The question is, are you using these things as effectively as possible? Everyone knows the basics so it isn’t enough just to have an active Twitter account or to have included your keywords on your website. If you want to get head, you’ve got to push it a bit further. Here’s a couple of tips to try and get some edge on your competitors.
You probably have a Twitter account, but how do you use it? The occasional link to your own work, retweeting celebrities and following prospective clients are all things that everyone does. You need to look out for some other tactics. Don’t just follow people that may immediately become useful. Follow anyone that might be relevant, or has a chance of becoming relevant, because you never know what obscure situation may arise that will get you an invite for placing an article (see the SEO section below to see why this is important) or for some work.
For example, here is something that happened to me that got me in contact with an editor at a mainstream newspaper’s website. I was following the Twitter account for their local communities section and they were asking after people involved in just that. I happen to know a councillor back home, suggested them and they were included in an online debate. From that I’ve managed to keep in touch with the editor and get articles placed. Had I not suggested my friend, my pitches would have just been added to the never ending pile with all the others.
The point here is that local communities has little to do with the articles I usually write. Either way, I followed the account and it proffered some great results. Don’t restrict who you follow or who you make contact with as the more contacts you have, the more you have to use in a situation like above. They may never produce anything of worth, but it’s better than not having them at all.
Again, you’ll probably already know the basics of SEO, which includes titling your pages properly, using the right keywords and regularly updating a blog. All essentials for a website, but essentials do not make you stand out. You need to get more specific and more concise. Consider your keywords. Unless you’re a very niche business, chances are you will be competing with other businesses over the same keywords. How do you get your site to get ahead of theirs? Google doesn’t allow keyword stuffing anymore, so what you need to do is build links to your site. The best way to do this is through guest blogging.
Writing blogs and articles for other sites can be good for traffic due to an author bio, but in most cases it’s not going to do a lot. Its much stronger purpose is SEO. If you run an online accountancy firm, you want your website to come top in Google when someone searches “online accountancy firm”. That much is obvious. What helps to make that happen is having lots of sites all inking to your page using that anchor text. That isn’t likely to happen naturally, so you need to get those links out there yourself.
Now, most sites, unless you pay them, won’t just take an article about how great your company is with a load of links; and this is especially true of higher end sites (which are better for SEO). You need to write decent, helpful and interesting content for them. It’s in the author bio where you’ll usually get your link (unless the subject you’re covering can include some truly relevant links to your site). Here you can use whatever anchor text to link to whatever page of your site. Feel free to concentrate on one term or spread it out across a few. Author bios allow you to alter your strategy as you go.
Twitter is a great way of connecting to editors, blog owners or whoever else to get your articles placed with. Build up a rapport by retweeting them or helping them out when they need it and you’ll be able to get your stuff placed on higher quality sites which offer better SEO benefits. The other option is to go down the regular route of pitching through email, but you’ll struggle to be seen against everyone else. You might have to be patient with this tactic, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
Joshua Danton Boyd is a Brighton-based copywriter for an online accounting firm who specialise in small businesses and freelancers.
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