Taming the Beast: Some Important SEO Questions Answered
TAMPA, FLORIDA—This is a post for all the newbies to the search engine optimization world.
I recently sought out other respected SEO firms and industry leaders in addition to Master Google to gain a clearer understanding of it. My most recent enlightening experience came from an October Q-and-A webinar with Rand Fishkin and Darmesh Shah. Now I’m sharing answers to the questions I found most helpful:
1. What are the top three things businesses are doing wrong regarding SEO?
For one, they aren’t using Master Google. Of course, they didn’t say this, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it!
At the top of the list is trying to discover the perfect algorithmic fit and focusing on it, as opposed to focusing on the customer’s wants and needs. This method may also be harmful since the past 30 to 40 Google updates have sought to fight it.
Your time would be better spent creating quality content that caters to your customers, Shah says.
Another mistake is targeting the most searched topics and keywords instead of focusing on a specific niche. Focused keywords have less competition and provide greater return.
Building links instead of earning them is number three on the list. Instead of paying sites for links or linking to useless domains, put great and insightful content on your site that people will share.
In SEO, content is king. Quality content must be created and that takes time and effort. There are no shortcuts.
2. What is the best way to measure the success of your SEO campaign?
If you’re a B2B company, your ranking means close to nothing if clicks aren’t translating to customers. It’s helpful to know which words you rank for and how those ranks hold up, but a better method is to determine business value. For example: search traffic led to this amount of customers who ended up spending this amount of money. It’s likely you’ll find that your investment has paid off like Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth, a Master Google client.
Peter Eisenhuth, who handles marketing for Dr. Eisenhuth’s practice, says they saw a 500 percent increase in new patient exams that were results of search traffic. He was so pleased with his results that he started a new practice and again hired Master Google to do the SEO.
This method is less accurate if you have a small business where word of mouth is a substantial contributor to customer flow. Randkin suggests using your contact or hours of operation page as a conversion, since typically only people who plan to visit a business care about its hours. This method isn’t perfect, but it gives you something to go on.
3. How important are blogs and their use of keywords?
Using keywords in blogs is still important. Randkin suggests writing a blog with good content and a catchy title, then searching for a relevant keyword that can be inserted with minor alterations.
Another thing he suggests is every other week, take a highly searched keyword or phrase and write a fabulous article that covers the topic “to a T.”
At Master Google, we use blog posts as a means for providing new, quality content for our customers on a regular basis. That’s why I found it odd that the amount of new blogs being developed on the Internet has dropped drastically. And with social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all sharing or linking to blogs, more people than ever are reading them.
This translates to less competition and more eyeballs. If you don’t have a blog, you are missing out on a great opportunity to build quality links.
If after this, you still feel like you’re drowning in a sea of misunderstanding, Master Google is always there to toss out a lifeline. When it comes to SEO, at Master Google, one man’s burden is another’s passion.