11 Tips for SEO in 2011

Ready to move up the search results pages in the second-half of 2011? If so, read our 11 Tips for SEO in 2011

If you need more visitor traffic from search engines (of the natural/unpaid variety) you need to engage in a search engine optimization campaign. Here are several tips to help you make the most of your campaign (and the investment of time and money) this year and beyond.

Create Knowledge Repositories
Blogging is about the conversation, but knowledge repositories (which could come in the form of Wiki's) are powerful ways to educate an audience and acquire links - particularly for those with products or platforms that are not by their very nature explanatory.

Explore Structured Data
Now that Google, Bing and Yahoo adopted a formal standard for structured data, savvy website owners should be exploring how it can be used on their own sites. From optimizing personnel profiles to product listings, the rules are there but they must be implemented.

Step Up the Social Influence
The Web marketing landscape has changed and social is the direction it has turned. With greater personalization comes a greater commitment on the part of website owners to engage their audiences. Turn to Facebook, Twitter and social networks within your particular business vertical to step up the social influence.

Video Presents Best Opportunity
Most Web professionals cringe at the thought of video as a promotional vehicle but it has been done and done incredibly well. With consumers spending nearly 16 hours a month watching video on the Web, and the opportunities to optimize video being well documented, not creating video (in short or long form, entertaining or educational) will put your web property well behind more formidable competitors on the search results pages.

Speed Really Matters
Google has made speed an important factor in ranking. Those sites with performance problems will not only lose visitors but they may ultimately lose their position on the SERPs. Start with identifying bottlenecks (e.g. slow loading 3rd party scripts), find speedier alternatives, and measure the impact that speed has on both ranking and conversion.

Be More Noteworthy/Newsworthy
Easier said than done, but securing some media attention (in any form it comes) is a great way to fast-track link building and the acquisition of greater "authority" in the virtual eyes of search engines. Scour news destinations and related resources for companies within your vertical and follow all those best practices for securing media coverage.

Improve Site-Wide Experience
Broken links and confusing interfaces interrupt the funnel you should set up to lead people towards conversion. Many believe that the experience users have on your site (measured by, and revealed in, clickstream data) impacts positions on search results pages.

Diversify Link Sources
If all of your links were from one site, one geographic region, or even one business vertical it would be easy to identify. Diversifying your link sources (consider the use of mind maps explained here) to build more natural link profiles.

Keyword Auditing
One of the most serious mistakes made by newbie and professional search engine optimization specialists starts at the keyword level. Ensure the keywords selected are targeted for users and in demand by employing the services of keyword research tools.

Step Up User Reviews
Organic reviews are as important to search engines as they are to actual users. Search engines use user reviews to determine popularity. Appending an additional layer of information to existing product data will not only differentiate your site from the rest but give it an edge on the search results pages. 

Stay in the Know
Search engines are constantly evolving which means as a Web professional you need to stay on top of what's happening too.  Make sure you are subscribed to the Website Magazine print publication, our email newsletters, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. If you're new to the Web, you may also want to check out Web 360 - The Fundamentals of Web Success