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Which SEO Tactics Work Best?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for attracting visitors to your website—and your business. But which SEO tactics should you focus on? Which ones get the best results? A survey reported by MarketingProfs has some answers.

Overall, marketers say creating relevant content is the most effective SEO tactic. Fifty-seven percent cited this as “highly effective.” Other SEO tactics rated as highly effective are keyword/phrase research (cited by 49 percent), social media integration (39 percent) and external/internal linking (36 percent).

Of course, website “basics” are also important to successful SEO. Marketers mentioned mobile/responsive design (cited by 34 percent), meta descriptions/tags (26 percent) and fast loading times (24 percent) as highly effective SEO tactics.

Ironically, the most effective SEO tactics are also the most difficult to execute. Almost half of marketers (48 percent) say relevant content creation is the hardest to execute. External/internal link building was cited as difficult by 45 percent, keyword/phrase research by 35 percent and social media integration by 32 percent.

But difficulty is no reason to give up on SEO. In fact, 82 percent of marketers in the survey say their SEO overall is becoming more effective. However, the survey suggests, SEO is far from simple, and doing it well requires an investment of time, money and effort. Here are some tips that can help your SEO be more effective:

  • Create content that answers common questions your customers have. Then share your content in the formats they prefer—blogs, infographics, videos, images or SlideShare presentations.
  • Do your homework when it comes to keywords. Research which keywords your customers are most likely to use when they ask the questions you’re answering. This will help you tailor your content by using relevant keywords to improve your SEO.
  • You can also get ideas by looking at the kinds of content your competitors are creating. What is missing from what they’re doing that you could provide?
  • To save time and effort, consider repurposing the same content in multiple ways. For instance, you could write a series of blog posts, group them together into a white paper or e-book, summarize and add design elements to make them into a PowerPoint, pull out some key stats to create an infographic, or even discuss the topics in a video or on a podcast.
  • Make SEO part of your overall marketing strategy. Your approach to SEO should be driven by your business goals. What do you want customers to do when they go to your business website? How can your SEO efforts support that?
  • Get help. SEO is challenging—so it’s no wonder that 76 percent of companies in the survey use external resources to execute all or part of their SEO tactics. Enlisting a team of SEO experts to develop your strategy and execute your plan can save you time and effort, while garnering better results than you could hope to get on your own.