Not too long ago Search Engine Optimization was all about optimizing your site. Getting the right title tags, writing the right content and using the right techniques. The only thing you were doing outside of your own site was trying to get links to your site.
Things have changed. Of course optimizing your pages is still important, important to get your own site ranking. But what about those nine other results on the first page of the SERP? They are interesting too. And theoretically they can all be yours. And for that you have to step away from your site.
Anyone who has been paying attention at SES Amsterdam and SES New York knows what I’m talking about. Stepping away from your site can mean dominance of the SERPS. Using social media together with clever usage of news-sites is the key to the success. And no, I’m not just talking about Twitter.
With the changing way the search engines are looking at how they want to serve the searchers the website owners have to change with them. Universal or Blended Search, together with social media, has changed the game.
Blended Search means that now in SERPS we can see images, local results, videos, realtime, results, newsresults, social results and much more. All these results are opportunities to get a position in the SERPS. There are three different ways in which you can dominate the search results: optimizing your content, use social media and use other sites and sources.
Optimizing the content
Optimize your YouTube videos and become one (or more) of the videos in the results, optimize your Flickr images or the images on your site and your images will show up. Take a good look at the SERPS and see all the opportunities arise. Optimize the different items well and you are on your way. Its not just about text anymore. Be sure to also look at the local options. “Getting on the map” is easy and why not do it if so many local results are returned?
Using social media
Social media is an excellent way of getting in contact with your (potential) target audience. But did you know social media can also be used to get found in the search results? Real time search seems the best example. Though only very shortly real time search is an opportunity to get into the top ten results. But there is more. Sites like Twitter, Wikipedia and Linkedin (profiles) are indexed by the search engines and rank well. Spread the right word (do keywordresearch first!) and there is another opportunity to rank.
Using other sites and sources
Think about this: your site ranks number four. Above you are one newssite and two blogs outranking you. But guess what. They are talking about you! Does that make your ranking better? Well in a way it does. Even though its not a direct hit you do get mentioned, which is a huge branding opportunity. And one way or another they will find your site. Its therefore important to spread your word the right way. That could be with press releases, but mainly you should find the niche bloggers in your industry and get them to talk about you. Be innovative, be newsworthy and those other results will come.
Off course, getting all the ten results in the SERPS is a pure theoretical possibility. The chances you will succeed in dominating all ten positions are not that big, but what I’m trying to say is you should look at the opportunities and use them. Look outside of the paved roads and look away from your site. The opportunities are there, use them. I dare you.
I am speaking on this topic this Wednesday at the B2B Marketing forum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The presentation will be published afterwards.