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It’s nearly New Year’s Eve and with the 31st of December comes the annual tradition of making those resolutions that, let’s face it, we won’t be keeping.
Promises of giving up smoking, being healthier, reading more and giving more to charity are all made with the best intentions but come the 27th January all will have been long forgotten.
However as we are all in the resolution mood; if you are an online business or you rely on your site to bring in valuable business then maybe there are some resolutions you seriously should think about making and keeping during 2013.
Unlike making fad lifestyle resolutions that you’re just not going to keep, changing the way you work with your site could help make 2013 a very good year indeed.
So here are my top four resolutions that all site owners should make (and keep to):
Don’t just write content – write great content.
Gone are the days of simply writing for the sake of creating a link. If you just write a generic article, submit it to an article submission site that realistically isn’t going to be seen by anyone then you will be wasting your time. You won’t even be getting the benefit of the link you were looking to create. Why? Well links from these free article sites don’t hold any value.
Google want content but they want great, unique content. Content that will engage an audience, content that will provide valuable information. Content that will give searchers the information they were searching for.
They also want you to create content that people will share.
With Google’s continued authorship push this is also going to be an element you will need to keep an eye on.
There are so many ways you can create great content but before you even think about writing externally – you need to check your own site.
If you answer no to any of these questions, then it could be time for a refresh.
Once your site is up to speed then it’s time to look at all the other avenues content can provide. But before you start it is highly important you know exactly who you are writing for. If you aren’t engaging with your audience then you won’t truly be writing for anyone.
Do you actually know who your audience are?
Think about the type of content you can create. What purpose will it serve; does it answer any questions or provide a resource that would be helpful?
What types of content can you create? Well here are just a few ideas to get you going:
Of course, the type of business you are will determine what you can write about and what platforms you can create content for. Don’t just write for the sake of it – have a purpose.
No; this doesn’t mean you should spend even more time down the pub. If this is one of your New Year’s resolutions then fair play but this isn’t what I mean.
Something I have spoken about quite a bit in the last year is my frustration at online businesses that refuse to embrace social. They “don’t think it is for them” or they “don’t have the time”.
2013 isn’t going to slow down the importance of social and the more you hold off having a presence the more you are going to be left behind.
Social signals are now unavoidably important.
No matter what sector you are in there is always a social spin you can create. Look up your competitors, see how they are doing it, and learn from them.
People aren’t just using Google to look you up. Your presence is being looked for on all the main social platforms and if they can’t find you then you can be sure they will be finding your competitors.
Social is also a vital part of brand protection. If you don’t own your brand socially then who is to say someone else won’t sign up and take it. In this day and age, not owning your brand in all the right places could be highly detrimental.
Start becoming social.
Sign up and create your profiles. Keep them consistent to your website branding. Make sure all the information marries up. Without even tweeting or making your first update you have already grown your brand online.
Just don’t stop there. Get involved. Get social.
Targeting only exact keyword links is massively a thing of the past. Don’t get me wrong you still need to link build using keyword links but the estimated percentage of links that you should create with this tactics has drastically changed.
Your link profile needs to change.
You need to be building links for your brand not just the terms that you want to link for. In fact you need to be building a higher percentage of links for your brand than you do any other type of link.
Not only that, you need to be creating a healthy diverse link profile.
There is no exact percentage score but maybe aim for a split of around 65% brand related links, 25% keyword targeted links and 10% all other type of links.
If you carry out the first two resolutions then you are already well on your way to creating a good diverse link profile because if your content is link worthy then you will naturally be winning.
If you are being social then again, you will be creating social signals and links back to your site.
You see link building for 2013 isn’t about getting your site included in as many free directory sites as you can. It’s not about spamming blogs with comments just to create a link.
It’s about creating links you have had to work for. Links you’ve earnt.
Like never before you need to build your brand and guess what – you need to build it by using all of the above tactics.
You see Google are trying to steer site owners to carry out the above actions because this is all part of building your brand – and this is what Google is looking for, Brands.
If you are writing great content you will be working towards becoming an authoritive figure in your field or sector.
By being more social you will be promoting your brand.
Rethinking your link building should automatically mean you are now pushing your brand more than before instead of hardcore key term promotion.
Just existing online isn’t enough and the best practices that may have been in play 12 months ago aren’t necessarily going to help you rank today.
These are tactics that will help make you competitive.
Make these resolutions and stick to them.
New Years Resolutions from BigStock Photos
Social Media from BigStock Photos
Samantha Noble is well known within in the search industry, she even won the UK Search Personality 2016 at the UK Search Awards in November. This year, she continues to make an impact on the industry by judging not only one, but three, prestigious industry awards.