Mark Munroe wrote a great article “From SEO To SXO: Search Experience Optimization.” It really touches the elements I’ve encountered.
Most companies bring in agencies such as R/GA, RazorFish, Deutsch, Rosetta etc. to create a successful look and feel website that brings in a lot of unique visitors and increases customer engagement.
These firms do a fantastic job with award winning website designs, however, they don’t consider how web users will find the beautiful websites. Many of these firms have content SEO experts but not experts that understand technical SEO, forensic SEO, or SXO (Search Experience Optimization). Some of these fancy designs increase the page load i.e. compromise web performance, leave off editable open graph meta tags or disregard w3c.org guidelines or 508 Compliance. Often Analytics or SEO tools (Search Console, Screaming Frog, Majestic, BrightEdge and many more) are missed to be implemented.
Additionally, the majority of the site search APIs are either useless or have not been properly configured to the new website designs before the launch of the new web designs.
My opinion is that it’s about the overall web user experience by creating valuable & useful content, brand, digital reputation, social media activities, local search & easy crawlability for search engines.
I’ve been working in the online marketing professional for 15+ years and it’s changed a lot, however, the four basic elements need to be included into your Online Marketing Campaigns:
- Web Designs — It’s tremendously important to maintain a strong presence online. Websites should be user-friendly, mobile-friendly, aesthetic, easy to navigate, provide interesting information to keep your web users onsite.
- SEO — Without SEO (Search Engine Optimization) web users will not be able to find your website via organic search. SEO doesn’t stop on-page, consider to review your web performance, your web architecture, your taxonomy, your primary keyword distribution, your internal search engine functionality and more.
- Social Media — Extremely important is to figure out what social media channels your audience is active. Social media is also a good way to monitor your Digital Reputation. Note that Corporate Branding needs to work closely with Social media. It also allows customers to immediately comment on any type of information such as on services, products or corporate engagement. It is greatly recommended to monitor Social Media Channel closely to instantly remedy any possible reputation damage.
- PPC/Banner Advertising — Consider not only one search engine, also consider different technologies such as mobile or texting or supply reverse advertisement such as Google AdSense. Google Adsense is a great tool to figure out other channels where your audience might be.
For more details on the article “4 Elements You Need to Include in Your Online Marketing Campaigns” by Matt Morgan.
The expansion of Google’s Knowledge Graph may threaten the volume of organic search traffic to websites.
Have you seen the Knowledge Graph at work? As you may have noticed there are many types of Knowledge Graph widgets and perhaps the most concerning are Google scrapes content from websites to display it directly in search results, I have seen it overwriting the meta description.
- Did you know that 1 in 5 search results now include Knowledge Graph features?
- Did you know that Wikipedia page views declined 21% after the Knowledge Graph came out?
Here are some panels that might be included
Note that good SEO that improves your ranking overall will also improve your chances of appearing in the Graph’s answer box.
Here is what will be part of the Knowledge Graph scraping include
- Organize thematic subsections
- Write a strong title and H1
- Ease up on the primary keyword
- Clearly define the author(s) on the page
- Offer unique value
Nate Dame explores 20 concrete characteristics of great content.”
Note: The Knowledge Graph may begin to impact your SEO traffic and it is raising the bar for quality content.
For more details Nate Dame’s “What Can Businesses Do About The Knowledge Graph Dominating Search Results?“
I love lists as I can just scan the information quickly. This article by Pratik Dholakiya is a quick read about “11 SEO Tactics You Need to Know in 2015”
Here is the list to remember:
- Creating Incredible Content
- Co-Citation Links
- Editorial Links
- The Broken Link-Building Method
- Link Reclamation
- Link Outreach
- Competitor Analysis
- Focus on ROI Instead of Keyword Rankings
- Create an SEO Strategy That Maps to an Audience
- Optimize for Yahoo, Bing, and Others
- Mobile SEO
Always keep in mind Google Hummingbird Release and how it is changing the search algorithm and how it guides us how users’ search for information.
Great article by Kristine Schachinger. We have an agency that works on our usability and web design and we have one that implements the new requirements. The irony is that both agency don’t pay attention to what happens outside of our website.
I love what Matt Cutt’s would say: Remember best practice and best user experience will also be good for Google, think of the users first please.”
Here are some elements we should rethink:
- Infinite (Endless Scroll)
- Lazy Loading
- Not Mobile-Friendly
- Hamburger Menus (use cautiously)
More in detail find Kristine’s article “5 Techniques That May Be Killing Your Website (and SEO)”
These are great reminders that we shouldn’t take for granted. A quick read on “Google Matt Cutt’s Most Valuable Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips for 2015” by Gulshan Sirohi’s
- Don’t Neglect Body of Content
- Always Know Your Audience
- The Best Way to Compete is With Better Content on Your Site
- Take a Goldilocks Approach to Your Home Page Content
- Monitor your Content and insure it doesn’t get stolen
- Have meaningful CTAs on your website such as buy, download, watch the video etc. The longer the web user is on your website the better.
Did you know that the number of words on a page doesn’t have all that much correlation to its “thinness.” per Stephen Kenwright
Google measures good quality content with “time to long click.” Basically it measures how long a user spends with a website after leaving Google’s SERP. As most of us SEO professional do we want to know what user’s do.
Google Panda is not really a content penalty – rather a user engagement penalty.
For more detailed on Stephen Kenwright article read: “Should we still worry about think content?”
When I tell people what I do as a SEO Manager, I have heard some saying either:”You better consider a career change as SEO is dead” or “What is SEO?”
This article is a great way to learn about the history of SEO and search engines. I agree as long as we have search engines SEO will not be dead.
For further information on this article: “SEO is Dead” by Razvan Gavrilas
Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge, has a great way to explain future “happening in the SEO world.”
He looks at SEO in terms of the “six degrees of separation.” This is an educational article that we are six degrees of separation away from a fully integrated SEO marketing program includes:
- Gathering and understanding data
- Structuring data
- Targeting demand
- Optimizing content
- Integrating with other channels
- Measuring performance
More information read the article on “6 Degrees of SEO Separation — From Data to Content Performance.”
It is true that many c-suite & upper management believe that SEO is easy, cheap and generally companies only need a consultant for a period of time to solve some issues… wrong.
Great article by Kristine Schachinger gives you a quick overview on some SEO Myths:
- SEO is Voodoo or Bovine Feces
- SEO is Cheap
- Audits are Cheap
- Build IT and They Will Come
- Position Does Not Matter
- Bonus Myth! SEO is Dead!
More in detail read the article “5 Myths to Forget in 2015.”