How do you make your company a click magnet--without venturing into shady, underhanded tactics?
I asked a few search engine experts to share their secrets.
1. Make a great YouTube video.
This one might seem obvious, but it works. Web surfers love to click on videos, and a well-done video can entice a load of extra clicks, says Mike Essex, online marketing manager at Koozai.com (www.koozai.com). Start-ups don't need to make a super professional video--even an interview with the founder about why the company exists can help. Most importantly, a video with good metatags and links to your site helps improve search results.
There is something to be said for a highly produced video, however. If you have a bigger budget, consider making a movie trailer for your next product launch, says Robert Granholm, the CTO at IT support company IT Arsenal. A well-made trailer can be like an adrenaline boost for people to start searching. After you watch this video of Tim Ferriss's book on cooking, you'll probably want to do a search to find out more.
2. State your mission clearly.
Stating the mission of the company clearly--and in as many places as you can--taps into a basic human need, says SEA specialist Ben Nesvig. People want to know, without thinking about it too much, why your company exists. The best way to tell them--and get them to click--is to be consistent with your branding verbiage across your entire Web footprint, from your site's metadata to your YouTube page to all of your social network pages.
3. Start a fight.
Nevig says another good SEO strategy is to stir up controversy. People tend to click on links related to a controversial topic or an opinion that is the opposite of what everyone else says. He points to two recent example. Bucky Balls, which are magnets that help with stress reduction, had no name recognition, he says, until the government thought they should be banned. A book by Tucker Max was destined for a search engine black hole until someone threatened to sue the author. It probably goes without saying that this tactic comes with some risk, depending on what kind of fight you start.
4. Target celebrities to share your content.
There is no better way to generate traffic than to get a celebrity to share your content, says Larry Kim, the founder of search marketer WordStream. Short of barraging Ashton Kutcher with tweets, Kim says you should try to connect with luminaries on topics that are of interest to them. He says Tim O'Reilly once shared a link on Google Plus for a WordStream article. Within hours, the article had 10,000 page views.
5. Make sure you're a registered webmaster.
Both Google and Bing offer admin sites where you can register as a webmaster. Jason Squardo, the managing director for ZOG Digital, says these accounts can alert you when these search engines are having problems crawling your content. Squardo also says to make sure there are links back to your site all around the Web. Using a press release service or posting to Stumble Upon helps search engines to know your company site is legit.