A Significant Portion of Search Traffic May Be Falsely Hidden in “Direct” Groupon’s experiment showing up to 60% of traffic reported as “direct” may be organic search
So… How do these changes affect which tactics we can still pursue vs. those we must leave behind?
Great SEO Is No Longer Just “SEO” Links Keywords SEO in 2004 Crawl Rankings
Great SEO Is No Longer Just “SEO” Webspam Design & UX Keywords Mobile Rankings Press & PR Links CX SEO in 2014 Crawl Email Social Accessibility Content Localization Speed Internationalization
Our Job: Choose the Tactics that Marry Our Strengths to Our Opportunities
No tactic will be right for everyone. But, awareness of our potential arsenal is essential.
Tactics to Leave Behind vs. Tactics to Embrace for the Future:
AdWords-Only Discovery Leave It Behind
AdWords + Suggest + Customer Data Many queries with 100s or 1000s of monthly searches don’t show up in AdWords but will show up here.
This tool makes the process easier. My favorite tool for keyword suggest research: Keywordtool.io
Popular questions, phrases, and terms that your audience uses in web forums/social media are excellent sources of keyword data expansion
Create & Scale Keyword-Targeted Pages of “Good, Unique Content”
This is a LONG page from Angie’s List that ranks #1 for “Best Plumbers in Medford, OR”
This is the ONLY “unique content” on that page
Think you can build pages like that and rank? You’re dreaming!
Create & Scale Keyword-Targeted Pages of “Good, Unique Content” Leave It Behind
Modern Criteria for Content: One-of-a-Kind – doesn’t appear elsewhere on the web Relevant – contains content the engines can interpret as on- the-topic to the searcher’s intent & phrasing Helpful – resolves the searcher’s query in a useful, efficient manner Uniquely Valuable – provides information that’s unavailable (or hard to get) elsewhere Great UX– is easy & pleasurable to consume on any device
A Great Example from Genius.com
Accurate, readable lyrics One click to play Data re: popularity & activity Uniquely valuable A community of annotations contributors
Acquire Links Via Directories, Forums, Account Profiles, etc.
Acquire Links Via Directories, Forums, Account Profiles, etc. Leave It Behind
Acquire Links w/ Off-Topic Infographics & Embeds
Acquire Links w/ Off-Topic Infographics & Embeds Leave It Behind
Acquire Links By Scaling Up Guest Posting & Commenting
Acquire Links By Scaling Up Guest Posting & Commenting Leave It Behind
Google doesn’t want to count links The Truth: you can “build.”
Google only wants to count links you The Truth: editorially “earn.”
Instead, Build Relationships My haircut place built a relationship & partnered with a local sex toy shop – now both get more branding, exposure, customers, & links!* *partnering with nearby sex toy shops may not be the perfect bizdev action for everyone
Use Content to Drive Editorial Links
Aim for Resource Pages & Blogrolls
Buy Exposure that Leads to Links (not the links themselves)
Rules for Content Investments: Strategic & Relevant– the content must tie to business goals and fit with your branding Targets Likely Amplifiers – there should be an obvious answer to the question “who wil help spread this content and why?” Cannot Be Fire & Forget– most content wil fail; you need to be wil ing to invest longer and harder than the competition to find success
Need Inspiration? Check out Buzzsumo Buzzsumo – my favorite tool for researching the competitive content landscape
Traffic & Performance by Keyword Pre-2012 Post-2012
Traffic & Performance by Keyword Leave It Behind Pre-2012 Post-2012
Instead, Measure Search Traffic Performance by Page (or Section) Observing the pages that receive search visits can get close to the old keyword-based performance reports.
And/Or Use Estimates in SEO Software Packages If you use a tool like Conductor, Searchmetrics, or Moz Analytics, you can see predictions for KWs sending traffic to given pages
Attribution Models This is how most companies (& software packages) do web analytics by default
Attribution Models This is how most companies (& software Leave It Behind packages) do web analytics by default
Attribution Models A model something like this makes far more sense.
Pro Tip: Note which channels are frequently part of your overall conversion process Many times, these contain channels that can’t be tracked, and you’ll only miss them if you stop investing
The Best ROI Often Comes from Non- Measurable, Serendipitous Marketing
SEO is getting harder
But, that high barrier to entry means greater opportunity for those who succeed.