How to Do Better SEO?
SEO has long been associated with activities meant which lead to more spam on the web.
It all started with things like Keyword Stuffing, Link Exchanges, Private Blog Networks, Buying & Selling Links. This lead to distribution of useless information in the form of content & links all around the web.
But, we were so obsessed with tracking Keywords & Rankings that we never cared about the consequences of what we were doing. We eventually became web spammers.
We did it by focusing too much on the end, while ignoring the means altogether.
We always looked for some secret weapon to get in the top results, and wasted most of our efforts in coming up with sneaky ways to manipulate the Search Algorithm.
How Google Crushed Old School SEO?
Google and other Search Engines did not appreciate our efforts as it resulted in some serious SERP Spam.
In late 2009/early 2010, while we were busy crushing our competition, Google made some changes in their back-end with an infrastructure update named Caffeine. It allowed Google to take more control of SERP’s.
That soon turned out to be a war between SEO’s and Google, but we outsmarted them almost all the times. We could rank among the top results in SERP’s for virtually any keyword just by buying a few High PR Links. It was ridiculously easy and lucrative to do, and it seemed like as if it would never end. But, our success party did not last long.
SEO is Evolving — Are You?
We became desperate as things got worse with time. We started losing our beloved rankings, and that cost us both time & money. Google broke us!
While some chose to continue fighting with Google and many thought that SEO was Dead, some of us realized that there was no war. It was not easy for us, but we always supported each other. We embraced marketing and started to learn from the best.
It is important for us SEO’s to take ownership of our work and claim our responsibilities. We need to evolve from SEO Engineers to SEO to do better SEO.
How to Become a Better SEO?
“Search Engine Optimization is a multidisciplinary activity that seeks to generate productive organic traffic from search engines via technically sound and connected sites by matching query intent with relevance and value.” AJ Kohn in “What is SEO”
I would recommend you to finish reading the blog post first, in case you have not already done that.
Another important thing is to understand query classification and user intent. This data combined with any other Audience Research & Buyer Personas will help you in crafting the right content strategy for your project.
Though you need not to be an expert in UX, it would help you if you have a basic understanding of it. At a bare minimum, you should be able to understand how UX affects SEO, and strive towards providing best possible experience to the user.
It is important to understand that Technical SEO is not just about optimizing for your landing pages. You need to have proper understanding of things like Information Architecture, Canonicalization, and Crawl Budgets.
I would also recommend reading Bill Slawski’s blog to gain a better understanding of how Search Engine Algorithms work.
It is very important for you to involve in Content Planning & Strategy from early on in the process. You can get much better results, both in terms of traffic and conversions, by providing useful content to your users.
Social Media & Personalization
As SERP’s are getting more and more personalized, it has become almost necessary for SEO’s to embrace Social Media. It might feel a bit restricting to some, but it, in fact, gives more power to your content marketing.
You can also think of it as another form of content marketing. It should be treated as just another activity performed to engage influencers and your audience through your content.
Key Performance Indicators
It is easy to collect a lot of data in through your web analytics too. Your job is to analyze this data to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and making recommendations. Make sure that you are tracking right KPI’s that meet your business objectives/sales e.g. you should track organic search traffic coming to your website instead of rankings.
Are You Ready to Change?
“We make our tools and our tools make us.” JOAN M. SCHWARTZ
It is time for us to understand that SEO is not some hack to get in the top of SERP’s, and start thinking of it as a part of our overall marketing strategy. This will help us to do better SEO without spamming, ever!
Let’s make the web a better place by doing better SEO!