In order to succeed online, you need to understand the industry you’re operating in. For many internet marketers, this means learning the ins and outs of an industry you might not be very familiar with. You need to know who is interested in the industry, what jargon they might use, the history of the industry and more.
All of that can become confusing and a “crash course” can quickly become a “crash and burn.” So we’ve developed a quick list to help keep you focused. When developing a new site, in any industry, run through this list of questions from time to time. They’ll help you stay focused on the larger picture:
Do You Have Quality Content?
Even if your site isn’t designed for long-term success, you still don’t want to write for the search engines. Create content with real users in mind. The type of content you choose helps signal that you’re writing for human beings. Publish helpful guides and info about popular industry topics.
If you have to choose between interesting content and keywords, choose interesting content. Check out this thread on BHW where a user reviewed/tested all of the content providers. It will give you a quite detailed idea on a bunch of providers and their quality baseline.
Is Your Site Fast Loading?
Google likes fast-loading sites. More importantly, Google penalizes the slowest loading sites in an industry. If you can’t load faster than everyone, then at least load at the same average rate as your competitors. Here are some tips on how to optimize your site: SEOlutions Guide: Perfecting Site Setup & On-Page Optimization
Is Your Site Optimized for All Types of Search?
Three months into the year and search has taken some interesting new turns. From now on, you’ll likely want to develop your sites for both voice and tappable search.
Google’s new Shortcuts in Search allows one-button searching for a variety of topics. Many of these locations lend themselves to local, mobile search. If you’re optimizing for a local business such as a restaurant or retail store, don’t forget about non-text-based search.
Does Your Site Have Responsive Design?
There are too many screen sizes and devices to plan for every variation. Instead, you’ll need responsive design. This is a design structure where your site automatically adjusts to the user’s needs and viewing method. Google doesn’t just prefer responsive design; they’ll teach you how to do it.
Remember to sign out of your search profile. Sometimes the preferences of your browser settings can impact how your site appears.
Did You Tag All Your Images?
Don’t forget your alt tags. Google can’t see any images you upload. They can only read the alt text. According to a Google Group discussion which marketers have sworn by for years, Google uses the alt text to help determine what your page is about, which can influence your ranking. You want to be as descriptive as possible with your alt text – and you want to include alt text with every image.
Can You Update or Repurpose Any Content?
Get a bit more mileage out of your research by strategically reusing your content. Simply changing up the format is simple and effective. Use a popular blog post as the script for a podcast. Turn a webinar into a polished e-book.
You’ll also want to update annual material. Maybe you have a how-to guide related to a season. You can update the guide with new info and re-publish. If the guide already has backlinks, contact those sites and alert them to the new, improved edition.
Are You Using Social Platforms?
Keeping up with social platforms can fall to the wayside for many marketers. You’ll want to maintain a presence on Facebook and Twitter. But different industries sometimes naturally take off on other social media platforms.
Have you explored all of your social media options? Here’s a quick guide on how certain industries can thrive on Pinterest, Instagram and more.
Are Your Promoting Your Site’s Unique Nature?
Your product or service isn’t always going to be original. You might find yourself in a space with a lot of competition and not much distinction. That’s okay – every business has something unique.
If you’re working with clients, focus on their unique story. If you’re developing your own sites as part of a larger marketing plan, create a unique angle for your brand.
Many internet marketers deal with multiple industries. While industry know-how is important, don’t become bogged down in details. The eight questions above are a quick, easy way to make sure you’re implementing the right blend of industry specifics with solid optimization strategies.