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Tag Archives: seo

Relationships between Google and the Competition

Relationships between Google and the Competition

An SEO Analogy That Will Change Your Strategy

This  analogy is going to change your SEO strategy today! It explains why you should change your Seo focal point today and be more cautious of your competition more than just Google.

An analogy is a comparison of two entirely different things that can be used to clarify or explain one based on another. Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Steve Jobs and countless others have used them to be able to communicate their ideas in a better way.  As Sigmund Freud pointed out, “Analogies, it is true, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home.”

At some point, everyone uses analogies to somehow simplify things. Here is an analogy that will work great for your overall SEO plan.  I am going to compare SEO with a track and field racing event.

A little background about this Race!

The event is hosted by the organizer (Google), they set the rules and guidelines, and they have certain pre-requisites for each runner (website). There are many teams (competitors) but only 10 will get rewarded (ranking).

Something about the organizer – Google.

The organizer (Google) has requirements that the runners stick to. They cannot use performance enhancing drugs (spamming), the runners need to be within a certain weight and age-group (websites should be coded with the valid mark-ups and indexing potential). The organizer makes money by getting people into their arena and it makes more money by getting only but the best to compete with each other and yes, they do favour the older and popular slightly more. Google makes money by being able to produce the most accurate results for a search term. Without this credibility, we might as well go and use other search engines.  They are absolutely in love in finding the best runners.

Google only sets the race, it is absolutely non-personal in terms of runner evaluation and uses a program to find who the runners in the race should be. This program (Google Algorithm) gives a final score for each runner and Google is aware that some of the athletes know how to deceive their program and so they continually find ways to pull out runners who are trying to fool them.

Something about the runners – Websites.

The runners have exceptional skill at writing content, building website popularity and they always want to show off to Google that they should be the top choice for search terms. Runners are also aware that being at the top of the race brings in more money and popularity. The runners also know that the demand to see this race is very high and daily brings in more competitive runners.

Let the SEO races begin!

Before we start the race, we know one thing for sure. Google`s algorithm is dynamic – that it changes from time to time.  But these changes are always in favor of those who listen to their guidelines. Google`s work as an organizer is only to hold the location for the race and to make sure only runners that follow the guidelines can run.  The rest is then up only to the runners!

The runners however are highly dynamic; they are more aggressive than Google. It`s their strategy and their out-smarting of the competition that will bring them closer to the finish line. Mind only that no Google guidelines are being broken.

To Conclude:

Do you know the Google Guidelines well? Do you know what they favor and what they frown upon? – Than that’s all you need to know about having a baseline strategy for your SEO. However, that is only about 10% of this game.

90% of your focused SEO activity then,  should be directed at outsmarting your competition. Care should just be taken that no guidelines are being broken.  Starting today, you should take archives of the SERPs 3 pages back and every single runner/website should be looked at thoroughly. This way you can always be informed of what works for industry. Seos are clever – might as well pirate a few ideas!

SEO : Build Content, Links or Do Social Media?

Do I focus on more Content, Links or  Social Media?

TO understand this, we may first have to approach the question – Are there any real guarantees in SEO?

Undergoing any SEO comes with numerous questions.  And do these questions have any grounds for any real guarantee

Questions from SEO clients :

When will I be in Page 1 and Rank 1?

How much money will I make?

How many leads and calls will I get?

 

According to Google Guidelines, there cannot be any guarantees in SEO. Because a guarantee in SEO means that a methodology works most – more than anything, that is a huge pivotal contradiction for Google.

The only Google Guarantee for SEO is this: Is your content the “most captivating” that it need to be on Page 1 rank 1 for Google users to Find?

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So then starts the forum battles of SEOs, Social media and Content experts! The forum war goes this way..

SEO expert John – “Content itself wont rank.. you need high quality links”

Social Media Andrew – “If the content is good and it goes viral, you will gain organic links” – “Links itself is useless”

Content writer Jack – “If people pick up my amazing content, it will go viral in Social media and it will do well in SEO”..

 

Then John, Jack and Andrew produce statistics and then they cite websites or blogs like http://www.MOZ.com, searchengineland.com , http://www.socialmediaexamier.com, some will go back to basic like http://www.bruceclay.com and even http://www.w3c.com. It looks like a full-fledged religion/science war about the chicken and the egg.

 

The actual truth is that all are right but what is left out on the equation are circumstances and priorities for the SEO / Internet marketing campaign.. like..

 

1. Is the campaign for organic non-branded keywords?

2. How much competition exists for the keywords?

3. What is the quality and distribution scale of the competitor content?

4. What are the competitor`s link building vantage point? DO they have a loyal and steady network of people who link to their content easily?

 

So, the only reasonable answer to what rules.. content, links or Social media is that you have to do the homework first and then judge what works for each campaign.  

But YES! – you need content more than links as links are a result of the content and not vice versa. 

What you should and should not outsource in SEO?

I see a great deal number of posts and blogs even in seomoz.. dont know how those get through.. like.. http://moz.com/ugc/outsource-link-building-like-a-small-seo-company for example.. 

Clearly as you go below in the thread.. you see people are a little against it, the “outsourcers” and the “outsourcees” or SEO “enthusiasts”.. if we can call them that. 

What is fundamentally wrong with this, one may ask?  There are a few problems associated with being too much of a link builder “outsourcer.” The first being,  that you are thinking of savings and you miss the big point which is Link building is earned these days, you just cannot simply build them anymore.. you are wasting money and time. 

The rule is simple, you outsource when you need expertise and when you need the extra boost of experienced professionals who genuinely care about your customers. You do not outsource  when ( as the blog link above says) you need man power for $2/hr.. This is just ridiculous. Its like going back to 2005 all over again.. 

You look for Seo outsourcing companies, see their entire repertoire, check price costs and benefits, decide who to work with and hopefully you are not biased about outsourcing to countries like Philippines, there is so much that you do not know if you do decide to just work with US and UK companies.

SEO is about time and investment, the time when you decide to outsource is when you know you need both but cannot afford it at a US or UK SEO SEO-premium level.  That is when you look for good outsourcing companies for SEO or even web designs etc.. You cannot simply just say lets outsource cos its cheaper or lets just outsource link building .. SEO is an “in its entirety” kind of commitment.. Spend some time, research, talk to providers, talk to their SEO clients.. match them, compare them but you do not think that you are going to get a sub standard service.. just because you are now trying SEO from another country like the Philippines. 

That kind of thinking is unfortunate because you would be limiting whats out there.. For a fact I know, some of the most successful SEO companies based in the US and UK are using professionals like us, they are “re-selling” anyways.. and you would not know that.

Its the way this business works, you have to use your mind a little more, be patient and research. 

SO if you decide to outsource, make sure it`s “the whole enchilada”, there is no shortcut anymore. IN SEO everything is involved; from Content, Strategic On Page expansion, Off page expansions, referral traffic, layout, conversion and a lot more.. You will just not get the result with just a Link Building Strategy, there is none available at the moment, .. but don`t take my word for it.. try this link first .. http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

 

 

All you need is this One Reason to Outsource Seo!

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Why is seo such an outsourced activity in marketing. To understand this better, continue reading –> When Does Seo End?

This reason is  the actual nature of Google and organic seo itself. To further clarify this, we need to understand organic seo, how much work is needed to be done to get good rankings? We also need to understand that Seo and internet marketing as a whole is an inexact science and trial and error is almost always there whether you are working for rankings, lower bounce rates or building links.

To get at organic seo growth, you need loads of good content and lots of blogosphere and social media sphere participation. You will have to have good links increase the popularity of your webpage/s. All this tried to imply 1 thing, that Google organic growth itself demands time and time demands money.

Seo is an inexact science and you will have to try a few things before you get your perfect marketing mix, this also eats time and money.

If you truly want to dominate and stay on top for your keywords organically, you will have to think about making it run on some very low profile. Outsourcing Seo allows you to do just that.

“Remarkable” Content for SEO

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I recently read “InBound Marketing”  by Dharmesh Shah and Brain Halligan. These guys are the founders of HubSpot. If you have used twitter grader or website grader, you will know what I am talking about.

The book starts off really well and I particularly liked how they classified good content. They used Seth Godin`s term “remarkable” content which means content that is worthy of someones “remarks“. This I thought was an amazing and alternate way than to just keep saying “Good Content” or “Original Content”. And as you keep thinking of it, it hits the nail squarely on the head about what is the best kind of content writing for SEO.

Most people when starting websites or starting SEO on their websites just start using too much of their competitors ideas and eventually this “remarkable” content concept gets set aside.

Writing original content is the only real basic thing that will get you your SEO results, it is the only guarantee that will get you the conversion points you want and it will make you come out as a thought leader. Read more about why be a thought leader?

Original remarkable content gets shared, it gets appreciated and it makes you come out on top. Just like in the gold rush era, sometimes internet marketing and Seo can be about following others trails and taking a lot of chances because the rewards can be amazing. The tendency is there to just start doing something. But fortunately, unlike the gold rush era, Seo isn`t about actually finding the Gold in Google, the gold is actually already in your website, in your linking ideas, your remarkable content and your care for communication and networking. With these in place, Google will follow you.

Getting to #1 in Google with the right attitude

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We all want to be there! We all want the #1 spot and just wanting that could be the biggest mistake because it could trigger you into making some very wrong SEO moves such as : 

Rushing : Seo is an organic task and will need time. Rushing and trying to move faster means compromising content and link quality. Any experienced SEO will tell you that it takes time and strategy all the time. There is no sure formula, the only formula is quality of content and links. 

Wrong Evaluation : Making fast and rash judgement in changing strategy mid-way is also one of the hindrances to SEO. Google Indexing and link building takes time to manifest and there are chances that making premature SEO decisions could have you chasing your own tail. 

Wrong reasons to be #1 : If you want to be #1 to just make money, this is the biggest distraction. Making money comes with a good following. Good following comes with good content and syndication. Put effort instead to change your goal perspective, think of being #1 in content, link and human readership satisfaction. The rest will come by itself. 

So if you truly want to be #1, you have to think a little different. You can only get there by being serving to others. This is where the true secret lies. 

Read Why keep a cool head in SEO? and watch some videos on Google Guidelines. You can also read the rest of this article in more detail at Why chasing Ranking isn’t Good For SEO.

What Kind Of Content Should You Write?

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If theres one thing that there is too much of in the internet, atleast a good percentage — its hullabaloo! Maybe you don’t believe me; but then think how much content you bothered to read from sites that don’t have any ranking, or they may have ranking but the content just goes on and on just like in a thousand other places.

I myself have been a victim of being pulled into the whirlwind of writing on and on without having some form of clarity as to where I was headed with my writing. But after a while and after writing too much manufactured content (amazing how this kind of content still got ranked) — I now had to measure conversion and performance. Lo and behold! – ranking wasnt enough. There was something lacking and I needed to know what it was.  I needed to know what I could do to help improve conversion. 

I am dedicating this blog to writing content that will not only get ranking but help with conversion. This blog reflects my personal rules in trying to be a better writer myself and I hope you may find something here that may interest you.

RULE #1 : Do not ape others

The truth is there`s a lot of confusion about writing content and SEO competition analysis itself is unfortunately somewhat inclined towards writing redundant articles and blogs. Type any keyword and gushing out come all these similar and identical content. This is the first thing about content that you do not want to do.  You do not want to write like anyone else.

Writing like someone else shows weakness and shows lack of creativity and even worse – lack of an identity. Identify yourself and what you want to write about first. The writing should be aimed directly at someone or at a group of people. It should satisfy their appetite for knowledge on what they seek.

If someone has written about it already, dont write the same thing again! Instead use the keyphrase to support others writing or find better sources to justify the conclusion or work on an infographic to support the idea but from a different perspective. The conclusion maybe the same but the depth and details will make your writing very visible.

RULE #2 : Do not write for the sake of writing

Since writing is a basic marketing item needed in internet marketing and SEO; dont write just because you have to. If you truly hate writing, get someone who loves to write to do it for you. You may have great ideas but if you cannot for the love of God sit down to type – Get someone to help you out. The worse thing that can happen here is that laziness or trying to save time on the writing effort clouds what you want to say and your ideas do not come through as well as you thought them. Writing is about communication and is an art by itself.  I pretty much always try and get help in expressing myself through writing, I want the idea and the thought to come out right.

Writing should be human oriented and worthy of human consumption. Think broadcast quality!

RULE #3: Think from scratch

Never be scared to re-invent yourself or your site. Its all about getting better and if you do spot content in your site that really isn`t working or isn`t saying what it should – pull it out! I would rather re-invent some of my older pages or contributions than to think of new material. Your work reflects upon you and although you are eager for a great future, you may be leaving bad trails behind. 

RULE #4 : Write for yourself

Its hard to write something for someone else because that person has a complete different orientation. The best person to write for is yourself. Empathy can be a skill if you want to be a good writer or teacher. Place yourself in the audience and think of what they would like to know and how if you had a lesson plan you could lead them step by step. Remember that any learning process is always gradual and not rushed. In the internet arena, you do have only a few minutes..seconds even,  to make an impression–make use of this time wisely.

RULE #5: Fill in the gaps!

Read and research what others in your industry have written about and what they are writing about. Pay attention and you will notice that while everyone is running about writing the same thing over and over again, not many are seeing the windows of opportunity by writing something on the matter that nobody wrote about at all. This will make your writing style very unique and insightful. Don`t just start to write on a feeling; research and find the gap to squeeze yourself through.

Here is a sample of a blog I thought was amazingly crafted : Rich Brooks` Facebook Marketing for Small Business . This kind of content gets shared and appreciated.

In the end, to sum it up – it seems that originality is what really helps. Not just in a unique writing style but in the entire idea-concept approach kind of way.  This is what will help your work to be read and henceforth ranked. When you are original and have something different to show, you will get conversion because there aren’t many who can do what you do.It seems simple but I guess practice makes perfect and as you may see that I myself have a long way to go but am trying to make the best of it. It`s about the journey and not the destination.

You can also read up on how customers evaluate websites and you will find that content really is King, so please pay attention to what you write.