Every year something in SEO dies and several new things are born. The biggest change we’ve seen in years is the way links are built and calculated by Google.
It’s no longer as effective to just get links back to your site. You can blame Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and the rest of the farm for the animal that is SEO.
For years we’ve emailed webmasters of relevant sites and asked for links. We’ve submitted sites to directories, niche search engines, connected social networks together, and just about everything under the sun.
Ok, well it still works for building links, but it’s more of a waste of time than other tactics that aren’t focused on link building.
While many clients come to us burning for help with SEO and completely befuddled by the torrent of changes occurring almost monthly in search, some companies are doing a great job by accident.
The simplest way possible, the old Gold Standard in SEO. Ready for it?
They’re creating great stuff and sharing it with “sneezers”.
If you haven’t paid attention to the dead horse beatings lately, the key to great SEO is useful, valuable, interesting content shared on networks where the most-likely-to-share audience (sneezers) resides. The content can be blog articles, infographics, reports, videos, photos, etc. Anything that can be shared online.
Once on your site, steer people from this top-of-the-funnel entry into your deeper conversion elements through Content Marketing. Make free offers giving away awesome content and items in exchange for communication rights, email subscriptions, social network followers, etc.
What happens over time is your audience grows logarithmically based on its size. The old pyramid scheme at work, but for a good purpose.
It doesn’t stop there.
SEO brings the highest quality traffic possible to your site, and this lends itself well to another amazing marketing strategy. One of the oldest and most overlooked keys to growing sales is right under your nose. Your site’s usability.
Have you heard of CRO?
Conversion Rate Optimization has been around over a decade but many businesses that rely on the web for sales and growth have no clue what it even means, let alone the end result for their bottom line.
Let’s say 100 people come to your site, 10 of them sign up for your email list, and one of those people buys from you.
You have a 10% conversion rate from traffic to email, and a 10% conversion rate from email to sales. Overall your site has a 1% conversion rate from traffic to sales.
Now let’s say we find out through A/B testing that your automatic carousel across the top of your home page is causing a 50% drop in email signups because it’s distracting. We pause the carousel and notice a sudden 50% increase in email signups. Now we’re getting 15% conversion from traffic to email, bringing the site’s overall conversion rate up to 1.5%.
That only took a few days or weeks of an automated experiment to discover, five minutes to pause the slider, and you just bumped your sales up half a point. That may not seem like much but if you’re an etailer selling $10 million annually, that’s an additional $50k you’ll bring in this year from five minutes of work.
So how does this even relate to SEO?
Well, it sounds creepy, but Google is watching. Google can see when people are using your site easily, and when they’re not, and that affects how you rank in their engine. Why do you think sites like Amazon rank so well for every product you can imagine? Of course there’s more to it than just that, but Jeff Bezos will tell you a 17% improvement in load time was so good for Amazon’s users that they noticed a 1% improvement in sales. That’s huge.
So quick recap in step-by-step format:
- Write/photograph/video/design useful, interesting content
- Share said content with the people who will share it for you
- Drive Content Marketing through email signups on your site
- Optimize your site’s conversion rates through CRO
- Analyze, rinse and repeat
What are you doing in conjunction with or to replace your old manual link building methods?