personalized search results.
Here’s a little more detailed info about the infographic above
- .EDU resources- Getting links from authoritative .edu sites can really help your site’s rankings. There are different ways to do this but in general the idea is to add either a resource on your site that professors or students can use. There are other interesting methods like targeting college students in a twitter contests (got this idea from Will Reynolds of SeerInteractive). Or getting on a preferred vendor list etc for the college, they often post these on their sites for employees to be able to lookup. Also there are .edu blogs etc and certain areas of the site you might be able to add content and links etc.
- Q&A and review sites for your niche- If you can create a resource section on your site or even a subdomain or other site this can be a great source of traffic and links on your site.
- Never overlook the obvious of constantly looking for new keyword opportunities, some people think you can just do keyword research one time at the start of your SEO campaign and never work on them again. True your main keywords probably won’t change much, but a lot of your mid level and long tail keywords can change and devleop over time esp. if your industry is changing constantly. Google says that 25% of their search queries they’ve never even seen before each day, so there’s always room to find and discover new keywords in your site logs and doing keyword research to find new low hanging fruit.
- Siri Optimization- If your trying to rank locally, you should consider making sure your site is in yelp and which ever local directory Apple’s Siri voice search is using in your area for your industry, and doing what you can to rank higher in that directory.
- Broken link campaign- Searching for broken links on other people’s sites can be a great way to get a link from a site, the idea is to find an authoritative site, that has a broken link to a resource site or page, and make an equivalent resource and let the webmaster know about their broken link and your link could replace it.
- High quality blog comments- Some people claim blog commenting is dead, but if you focus on niche blogs that are authoritative and the potential to leave a thoughtful useful comment including your link, then I think it’s win win and can still help with your link graph, if nothing else at least you have some link diversity if nothing else.
- Mobile Search Optimization- Making sure you have a mobile version of your site, and are getting listed in local directories and getting links and content that target the local area are key elements to making sure mobile visitors are having a good experience and finding your site.
- Deep linking- A lot of people I’ve noticed build links almost exclusively to their home page not realizing their whole site should be optimized and have links going deep into the site to help rank other pages and spread the page rank juice around naturally.
- Social signals- Make sure you’re doing what you can to increase, the likes, shares, follows, +1’s and comments socially, making sure to have a social sharing links on your pages of your site and the basics of having a twitter account, facebook etc, and making sure to socially bookmark all your posts and content as well.
- Web 2.0 sites and profiles can be a useful way to build link diversity- Focus on building quality pages like Hub pages etc. and adding links to your target site can be a useful strategy.
- Online Press Releases- You can get some additional links to your site and also some human visitors that read your Press release, using any number of free or paid PRNewswire type services.
- Guest blog posts- Look for niche authoritative sites that are looking for writers to help them write blog posts and articles, if you search around online you can find them, write the content they like and add a link to your site in the footer or content.
- Directories- Most online website directories don’t help much with SEO, but there are some that are more useful then others that are still worth submitting your site too, often they’re paid and have editors that review the site. Sites like Business.com, Yahoo, BOTW best of the web, BBBonline, your local chamber, etc, come to mind, there are many others, and esp. finding niche directories for your industry and be very useful.
- Convert citations to live links- Do a search for “yourdomainName.com” and you’ll likely find some of the references are not hyper-linked, contact these site webmasters and request they turn the citation into a live hyperlink.
- And don’t forget to ask clients, vendors, partners, trade organizations, chambers etc. for a link.
- Content Marketing- i.e articles, guest blog posts, etc are a great way to build authoritative white hat links
- Slideshare and Document hosting- 3d party sites that you can upload say your white paper or PowerPoint with links to your site in it can be useful for links
- Link bait- i.e writing very provocative blog posts or articles on your site in the hopes of it causing people to take notice and hopefully link to and share socially is a great method.