The digital marketing times are changing and businesses are committed to keeping up.
Since the launch of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update in 2013, the world’s leading search engine has constantly been optimising for a better understanding of search engine queries. In 2015, Google introduced a machine-learning artificial intelligence system to the overall algorithm engine. “Machine-learning artificial intelligence” sounds a bit ‘Terminator’, but don’t worry, it’s a good thing (we promise!).
The system, aptly named ‘RankBrain’, works by helping to provide better results for the more uncommon searches that users ask. Currently, there are around 450 million queries that Google has the answers to, but with RankBrain, that’s being tackled head-on using mathematical wizardry to increase the accuracy of search results.
Here are four tips for professional services firms on how to get your website noticed.
Everyone knows the score these days. In a philosophical sense, it’s the proverbial tree in the forest: If your content isn’t seen by the right people, did it even exist in the first place? It’s a good way to think about what the purpose of your content is. Sure, it can exist somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of the web, but you want to actually make sure that content goes somewhere.
By blending together some reasoned assumptions, a dash of data-backed research and a pinch of empathy - you’ll create a recipe for audience profiles that you can successfully target your content for.
Micro-moments reflect the digital era that we all live and breathe. Consumer behaviour has changed to the point where people make snap decisions - the quicker they can achieve something the better.
This is where you come in. As a business, you need to adapt and evolve to meet these needs as efficiently as possible using these three principles:
A bit of intuition never hurt anyone and it’s that kind of intuition you’ll need to understand the pain points and challenges your prospects are faced with. Knowing this allows you to identify the solutions and answers you can provide. By anticipating what these micro-moments are, you can then commit to being there when the moments occur.
So we talked earlier about targeting the right people - now you need to target them with the right and relevant content. Relevance plays a key role in providing appropriate content at the moment of need. The important thing to remember is to forgo the industry jargon and talk naturally. That doesn’t mean throwing professionalism out the window. Rather, it’s more a case of making sure that the content reflects how your audience thinks and naturally speaks.
People are constantly on the go and mobiles are the software that helps with on-the-go problems. Everyone wants to be in the know about everything in order to make fast decisions. Create a website that is optimised for mobile and Google will be praising you for providing a frictionless customer journey for your prospects.
Stop stuffing those keywords - your content can’t breathe! Those stuffing days are over and a new way to get your website noticed is already on the horizon. Topic clusters are the new (and better) way to keep up with Google’s constantly updating search algorithms.
The algorithm works in several different ways to provide the best answer result to a search query: the more relevant the answer, the higher the result in the search engine.
We’ve written about the HubSpot Topic Clusters tool before, but here’s a great way to approach topic clusters. Think about topic clusters first by beginning with a “pillar” keyword. This pillar will form the “theme” for the cluster keywords that follow.
Essentially, you are creating a linked series of pages and posts that Google will recognise as being the informational go-to-hub. Ergo: your brand becomes an authority on that pillar term. As an added bonus, through the HubSpot Topic Cluster tool, it’s a really great way to think of new content ideas as you go along.
In basic terms, a backlink (also known as an inbound link) is a link from someone else’s website to your website. What’s great about backlinks is that it works like a referral for your business by:
- Driving new traffic to your website - if someone backlinks to your website, it increases the chances of their readers to click on that link and visit a website they may not have come across in the first place.
- Helping your rankings in the search engines - a backlink suggests to a search engine that you’re an authority on the subject.
Don’t just seek backlinks from any old site, though. Sure, it’s great to have as many backlinks to a page as you can but remember: quality comes before quantity. The more backlinks you have from high quality, high authority sites, the better your ranking chances. Additionally, monitoring and removing links of inferior quality can improve your overall backlink influence.
Here are six ways you can backlink like a boss:
Consistent, Quality Blogs
A tried and tested
Templates that Everyone Wants
People want to get things done and fast. If there’s a tool or template to help them work faster, you’d better believe that someone, somewhere will need it. So what kind of tools or templates could you create that people would want to use? More importantly, what would other people want to provide a backlink to?
Maybe it would consist of:
A spreadsheet that calculates yearly tax, or;
- A tool that helps an individual work out their outgoing costs with ease.
If you have a tech wizard in your midst, you’re already halfway there!
Create Compelling Visuals
People love visuals: 71% of marketers utilise this by using visuals in their marketing. Create visual content that people want to share and link to. From infographics and SlideShare presentations to YouTube videos and Webinars, there is a whole host of options out there for your industry.
Build a PR Strategy
Did something noteworthy happen at your company? Perhaps you’ve won an award or have recently hired a new director. Whatever it is, tell people about it! There are great backlinking opportunities to be had in churning out great PR content, both on your website and to other PR newswires who’ll help spread the word for you - all while sending traffic right back to your website.
Receive Client Reviews
Aside from receiving backlinks, reviews are a great way to boost your company’s reputation online. Ask your clients to write reviews about your company and/or services you provide. This can be done as part of a sales process, or as part of a special workflow set up specifically for customers. Review sites such as Trustpilot help you establish yourself as a trusted brand and will encourage new leads as a result. Don’t forget Google My Business, either.
Find Opportunities with your Competitor’s Backlinks
Time to don your detective’s hat and see what your competitors get up to. (No, we don’t mean spy on them through a bush). There are some fantastic link analysis tools such as Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer or SEMrush which you can use to see who is linking to your competitor’s site and as a bonus, you can see what kind of pages they are (blogs, services pages etc.). This will help you determine whether you can get the same or similar links.
With these tips, you can learn how to get your website noticed by:
- Making sure to target the right audience who will engage with your business
- Becoming a master of micro-moments by being there for your prospects, being relevant and providing swift answers
- Pave the way for great content using topic clusters
- Backlinking to great, quality
websiteslike an absolute boss - building up your website’s authority.
It’s always a great idea to go back and look at your older blog posts and web pages to see what you are able to re-optimise using your newfound knowledge. You’ll benefit from improving your SEO and making sure your website stays up to date and relevant.