Are You Getting These SEO Fundamentals Right?
Millions of ardent fans were shocked when Argentina crashed out in the quarter-finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. They didn’t lose on field goals against Germany, but in a dramatic penalty shootout. The brutal post-match analysis forced Jose Pekerman’s resignation as national coach.
Because fans and experts alike blamed him for leaving their star striker Lionel Messi on the bench! It proved a deadly — and costly — strategic mistake.
But… What has that got to do with SEO? Surprisingly, a lot.
Refine Your SEO Strategy
SEO specialists are often forced into a similar strategy — and leave their winning play-makers on the bench. With new tactics cropping up every day, it’s easy to overlook the importance of traditional on-site SEO, and lose focus on what works.
It irritates many SEO consultants when clients clamor for the “newest, latest, coolest” techniques. There’s nothing wrong per se with using cutting edge tactics to dominate search results, but often these demands come at the cost of tested, proven methods that are effective!
That’s why it’s worth taking the time to work through this checklist, and make sure that you’re getting these SEO fundamentals right.
1. Retain Your Focus on Revenue and Profit
For any online business, revenue matters — as does profit. On-site SEO was never more important in generating both. Use it to target your market on a granular, individual level.
Social media marketing has become ubiquitous, and its synergy with SEO can be remarkably powerful.
But, that doesn’t mean social media is a substitute for all other forms of traditional SEO. Neither does article marketing always take a back-seat to audience building.
Blog authorship won’t replace link building in an attempt to stay on top of Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Anything that boosts revenue and profit is worth trying and improving.
2. Beware The Lure of Shiny New Things
Everything you publish online is indexed. Your customers find your content on search engines, and what they see influences buying decisions. Organic search results deliver bottom-line results to every business. That’s why you shouldn’t put SEO fundamentals on the back-burner while you chase after new untested techniques.
3. Your SEO Strategy Is Constantly Changing
The playing field is always shifting. Google ranks websites on the basis of nearly 200 factors. The algorithm changes every day, 500 to 600 times each year. So your SEO strategy must keep on evolving, adapting, improving.
Social media, client communication and other marketing technologies are vital to any campaign. But I don’t see every new arrival as a substitute to what already works.
“New SEO” is a myth. A distraction. It leads to a dilution in focus. Your winning strategy must embrace novel methods, and incorporate them into your overall marketing mix.
It’s dangerous to under-estimate the importance of social media for marketing. That’s why many SEO consultants are working hard to master the use of social networks. Social media is profitable. It should be an integral part of your marketing campaigns.
The secret is to line up everything together correctly, and not to blindly slash budgets from other areas of marketing and SEO to focus exclusively on social media.
4. Embrace the ‘New’, But Keep What’s Working
Exciting new developments and technologies offer opportunities to grow your customer base and boost revenue. But many business owners blindly hop aboard bandwagons, dumping “old, traditional stuff” to fall in love with “cool” marketing techniques.
That’s not wise strategy. Neither is blindly layering newer models over existing approaches. Getting the balance right is critical.
5. Focus, Focus, Focus
You must try to create order from chaos. Having a knee-jerk reaction every time Google tweaks an algorithm, or Facebook adds a feature, or Twitter launches a tool can make it appear as if your SEO efforts lack a cohesive strategy.
Just as you don’t learn to shoot by stepping into a gallery and firing at random, your SEO and marketing campaigns must be pointed right at your biggest goals.
6. Are All Your Marketing Eggs In An SEO Basket?
They shouldn’t be! Though one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing, SEO isn’t a universal solution. That’s why you must create a diversified arsenal of marketing weapons to win the war against your competition for more targeted traffic.
Along with social media, email marketing, customer relationship building and loyalty programs, SEO can help you communicate better and collaborate more effectively with buyers, partners, investors, journalists and other stakeholders.
7. Information Architecture Isn’t Just Cosmetic
It’s also structural.
Good SEO improves your information architecture and website/URL structure. Using a well structured content layout, you can leverage synergies within your network. If your budget is limited, you’re better off using it to strengthen your base. On-site SEO will serve like reliable bedrock for your Web business.
8. Better Structure Leads To More Inbound Links
Not only does good website architecture win you deeper links, it also boosts your chances of being linked to, tweeted, or mentioned on forum posts about that topic, such as a “Top 10 Wall stickers” list, for instance.
By getting deep links to the right place with your ideal target keywords in the anchor text, you’ll secure the highest SEO advantage for your website and content.
9. Reel In Search Engines With The Perfect Bait
By ranking a URL when people search for [Wall stickers], you’ll help search engines deliver a good user experience. Ensure that the context is right, and that only related pages are linked from inside the silo and you’ll enhance content relevance within the silo.
This adds value to each section of your site, without having them compete internally for search results. Crawling and indexing by search spiders also happens very smoothly.
10. Get Deep, Powerful Links
With a strong, well-planned information architecture, you can attract powerful deep links. Take a furniture store, for example. Many bloggers write about home interiors. Your ideal customers read their blogs, follow their tweets, and share their recommendations on Facebook. These bloggers will happily link to relevant internal page content on your site – because it adds value to their audience.
11. Organize Your Content
Do this in a way that you’ll leverage social networks to boost your SEO. Instead of dropping all your material into the root directory of your website, you can set up a category for [interiors], with sub-categories for niche divisions within it.
This way it’s easier for bloggers to link directly to your /interior/wallstickers/ URL, making it more valuable for their readers. On-site SEO strengthens and adds value to your social activities. It gives your marketing campaign longevity and greater effectiveness. You become more interesting, linkable, shareable and likeable to your prospects, bloggers, journalists and partners.
Remember To Focus On SEO Fundamentals
Integrating your diverse marketing efforts together will help you carve out a larger slice of your niche market, and let you enjoy the revenue boost that will follow naturally. This becomes easy when you focus on the basics, and adopt proven SEO fundamentals that have passed the acid test of time.
Edgy marketing is exciting, but risky. Conventional approaches are relatively boring, but rewarding.
You can benefit from both. Just make sure you don’t lose focus. If you do, you’ll lose control.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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