What is your single best SEO tip?
Eric Enge: Make friends with influential people. From an SEO point of view, you want to obtain links to your blog. Building up your own audience can take time, and producing great content can help you do that, but the fastest way to accelerate your growth is to have major influencers out there who like/trust you, and believe you produce great content. If they do, then from time to time they may tweet or share your content through their social media presences, or link to your posts in their own blogs. This provides you with exposure to their audiences and can drive readership and more social media followers.
What is your best SEO tip for mobile?
Eric Enge: Render your mobile site on the exact same URLs as your desktop site. This causes the mobile site to fully inherit the SEO ranking factors — links and social media goodness — of your desktop site. This does not happen when you build your mobile site at m.yourdomain.com. The second major tip for mobile is to reduce the load time for the page. Don't just use CSS to render your full desktop page differently. Instead, show a logical subset of the content on the mobile version. Lastly, measure and reduce the bounce rate for your mobile pages. Bounce rate is a solid measurement of how good a mobile experience you are offering.
What is your best SEO tip for social media?
Eric Enge: Clearly define your objective. If you have a large brand that people love you can naturally build a large audience and a vibrant community. This might not work so well, however, for a company selling itchy butt medication. No one is going to want to like your page! But other brands, such as Ferrari, can build a huge community. However, if you are not such a large brand today, then your goals may need to be different.
I see too many businesses building large audiences without a purpose. They know they want to invest in social media, and they are building an audience, but it is not leading to a business goal. One alternative might be to focus instead on producing authoritative content on your blog, and then promote it through social media. The high quality blog content can help build your audience for your social media profiles, and your social media profiles can drive links back to your site. There is an awesome synergy there that can build powerful organic links.
What is your best SEO tip for content marketing?
Eric Enge: Aim high. Over the next few years we are going to see massive changes in search and social. The Panda algorithm and the "Search, plus Your World" releases by Google are just the beginning. Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate a very high level of visibility that makes you stand out. Did you know that many major regional newspaper sites accept guest articles from quality writers? Note that they will only take really solid content, but, from a search engine perspective that is exactly the point. Net-net, it's a trusted link from an authoritative source. There are many other places to find links of this value too, so don't take the easy way out and do lots of low-value guest posts. Put in the extra effort. It is worth it.
What's the biggest mistake you see marketers making with search optimization?
Eric Enge: Too much or too little. Once people learn about SEO they go in one direction or the other. The "too much" crowd gets obsessed and starts looking for every possible tweak to squeak out one little ranking gain or another. This is a little bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. There are too many big thing happening in Internet marketing to spend your time tweaking and re-tweaking title tags over and over again, or creating boatloads of new pages to thin slice on every conceivable search phrase. Some of this is healthy, but many people go way too far with it. Most of your efforts should remain on the bigger picture on why your business is special and making sure that the world (and the search engines) know it.
The "too little" crowd oversimplifies what SEO really is. They may do a complete redesign of their website and then ask the SEO team to come in and do their SEO wizardry, as if it were some magic pixie dust you can sprinkle on after the fact. It does not work that way, and as the old saying goes, "you can do it right, or you can do it over". Or, they may ignore the promotional side of SEO, and focus only on the on-page factors. On-page factors are primarily about establishing relevance, while promotion (links and social media mentions) is the main driver of rankings. You need both to get the impact you are likely looking for.
Learn more about this topic from The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition.
Four acknowledged experts in search engine optimization share guidelines and innovative techniques that will help you plan and execute a comprehensive SEO strategy. This second edition brings you up to date on recent changes in search engine behavior—such as new ranking methods involving user engagement and social media—with an array of effective tactics, from basic to advanced.