Recently I have been going to a few events in the Australian market, at every event which has an SEO component I always see people asking the same question or making the same statement that “SEO is dead, content marketing is the way” or “SEO is dead social media is the way of the future”. that been said every time I log onto Facebook I am heavily targeted by “SEO is dead” advertising like this:
Whilst I agree that SEO has changes over the years I believe people need to be more educated with SEO, gone of the days or low quality scraped content website with corner cutting SEO, the SEO that will work in today’s market is high quality SEO which has a technical element.
To prove the skeptics that SEO is not dead in 2013, I have put together a small case study with some example form a client in the SME space I have worked with over the last year.
So around a year ago a mutual business contact who runs quite a large website contacted us for some SEO assistance. The current agency they were using was not providing the results they were hoping for any more and they were also concerned that they were not receiving monthly link building reports and having 100% transparency in the work in which was been completed, there were some concerns to the websites SEO strategy moving forward.
We started consulting with the client to help them fix the ways of their current SEO strategy and to implement a more advanced SEO strategy moving forward.
10 key elements we implemented on this project to yield positive SEO results and to increase traffic by over 400,000 unique visitors a month (comparing January 2012 and January 2013) were:
Strategy 1. Provide a full analysis of the current link profile using:
(1) Majestic SEO – www.majesticseo.com
(2) Google Webmaster Tools www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
(3) Open site explorer opensiteexplorer.org – this stage in the process allowed us to identify the links which were not natural and were from low quality locations online.
Strategy 2. Removing links from link networks which were pointing to the client – many people do direct to webmasters of link networks to remove link networks we consulted with the client to work out who the prior agencies were and to go direct to the agency to have the link network taken down, I would not advise any to use a link network as it can be a sure fire way to destroy you link building strategy.
Strategy 3. Removing other dodgy links which involved a general link clean up, you might have to run link detox software on the site www.linkdetox.com if you consider the link profile to be large, in the case of the site we were dealing with it was quite an extensive link profile. As the disavow tool https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1 was not available when we needed to remove these links we had the links removed by contacting webmasters directly, my advice in this process is to use a girl’s name on the email when you contact webmasters they are usually males who will warm to the chance that a girl has emailed them, believe me I have tested this methodology numerous times over the years.
Strategy 4. Implementing better link building targeting 20% targeting the home page and 80% targeting lower level sub pages and sub category sections on the website with anchor text targeting brand heavily. Too many SEO’s only focus on driving links to the home page you need to build your link building strategy around diversification to lower sub level pages.
Strategy 5. Further link building from government, social, higher quality PR, outreach and also blogging.
High quality link building takes time, this is why outreach and building quality personas for your niche is crucial, If you obtain one high quality government link it can be the same value as building say 50 lower value links, hence the time invested in focusing on quality far out weights low quality.
Strategy 6. Looking at the current PPC strategy the client was using and finding opportunities from the PPC front which can be utilized for SEO. PPC should be one of your strongest areas for collecting keyword data which can be used for your SEO research. Also you can take a top series of PPC converting pages and created SEO based landing pages for these terms.
Strategy 7. Implementing mark ups onto the site such as Google Rel=Author, don’t get me wrong the correct mark ups can work very effectively in driving additional traffic, especially if you are using a blog where many of the authors have 100’s if not 1000’s of pre-existing posts. Implementing a large scale Rel=Author set up can work very well. Another important element is also implementing price and rating information an example can be seen below:
Strategy 8. Cleaning up many elements of the site architecture is also another highly important area, when you do a large scale piece of keyword research for a website also remember to implement sections of the keyword research in the sites navigation. Also look for articles on the website which are highly popular and cross promote content internally on the website. Internal structure of websites is still highly important and if you are not
Strategy 9. Working with the content team to effectively implement a further content strategy.
Content strategy is huge and if you are not investing considerable time into working with a content team you are missing it out, ideally each month you need to meet with the content team at least twice to talk about content ideas you wish to implement on the website in the near future. I would build a content calendar and look for upcoming events and also holidays. For example you can build content around all the popular holidays and events such as: Valentine’s Day/ Easter/ Christmas or even any sporting events such as the World Cup. Also look at other competitors in your market see what they are doing which is working effectively and implement a similar strategy. Another important point when developing your content strategy is to join it back up with your SEO efforts.
Strategy 10. Working to make some on site tweaks and fixes with the developers.
Working with the development team is also a huge part of fixing up a website, after you complete a comprehensive website audit you are going to need to work with your developers to get changes implemented, if you do not have a good relation with the developers changes may take a while to be implemented on the site so always remember to keep the developers on your good side.
These 10 changes were just a small section of a wider range of fixes and strategy which was completed for the website, overall many things were done.
The result of the ongoing high quality SEO services provided by my team yielded:
So as you can see from the above analytic’s analysis that SEO is far from dead, and if you employ a high quality strategy and high quality methods it is not going to be dead for many years to come.