The practice of search engine optimization is always changing. Although far too many inexperienced and misinformed “SEOs” are still spending their time in forums looking for link exchanges and general directories to submit their website to, these practices are the equivalent of flushing your time down the drain. As the internet becomes more competitive and the algorithms of search engines become even more complex, it’s your responsibility to understand what techniques work and which ones won’t do anything for you or your clients’ websites.
One of the most effective long-term SEO strategies is creating high-quality, interesting content that receives links from other websites within your niche. I know you’re probably sick of reading the phrase “Content is King,” but it gets repeated so often because it’s true. You have to give other websites a reason to link to you.
Although many people are intimidated by the prospect of coming up with great content, it’s not nearly as hard as you probably think. You don’t have to be the world’s best writer, you just need to be creative! To demonstrate how easy it is to be creative when you start thinking outside the box, here are five ways that doing something as simple as watching TV can help you write better content and attract more links:
1) Be Funny
People enjoy reading content that makes them laugh. Regardless of the audience you’re targeting or the subject you’re discussing, there’s always a place for humor. While your specific audience may not appreciate the over the top humor style of Michael Scott (“That’s What She Said”), even the dullest topics can benefit from the use of subtle humor or references that have made Jim Halpert’s character so popular.
2) Embrace Controversy
Controversy isn’t always a bad thing; just ask the team behind Gossip Girl. Although they received a huge amount of criticism for promoting the season finale with racy ads that featured the phrase “OMFG”, it paid off when the season finale delivered the highest ratings the show had experienced since November. Although it won’t work for every single piece of content you create, there are times when adding a little edge can make the difference between a dud and a home run.
3) Leverage the Popularity of Others
After a season of low ratings, what did American Idol do to get their ratings up for the season finale? They had lots of popular celebrities make appearances during the finale. From Bryan Adams to Ben Stiller to Donna Summers, the show packed their finale with a wide variety of celebrities. If you’re trying to gain additional attention, why not leverage the popularity of someone within your industry? Whether you write about them or a response to something they wrote, being linked to a well-known figure can help you increase your own exposure.
4) Don’t Publish All Your Content at Once
Why have shows like Lost remained so popular for multiple seasons? Because they keep their viewers wanting more! While it may be tempting to publish all three of the great posts you just wrote, if you space out the time between your posts, you can ensure that your visitors will keep coming back for more.
5) Interact With Your Audience
How did Blue’s Clues become “one of the most successful, critically acclaimed, and ground-breaking preschool television series of all time?” Simple: it interacted with its audience. Whether it’s through comments, e-mails, polls, quizzes or anything else, the more interaction you can create between you and your audience, the more meaningful your content will be to them.