Train Your SEO Team to Leverage These Lesser-Used Yet Powerful Tactics

Do you want to improve your Rankings? Focus on SEO tactics that are Powerful but often Overlooked. Read further to learn more.

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The pandemic has pushed the world into a new VUCA world, an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. This has impacted most industry segments including the search marketing industry which has experienced a major change in user and search behavior.

Search engines, especially Google, have always been quick to respond to such changes. Hence, to perform better in the SERPs, SEOs across the globe have to keep pace with the updates and adapt their strategies accordingly. Moreover, they need to make sure that each member of the search marketing team is on the same page when implementing these tactics.

Being a solo SEO professional is different from having a full-fledged search marketing team. When you have a team that supports you with your SEO efforts, you need to have a systematic training strategy in place. This will help your team align their responsibilities with the objectives and the standard procedures used.

The fundamentals of SEO remain the same. For instance, every search marketing team should continue to focus on creating stellar content, building a strong backlink profile, and improving the user experience across the website. In fact, these tactics are all over the internet and often overused by most search marketers.

In this post, we have shared a few lesser-known, yet effective SEO tactics every SEO expert should focus on. Get your team together and train them on these aspects of search engine optimization to see better results for yourself and your clients.

Later in the post, we have also enlisted the platforms you can use to effectively train your SEO team, thus boosting team productivity and performance.

1. Prioritize Topic Clusters over Keywords

As all of us are aware, Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving. Today Google’s objective is to understand the user intent behind a search query. It is constantly trying to analyze what they expect, what they’re looking for, and offer the most relevant and useful answer to their query.

That’s why it introduced featured snippets.

Google Featured Snippet Example

However, when producing content, it’s critical to not just focus on the keywords but also on the context or the user intent around them. Encourage your SEO team to consider the following tips when working on a keyword strategy.

Know What the Target Audience Expects

Train your team to research the target audience and know more about them. For instance, to create relevant content, they should know the readers by their location, age, interests, and buying behavior.

Prepare a buyer persona defining the precise traits of your ideal customer. This will help you zero down on the probable topics that might interest them. An ideal buyer persona should answer the following questions.

  • What are the customer pain points?
  • What else do they want to learn about to ensure their success or the success of their business?
  • Where do they go to find and consume content?
  • What content can you create to serve their needs at every phase of the sales funnel?

Follow the Topic Cluster Model

Topic Cluster Model

The topic cluster model by HubSpot encourages content marketers to link relevant content pieces into clusters. Using this tactic will help you satisfy user intent, improve your ranking, and transform your website into a great resource.

As per this model, the website should have –

  • Pillar pages – These are the most important pages of a website that carry critical information. You would want these pages to rank for a variety of keywords.

For instance, an eCommerce website would want its main product categories to be the pillar pages.

  • Cluster pages – These pages exist around and are linked to the pillar pages. They carry detailed information related to the pillar pages.

So, if the eCommerce site has a pillar page related to fitness equipment, the cluster pages could be related to –

  • Fitness equipment for home gyms.
  • Fitness equipment for men.
  • Fitness equipment for women.

Don’t Forget That Keywords Still Matter

Yes, we told you to prioritize topic clusters over keywords. But that doesn’t mean we ignore keywords completely. Keywords are the signals that Google’s bots use to get hints about the content.

So, make sure your SEO team has access to keyword research tools like Keyword Explorer by Moz, SEMrush, or Ahrefs that can help them brainstorm keywords and build a list of the most relevant keywords.

By encouraging your team to do keyword research you can determine who is searching for the topics you are writing about and the other types of content that can be created to meet their expectations and answer their queries.

A useful tip is to write down the ideas and comments using an online whiteboard tool.

2. Offer Fresh Content for Relevant Queries

In the wake of the pandemic, Google’s ranking factor called Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) has gained prominence. Though the QDF was launched in 2007 (and updated in 2011), it’s quite active today as it analyzes the search patterns to detect when users are accessing current information and when they aren’t accessing it. Thus, the objective of QDF is to reorganize the result pages so that they give priority to those that fit the most recent search intention.

Google tags certain queries as those that deserve fresh content. Content freshness matters for some types of queries. For instance, if you look for ‘Google’s ranking factors,’ you’ll see a date mentioned, indicating when the content was last updated. That’s because the ranking factors keep changing over time and Google expects fresh and updated content for this query.

Fresh content

On the other hand, if you look for something like ‘what is IP address,’ Google will not care when the page was last updated as the definition of IP address will not change. So, the content created for this query will remain evergreen.

Evergreen content

Train your team to research all the keywords you are ranking for and classify them into fresh and evergreen. Alternatively, you can count on an SEO agency to help you craft fresh content for relevant queries.

Regardless of your choice, make sure to update the fresh keyword content such that the last updated date is visible to the searchers and Google.

Check out how The Raven Blog, offering SEO tips for digital marketers, makes sure that the last updated date is visible. Doing so will boost the CTR and the chances of them ranking high in the SERPs.

Show update date blog articles

3. Leverage YouTube SEO

If Google is the ‘Queen of the Search World,’ YouTube is the princess! YouTube is the second largest search engine with over 2 billion monthly active users watching more than 1 billion hours of video each day. It is the second most popular social channel. Hence, videos from YouTube are a popular feature in the SERPs.

Train your team to take advantage of YouTube SEO. Consider these quick tips.

Make Your Website Videos SEO-Friendly

YouTube’s algorithm works by collecting information from the video. So, make sure your video has an SEO-friendly title and description that tells YouTube’s spiders exactly what your video is about.

Check out this video title. It does not just carry the relevant broad target keywords but is also clickable because it has 5+ words.

video title example

Similarly, check out the video description for this video by Eric Siu.

Video description example

It clearly describes what the video is about while throwing in some target keywords.

Add a Custom Thumbnail

Optimize your video with an enticing thumbnail. This will boost its click-through rate (CTR) and improve its ranking. A great thumbnail should carry a compelling image that tells the viewer what your video is about.

Notice the thumbnails of the top-performing videos for the term ‘how to get backlinks.’

Custom thumbnail example

Create a Playlist

If you share video content on a broad subject, it’s wise to break them down into a series of videos, called playlists. This will encourage viewers to follow the videos one after another and stay on your channel.

Playlist example

Check out Brian Dean’s YouTube channel. Creating playlists allows him to entice viewers to return to his channel and position his video content higher in the search result pages.

4. Don’t Forget about Niche Communities

Besides using search engines, searchers turn to community sites, such as Reddit, and Quora, and other niche platforms to find answers to their queries.

For instance, if a person wants to know more about ‘influencer marketing,’ they may head to Reddit and post their question. This query is now publicly available and open for anyone to answer.

Also, because of their relevance and authority, these questions rank high in the SERPs. Hence, responding to these questions can significantly improve your authority. And if you strategically place a link to your website, you can increase the traffic and get a prominent ranking for your site.

So, if you look for questions related to ‘keyword research’ on Quora or a niche platform like GrowthHackers, you’ll see a few that aren’t answered satisfactorily or have received fewer responses.

keyword research platforms

Target such questions and craft a well-written response that answers the question. Try to add a natural link back to your website. This will not just improve your authority in the domain but also help drive traffic to your website.

5. Add Meta Tags allows webmasters to add relevant metadata to pages. This helps Google’s bots spot things like product ratings and reviews, the price range, and other information a business would want to be highlighted in the SERPs.

Schema Google Results Examples

The way your or your client’s site appears in the SERPs impacts the CTR and traffic to your website. Adding guides search engines on how to index your content accurately by offering critical information about the business. Further, your search result appears visually striking in the SERP. This improves the CTR and the traffic to a website.

Though adding will not directly affect your ranking, it helps websites receive more attention from actual users, persuading them to click on your website.

Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to implement Schema markup on a website.

Structured Data Markup Helper

Before We Conclude: Decide What SEO Training Platform You’ll Use

When building a strong SEO team, it’s critical to provide them with systematic training that’s tailored to their experience level. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here.

You can use a variety of methods to train your team on SEO best practices. Given the current situation, in all probability, your SEO team is working remotely. Consider using live training sessions, online courses, or stringing together the existing documentation to update your team on the recent advances in the SEO world.

Digital adoption platforms (DAP) can go a long way in offering a top-notch learning experience for your remote SEO team. These platforms can automate the training process and offer comprehensive in-app training with custom guidance workflows.

DAP overcomes many of the shortcomings of traditional software training. For instance, it allows you to conduct training programs that fit into the schedule of your geographically dispersed SEO workforce.

Moreover, it allows experiential learning and helps the team retain the knowledge acquired. That’s because it allows people to learn within the software while working on it, thus engaging their memory and accelerating learning. It also imparts learning through interactive walkthroughs, a perfect way to help employees learn about how the software works.

Invest in a digital adoption platform that can train your SEO team for the skills needed to improve website performance. Also, they should have access to all the relevant information, documents, and resources they might need to work efficiently.

A few platforms can facilitate self-paced learning and offer guided walkthroughs and multi-format training content for employees. They provide step-by-step guided instructions, boost employee efficiency, reduce the time to train, and improve the overall team productivity.

Finally, regardless of the platform you choose, don’t forget to establish evaluation and accountability. Use non-graded tests and quizzes to reinforce the learning and understand how much has been learned. Moreover, encourage your team to apply the learning to the projects they handle.

For instance, if they have recently learned about keyword research, ask them to look for ten new and relevant keywords that can help your business rank better.

Summing Up 

SEO teams need to keep pace with the frequent updates in the domain. Though the fundamentals of SEO will always remain the same, the tactics adopted to make a website SEO-friendly keep changing.

In such a scenario, it helps if each member of the team is updated with the changes and knows what strategy one must adopt to rank high in the SERPs. Hence, it’s crucial to train your team on the common as well as the lesser-known SEO tactics.

We recommend training your SEO team to implement the underused strategies shared in this post. This will help you acquire some extra SEO juice for your and your client’s websites.

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