Traditional SEO Is No Longer Enough Is It?
Traditional SEO (search engine optimization) has been the way to attract free targeted traffic for years. The search engines are changing the rules we need to follow.
Search engine optimization has traditionally been broken down into 3 categories which are:
- your content.
- on page optimization.
- off page optimization.
The quality of your content has always played a role in the rankings you receive but how much of a role varies from time to time. Because of this, it’s important to write for your target audience instead of the search engines.
Stuffing keywords into the content just to inflate the keyword density might make sense for SEO but it doesn’t do anything to help your readers that are seeking solutions to a problem.
Using synonyms and terms that have meaning to your readers is smart. The search engines will see that you know your business and your readers won’t be turned off by poor quality content.
On Page Optimization
Too many webmasters fail to take advantage of the opportunities available to them to legitimately tell the search engines what their content is about. Some of the things they can do are:
- Create a Navigation Menu that is text based and easy to follow.
- Organize your content so visitors can easily find the information they want.
- Use images related to the content that are named as keywords.
- Use ALT text for your images.
- Use the appropriate keywords as hyperlink anchor text to tell the reader and search engines what the destination site is about.
- Use title tags on your hyperlinks. Search engine spiders and readers for the visually impaired will appreciate it.
- Link to related content on your site from within the post if appropriate.
- When it will help the reader understand something better, link out to an authority site on the subject.
- Create a visible sitemap for your visitors that is dynamically updated as new content is added.
- Create a dynamically updated XML sitemap.
- Create a robots.txt file.
- Keep all content within one or two clicks of the home page for the visitor.
Off Page Optimization
Off page optimization is referred to by most people as backlinks. Backlinks are viewed as votes that you are offering something of value to your visitors. Some of the ways you can create backlinks are:
- Write and distribute articles to article directories.
- Actively participate in forums related to your niche that allow signatures.
- Write articles for paid distribution services.
- Write and distribute press releases.
- Comment on blog posts or news articles in your niche.
- Write articles as a guest author for related blogs in your niche.
- Create useful videos relevant to your content and upload them to YouTube and other video sharing sites. Be sure to use keyword rich titles and link to your site at the very beginning of your video description.
- Share podcasts with valuable tips on podcast sites with links back to your site.
- Place free eBooks on eBook download sites that allow links to your site in your profile.
None of the traditional SEO methods listed above take the feelings of the reader into account in the ranking of your site.
The search engines are waking up to the fact that the people that use the internet are social animals that talk to each other about everything. This includes the websites, products and services that they like or dislike. This social interaction creates social proof that can help or hurt your business.
You need to acquire positive social proof if you want to blow past your competitors in the search engines. Some places you can become part of the conversation about your industry, and possibly your business, are:
- Social bookmark sites
- Niche specific forums
- Your site’s comments
If you run an offline business, you need everything above plus:
- Google Places
- Bing Places
- Yahoo Places
Mobile friendly websites help both online and offline businesses do better in the search engines. The reason mobile friendly sites are so important is your customers are moving away from their PCs. They are moving towards Wi-Fi enabled laptops, ipads and smartphones.
There are 5 times as many cellphones as there are computers and people keep them within 10 feet of them 24/7. 98 percent of the received messages are opened in the first 15 minutes of receipt.
Your market is mobile and they regularly use their phones to find social proof on products and services they are thinking about buying. This usually means they go to their friends on Twitter and Facebook before review sites or the company website.
If you are relying solely on traditional SEO, you will NOT have your business seen by people that are ready to buy because you do not have a web presence in their environment.
You can learn the basics of traditional SEO from sites like SEO Tips For Beginners and there are courses that will teach you about citations and getting the most out of the places pages like Google Places. If you are a do-it-yourself type person or plan on paying a friend, relative or student a few bucks to do your SEO work, please keep in mind that the SEO work needs to be ongoing on a consistent basis and the search engines are regularly tweaking their rules.
Search engine optimization for online and offline businesses should be built into your ongoing marketing budget. As a piece of your marketing plan, it deserves the same professional attention you give other aspects of your business. Ignore search engine optimization, perform it sporadically or rely on traditional SEO alone at your own risk. Contact my Help Desk if you are interested in professional services.
Last 5 posts in Search Engine Marketing (SEM/SEO)
- How To Win In Local Search - August 12th, 2017
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- 7 Questions You Need To Ask An SEO Firm Before Hiring Them - January 7th, 2017
- What Type Of SEO Should A Local Business Use? - July 2nd, 2016
- An SEO Strategy That Works For DIYers Part 2 - March 26th, 2016