If you are involved in Internet marketing, you are familiar with information overload.
Honestly, it’s what separates experience from those who just scratch the surface – the ability to absorb what matters and cancel out those poor performing strategies.
With that said, each month there is something new to conquer and learn to be on top of the competition.
It's very easy to lose track of what is effective and what isn’t.
What does your website need to make it in 2016? From integration to social media to conversion focused strategies, inbound marketing objectives are ever-changing.
To hone in and be more articulate, and for the sake of summarizing in one article (this could be a full resource or book), here are the items that I personally stand by and believe are essential for the health of your growth hacking campaign.
The little details that are overlooked while clients or consultants focus on the bigger picture. These are the small components that are often not discussed in SEW or Moz but nevertheless are still very relevant and supplement your digital marketing efforts.
Related Article: If You Build It, They Won't Come: 11 Truths About Online Traffic
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A Virtual Private Network is highly important for your SEO to have. It protects your data in the case that they have a breach of security. It protects the SEO’s company IP and encrypts activity, this is beneficial as it gives the search engine less information.
No one really understands what Google, Bing, etc. track it is just apparent that leaving a footprint is a major concern these days. Google is incredibly sophisticated and not found of the SEO industry as they make their revenue based on paid listings.
I’ve witnessed clients coming from existing campaigns that ruined their traffic, I believe links were not the only culprit but in fact that they had too many employees and a wide net of SEO activity pin-pointing any websites associated with their network.
Do not overanalyze here, just think industry relevancy. Relevance is the new PR (For those old school SEOs) and if you are focused on metrics such as DA, ect. you are going to be limiting your success at attaining some great sources of traffic.
In 2016, it is imperative that you realize you want to stay close to those in your niche and industry and introduce your website to their traffic. It starts with content that is well researched and is unique to the audience.
Don’t get caught up in reading old blog posts from 2009 about backlinking and sign up for every SEO software available to methodically assess each opportunity. Understand the end benefit of gaining like-minded audience, potential subscribers and best result referral sales.
Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
Content Delivery Networks are great for your website speed as they distribute content from around the world and deliver it closer to your users location. These days security and spam are taken very seriously by search engines as well.
Last year as an effort Google even started giving a ranking boost to secure HTTPS/SSL Sites. A CDN is great for security as it blocks attacks like SQL injections and malicious bots crawling which no doubt you will see, especially if your site is built in wordpress.
Don’t forget about your existing community, they already love you. A.K.A Lead Capture. Reoccurring visitors without converting and paying attention to existing traffic. Simply put: time on your site is very important.
The client below is confidential but you will see in the screenshot below you will see that returning visitors have much better metrics (-25 percent bounce rate, double the pages read on-site, $30K more revenue). Time after time I see website that nurture and keep existing viewers and convert them into an email list relish better metrics.
When a blog post goes live, this audience is immediate traffic and response and already trusts the source so they are more likely to share and engage with the clients site. If your SEO lacks a lead capture strategy you should consider how to get one in place for the long-term health of your website traffic and revenue.
Related Article: You Built It, Now What? What to Do After Launching Your Website
Voice Search Optimization
Voice search and siri have already taken off, with Google reporting that 55 percent of teens are using voice search that is an indicator that it is here to stay. Voice search is unique because it is utilized mainly for local as most people are looking for instantaneous results they needed 30 seconds ago.
If you have used Siri you can definitely relate to asking the best route to get to a restaurant and then realizing you just passed the terminal for the freeway. If you want to ensure that you are setting your business up for success with voice search in the future it is essential that you get local SEO unified and optimized in 2016.
Think - NAP consistency, reviews, schematic markup and earning natural links from businesses in your community. If your client is affiliated with the chamber of commerce, local manufacturers or sponsors local events have the conversation that they should ask for a website link recognition when it makes sense.
Brand SEO & Recognition
Brands being distinguished as the most authoritative listings onine can be dated all the way back to 2003. I started witnessing the importance of brands more so in the past 3 years or so.
Consulting for a major sports brands supplier, I also witnessed the large brands such as Walmart, CVS and Dicks Sporting Goods eventually start outranking the middle sized brands. With a growing competitiveness in SEO and Google, one strategy is imperative. Build Your Brand. Some may ask, how does a small brand compete and build their brand? It’s all about the way you begin interacting in the online space. These are a few starters for you to consider in 2016:
Build your contextual backlinks if you have the opportunity toward your brand. This is natural in many guest posts and will give the presence of a brand vs a targeted product or service.
Content Expert Program
Consider how you are blogging. Are you just pushing content or do you have a program or brand that is valued to be the source? Are people searching for you?
- Branded Podcast
- Your Brand University – Shopify does this effective and in turn when you are thinking in terms of getting some good information you think of the brand
So there you have it, a checklist of items that you should double check that your growth hacker or SEO company is using while they are handling your web presence. I am sure I missed some items but feel free to let me know on Twitter or Google +.