I love cheat sheets for video games. It’s not like I want to cheat, but some of these games take foreeeevvvverrrr. If I wasn’t a Dad of three awesome girls and not married to an incredible wife, I would take my time to complete games all the way through. But I just don’t have that kind of time to waste in my life. So I use cheat codes to get to the goal faster.
This last week here at Click, we put together a list of Christian organizations that are ranked the highest in online traffic and social media. While creating that, we’ve been exploring what really gets companies and organizations the most traffic and the top spots on search engines. Tons of course has been written on this topic, but we realized there are really 3 keys that define it all, or in this case, 3 cheat codes to get to the top faster.
What are the 3 key elements to win the search engine battle?
- Content worth Talking About.
- Easy to Use Website.
- Engaging in Social Media.
Yep, that is it. Seems simple enough. Do these three things and you’ll be on your way to Internet stardom. The problem is, these are easy to say, but much harder to do in real life.
Creating Content Worth Talking About
We’ve talked about content quite a bit here on our blog. When it comes down to it, what do your customers want to read, listen to or watch? Different types of content have different value to your audience and their willingness to share it with their peers. But this is really at the heart of ranking high. If you can create content that is relevant to your organization that makes people want to talk about it, share it with their social circles or simply give it to their boss, then you are winning the game. Google to this day still considers quality links to your website as a “vote” that you have good stuff. If you have the votes, then the search engines try and figure out what in the world your content is about and index it so that people can find it.
Being able to rise above the noise of your competitors is going to be a tactic you have to employ. If you have a lot of competitors, you have to try and find a niche to circle around them and sneak in front. You have to get people liking and talking about what you write and the stories you tell. This will take time and effort, but if people aren’t reading your stuff, you either aren’t getting the message out or your content isn’t what people want. Stop now, re-assess what you are doing and try something new.
Making Your Website Easy to Use
Simple and clean seems easy, but its super hard. The vast number of bad websites and apps is evidence of that fact. Very few apps ever make any money regardless of how passionate the creator is about the idea. The vast majority of websites have high bounce rates because they fail to understand their audience. Entrepreneurs think they have the latest greatest thing since sliced-bread, but it falls flat on its face because users either don’t identify with your purpose, or they can’t figure out what you want them to do and they NEVER come back. You have to fix this. Unless you are Apple, Google or a small handful of super-successful companies, this includes your company.
You must have a process that constantly analyzes how people engage with your brand and test new ideas and designs to improve your growth and user engagement. This means you aren’t simply redoing your website every few years, but you are in a constant state of making it better. This is more expensive, but it takes the guesswork out of what you are doing and drives growth faster. Learn from your mistakes, take your wins, listen to your customers and learn why ex-customers leave. This all drives you to having a better experience and making whatever it is you are building constantly better.
Engaging Your Fans and Influencers in Social Media
I have to admit that I personally am not a big user of social media. I don’t tweet, share, like or snap very much at all. I’m pretty much your average middle age dude. BUT, I do use social media in a big way for getting news, entertainment, opinions and all sorts of other content. It has replaced my TV viewing and reading of magazines. This is a HUGE shift in consumer behavior that every business must pay attention to or you will be left behind by your competitors who are.
You go where your customers are and you work with the influencers in your industry. Well, if the audience is in social media, the influencers in your space are also heavily engaged in social media and they use LOTS of content to feed their fans. You gain a big giant competitive advantage by gaining the attention of the influencers. They can propel a video, blog post or product announcement farther than you typically can with our own audience.
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