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The SEO Backroads: 8 Avenues Your Business Probably Hasn’t Explored


The Information Superhighway (remember when that was a thing?) is gridlocked with great search engine optimization advice.

From complex link-building strategies to integrating SEO content providers, there’s plenty for intrigued business owners to learn about. But often these articles focus on the most popular topics, to the detriment of less fashionable, yet undeniably important areas that search engines take into account.

So are there different routes to the ranking destination that you want to reach?

SEO: The Undiscovered Country

Okay not undiscovered, exactly, but certainly underutilized.

Here are eight roads that you probably haven’t gone down with your existing business SEO strategy:

1. No follow links: Often overlooked in favor of more valuable links that do pass “Google Juice,” the volume of no-follow links to your site still impacts your SEO. These links direct people to your site, which contributes to direct search signals like traffic and social shares.

2. Internal Links: You probably have a link strategy , but do you have an internal link strategy? As this helpful Orbit Media article explains, it’s important to spread the link love around your own site as well.

3. Broken Link Redemption: Rather than only chasing new links, why not spend some time making sure those you already have are still serving visitors? If external sites are still linking to dead pages, you can either resurrect or redirect them to make the most of that traffic.

4. Life Outside the Googlesphere: Though Google dominates search, with 67.5% of the U.S. market according to comScore, that still leaves plenty of traffic on the table from other engines. Bing and Yahoo together make up more than 25% of remaining search queries, so be sure to see how you rank there as well.

5. The Missing Link: As with broken links, it’s easy to pour tons of time into new link opportunities yet overlook the low-hanging fruit of those that almost already exist. Use free tools like Google Alerts and Fresh Web Explorer to monitor your mentions and make sure they link to your site.

6. Mobile SEO: Mobile search can still help non-mobile search, as factors like bounce rate and immediate returns to the results page are considered by search engines. If your site isn’t up for mobile, it could drag your rankings down.

7. Webmaster Tools Data: Don’t rely too much on the search stats, but the keyword data in each search engine’s webmaster tools can be a valuable source of long tail search terms and misspelled branded terms.

8. Image Search: Many sites forget to even tag images with alternative text descriptions, let alone consider visitors who might find their content via visual channels. Every page should have a visual or two, so don’t overlook optimizing your images for search.

Drive the SEO Backroads

There’s a reason we take the highway in most cases: it’s a quicker, more direct route to where we want to go. But when the main route is jammed, it’s wise to explore alternative roads.

In the same way, when you face high competition for search terms it’s time to get off the main drag and explore the SEO backroads.

Start with the ideas above and then get creative with new routes to build links and bring in search traffic. You never know what will kick your SEO into high gear!

Steve B is a freelance writer and content marketing consultant who lives in Brooklyn, hails from England, and harbors a secret scribe’s crush on Paris. He views “freelance isolation” as the perfect cover for his mission to personally visit every coffee shop in the five boroughs.

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Freelancer Steve B

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