One of our service focuses at Webdirexion is SEO, and as Google’s formula is constantly revised, and the Social factor comes into play more heavily, “traditional” SEO is morphing before our eyes. This is the first in a series of posts that Julie Hume and I will write to help provide insights for you. Below I will give you some tips on what SEO is (and isn’t), followed by five tips and trends.
Traps: There’s been a lot of hype, fluff, and chicanery over the last five years or so when it comes to SEO. I know of more than one business person who was fooled into paying around a thousand dollars a month for “SEO” to get their key terms listed on the first page of Google returns, only to learn that the company did that via a site only the external company owned and controlled — then redirected traffic to their site — for as long as they paid the bill. Turn off the money faucet, and the company turns off the traffic, which is really all they were buying. That’s not true SEO.
What about ranking high for search terms you think are right for your business? Don’t fall into the “we’ll get you to the top of search for any 3 keywords,” trap. First of all, what keywords you think are best, may not bring targeted customers that actually want your specific services and products — you to optimize for key phrases they actually use. Second, there’s a far better strategy to deploy — “long tail” SEO, where you go after 3-4 word phrases that serious searchers use — we’ll do a longer post on that later.
Techniques: Real SEO is work done On-Site (we custom configure via a couple of WordPress plugins, after essential research is completed), Off-Site for links direct to your site (not a separate website), and with an intense local SEO focus for local “brick and mortar” businesses. And it takes time and skills in programming, marketing, negotiating, and public relations. Public relations? Yep. Often the best method of getting your news and prompting valuable links to your site is via a well-written press release sent to cultivated contacts with professional follow up. Then there’s the tactic of “link bait” posts — writing well structured, compelling and valuable posts on your site that people would want to link to in the first place.
5 SEO Tips, and Trends
- Your most valuable “back links” may not come from SEO! Guess what — not only are email promotions not dead, but when you use a strategy to include a link back to your site from key allies — say a Builder’s Association that you cut a deal with to link back to your HVAC site in their email alerts — it cannot be perceived by your competition. Why is that important? Because when your competition takes SEO aim at you they are going to ferret out what highly relevant sites link to your pages and go for links from the same site. But they can’t tell if you are in allied emails, and often emails will convert visitors to paying customers better.
- Why PPC may be the best bet to launch your SEO campaign. PPC — Pay Per Click ads? Yes. PPC adds a number of strengths to your mix, including the ability to review and test more immediate keywords and phrases being typed in by your prospects. These ads, on Google, LinkedIn and Facebook, also offer the ability to test for best value proposition wording in headlines, and set “conversion codes” in your site pages so you can find out which key phrases actually ended up with more contact form leads. Then, you can factor what you learned into your general SEO efforts which take much longer to deploy. Imagine going after keywords and phrases you know will convert!
- You need a good review strategy for Brick and Mortar Businesses. Google returns Google maps showing related local businesses in certain industries, like law firms, alarm companies, and heating and cooling providers. Then, they rank how far up the page you are by recency and strength of your customer reviews — and this includes other local directories in the formula. Have a plan in place to get good reviews in key directories.
- SEO now includes Social Media more than ever. Did you know that tweeting cuts indexing time by 50%, and reduces the time for the googlebot to find your content from hours to seconds? In one phrase — “social signals” — Google and Bing and other search engines have captured an increasingly important part of their ranking formula. What is your Social Media strategy?
- Good SEO take six months at least, and it’s not cheap. We get a lot of questions about why it takes months for SEO to work and why it costs so much. Done correctly it involves on-site, off-site, and often local techniques that require a mix of programming, marketing communication, and negotiation skills for tactics totaling up to a number of hours per week. Then, since all search engines are increasingly factoring in “social signals”, you need to add skilled social media marketing to the mix. And a good SEO campaign requires savvy Public Relations skills and press release writing. This totals up to several people working in a coordinated way that supports your Content Marketing strategy over a period of several months.
Watch a slideshow on the » Webdirexion focus points for your smart SEO campaigns.