Time to get rid of those Old School SEO Concepts. Focused on Search keyword ranking? Forget it. Maximize inbound links? Careful — you could be penalized. Pack in the Search key phrases in posts and pages? Think again — you might be penalized. What’s happening? Simple. It’s not about Search that much anymore… we’re in a Social Environment now.
Why SEO = Social Environment Optimization. It is about optimizing social signals, that’s the simple argument I’m making and the recommendation I have for our clients. Our infographic, by MDGadvertising helps answer why — but instead of Search squaring off with Social — they should be shaking hands (they do team up at the end of the infographic — click to enlarge). The fight’s over, and Social wins. Wait, wait cry SEO’s everywhere — you still have to do good SEO. Ok. But are you optimizing for search ranking, or visibility and social signals? My answer: the right social connections are more important to your business than old school SEO.
How can Old School SEO be in decline? Let’s consider the following factors:
- You don’t see the same search results other people do. Translation? This makes simple “keyword ranking” irrelevant. Why? Because different posts, articles and pages will rank differently for each person depending on their search history, geo location, and social preferences.
- Smashing Magazine recently posted a new formula for SEO — Relevance + Substance + Shares = Visibility. Relevance is still key (goes to great Content), but notice the “Shares” part of the formula — you’re no longer “visible” if you aren’t social. Personally, I think this formula is missing what many SEO’s have always missed — the answer to “what does this mean to my bottom line?”TIP:Set your analytics up to track goal based indicators for your Social Media and Content Marketing efforts.
- Google+ — and Google itself, to a large extent — has morphed into a gigantic recommendation engine for sites (a social activity), content, and businesses online. Run a local company with a real street address? Look sharp — your old map business page where you got those recommendations that could propel you up the search return ladder is now merged with Google+.
- What does Social offer that SEO does not? Direct Connection. And this is another huge mistake I see many Content Marketers making by simply robo-pushing links to content out in social venues. That’s not authentic connection. That’s not social. Sure, I get it, it’s hard to find the time to concentrate on making real, valuable connections. But people buy from those they feel they know, so my advice is to watch your Analytics, and pick the primary social venue for concentration. Meet prospects and talk to them.
SEO is Dead — Long Live Social Environment Optimization
Webdirexion SEO Formula: Great Content + WordPress + Smart Research + Excellent SEO Plugin (we recommend Yoast WP-SEO) + Social Medal Marketing (with Authentic Connections) + PPC + New School SEO tactics = SEO (Social Environment Optimization)
Above is our Agency SEO formula for Webdirexion clients. It all begins with great content, and then you seek to leverage it via smart marketing. What about SEO is still “alive”? Some relevant, high quality links are still important, and tactics like optimizing for “long tail” are still solid, but in the end, Connection is what leads to business results. Isn’t that the way it’s always been? Yes. And now we have a growing and maturing set of social tools to facilitate these results.