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Sep

22

2015

AFTERTHOUGHTS: Our Inbound ’15 reflections – Day 1: The Changing Face of SEO

Inbound Marketing

SEO, search engine optimization, inbound '15

Per an Awesome client of ours, interaction is key to learning and implementing in a business. Attending a conference can be great—there’s lot of cool information, you feel invigorated and awestruck, ready to learn, absorb, and change— only to return home and fall back into your routine without implementing a single thing you learned!

Well, we at Mojo don’t plan on doing that.

With this knowledge in our mind, we’ve decided to take the time and reflect on what we learned and summarize that information not only to help our friends, followers, and clients learn, but to help ourselves retain and implement in our agency as well.

Without further ado—here’s our first reflection:

The Changing Face of SEO – And how to keep up! 

The land of search engine optimization is a mystery for many, with people relying on tricks and trends to improve their SEO game. Unfortunately for them, these are not a failsafe method to get a better ranking. There are many myths about the world of SEO, most of which leave the marketer feeling powerless in their ability to control their search results. 

Not only are most of these not true, but understanding why they’re not true can largely influence the way you approach both your search engine optimization and the way you handle your inbound marketing. With that in mind, here are the myths of SEO we learned, why they’re wrong, and how we at Mojo intend to improve on them.

The Big Myths of Search Engine Marketing

Myth 1: The Search Engines Will Figure It Out

Myth 2: More Content is Better

Myth 3: Link Building is Dead

Myth 4: We want to Rank #1 for X Keyword

Myth 5: We did SEO once and it didn’t work!

In search engine optimization, much focus is spent on the search algorithms. Google is constantly changing the way it measures and configures search results, and never publishes straightforward guidelines on what these changes are beyond a teaser here or there. Many users assume that with Google’s crawling and data-mining abilities, these algorithm updates will account for their own changes and still work for their site. They assume their content will resonate on Google because it has the right keywords and the page has been optimized. And they assume they can do all this purely organically by just posting.

Sorry to burst your bubble, world, but this is not the case. Google is less focused on the marketer than it is on aiding the searcher. If you’re not helping the searcher find you, Google sure won’t help either.

Instead, we as marketers need to focus on what we know works. A simple look at your own analytics will show that anywhere between 80-90% of all blog traffic will come from only 10-20% of published posts. Why is that? Because there are many more factors to SEO than just keyword search these days! Inbound links, social shares and click-throughs are all important and overlooked factors in SEO ranking, and this could easily change any day.

Now, we all know that Google will penalize for certain things such as poor link building and keyword stuffing, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon these items altogether. With the focus on keywords for so long, there’s an assumption that the appropriate keywords will make the ultimate difference in ranking, and help you reach the top of the search results. But search has become a composite of a large number of things beyond JUST keywords, and the internet has become so large and search ranking so competitive, that it’s less about the traffic numbers and more about the quality of that traffic.

In addition, just because you’ve created changes in SEO strategy, doesn’t mean you’ll see a difference overnight. Google’s algorithms require page crawls, which take time. You can certainly help Google along—use Webmaster Tools to submit a site map, submit changed pages, and improve your overall UX to improve your ranking. And keep track of any changes Google makes to their algorithms: the move to include mobile optimization in algorithms was announced months ahead of implementation, but that didn’t keep many people from procrastinating on making their site mobile friendly. Those who were on top of things benefitted from rank improvements, while the dawdlers were left lamenting their ranking changes.

So how do you account for these changes, be they known or unknown? STAY ON TOP OF THINGS. Be empathetic to the searcher—any searcher—they may be your user. Be aware of good content—know what resonates in your field. Be social—it’s not enough just to post your content, you have to engage, too. And perhaps most of all—be a marketer! It’s not enough to produce the content, you have to show it off to the world as well! 

How do we at Mojo plan to solve this problem?

As with all other things, true change will take time, but there are a few preliminary steps that can be taken. 

First—create social streams in HubSpot based on the content you know is resonating. See someone with a query related to your content—engage! An average of 500 million tweets are sent daily! So it’s unlikely a searcher will find your blog just by scouring Twitter. Instead, you need to go out there and find them. 

Second—build relationships with others in your field. See a fellow blogger that you like with a strong following? Propose a mutually beneficial relationship. Let them guest blog for you, or guest blog for them, and encourage linking! This will help both parties establish authority in the search world, and allow for better visibility!

And third, leverage what already exists. See a blog post that keeps getting comments and views despite being years old? Repurpose and repost. It’s less about being new and more about being relevant, and that relevance can make all the difference in getting you new visitors and subscribers.

This is part one of a series to spread the learning from Inbound ’15 and implement positive changes in our agency. Stay tuned for more!

 

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