SEO.com Predicts Top 9 SEO Strategies for 2011

A growing list of new technologies and trends will join some old standbys to influence search engine rankings and generate more qualified leads and sales.

SALT LAKE CITY — The start of 2011 didn’t ring in shiny new strategies that will shock the online marketing world. However, specific tactics that emerged in 2010 will have a larger affect on the success of 2011 marketing campaigns.

“A lot of what worked in 2010 will carry over,” said Nelson James, president of SEO.com. “But we are noticing a few trends that will build better links and produce more qualified leads.”

SEO.com, an SEO firm, identifies the top nine strategies in 2011 (in no particular order):

1. Video Marketing

Boyd Norwood, SEO.com’s director of SEO, has been doing tests on visitors that come from video sites like Youtube, Vimeo and other sites. So far, the results have been surprising.

“The conversion rate of visitors from Youtube was about 20 percent higher than from the search engines,” said Boyd Norwood, director of SEO for SEO.com. “Video will continue to be big in 2011.”

2. Social Impact (Ranking Factor)

2010 was the year social media marketing threw its weight around and affected search rankings. This will likely become more prevalent in the coming year. To increase rankings, SEO specialists will need to understand how to create valuable, shareable content and how to spread the word through various social sites.

“As the search engines put more emphasis on the popularity of links shared through Twitter and Facebook, social media will become a necessary tool for link building,” said Nelson James, president of SEO.com

3. Blogging and Guest Blogging

Blogging continues to be an effective tool for thought leadership, link bait, and a way to leverage social media to drive website traffic and leads. Guest blogging benefits both the guest and the host. The host will get fresh content on its site while the guest blogger will received a link from the host. Both sides will be able to use each other’s resources to help share the blog and spread it online. It’s a win-win for both involved.

“Guest blogging will be huge this year,” said Greg Shuey, SEO.com’s director of SEO. “It’s a great way to obtain quality links, and to extend your network.”

4. Conversion Optimization

While this is not technically part of SEO, conversion optimization, the process of turning more visitors into paying customers, will determine the success of any SEO campaign. It will become even more valuable in the coming year as more become aware of the practice that tests different designs, call to actions and other details to find what converts the most website visitors into leads and sales.

“Before, marketers were only concerned with driving more traffic and being content with their conversion rate,” said Josh Summerhays, conversion optimization manager for SEO.com. “Now, some of those marketers are figuring out that it’s cheaper and more effective to tweak their website to get more revenue out of the same amount of traffic.”

“Conversion rate optimization will continue to be a difference maker for companies that embrace it,” said Scott Miller, CEO of Vertster, a company that provides tools to help conversion optimization.

Tim Ash, author and CEO of SiteTuners.com, said in a message over Twitter: “Doing more with less is at the heart of conversion rate optimization and landing page optimization. Landing page efficiency is the new black.”

5. Local Search Marketing

With 90 percent of shoppers searching Google before they head out the door, local Internet marketing and Google Maps are a must for any business trying to get people into their doors.

“Google has almost completely replaced the Yellow Pages as a place where people look for local businesses,” said Lori Gilson, president of PRMarketing.com. “If you’re not on Google maps, you may as well not exist.”

6. Mobile Marketing

With abundant smartphones, apps, widgets, location-based marketing through social media, discounts, coupons, QR codes, image and audio searches, and text message (SMS) marketing, mobile is poised to reach the big time. eMarketer’s “2011 Marketing Trends Survey” says 35 percent of businesses worldwide plan on increasing their mobile marketing spend. Performics projects that mobile search clicks could be greater than 16 percent of all Google search clicks.

“Mobile got big last year. It will get bigger this year. And will be huge the year after,” said Ash Buckles, VP of client services for SEO.com. “Search marketers will need to embrace mobile technology and make their products and websites mobile friendly.”

7. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

This older Internet marketing strategy is still a key element of search marketing. Pay per click management creates awareness and produces qualified traffic and leads. eMarketer’s survey says 41 percent of companies plan to increase both their search engine optimization and PPC spend in 2011.

“Some of the main benefits of PPC to an overall search marketing strategy is keyword research,” said Todd Julien, president of PurePPC.com. “You can use PPC to help test what keywords deliver the highest quality of traffic to your site, while at the same time giving your business a boost in traffic.”

8. Email Marketing

This old standby has made a strong comeback. eMarketer says 65 percent of businesses plan on increasing spending on e-mail marketing this year, which beats out the forecasted social media spend by 8 percent. Adage also reported that e-mail marketing provides a higher conversion rate than social media.

“E-mail is still a critical tool to drive leads and sales,” James said. “It’s still the best way to remarket to those visitors that you’ve attracted to your site from SEO and PPC.”

9. Content Marketing

Content marketing (e.g. infographics, blog posts, press releases, whitepapers and articles) increases SEO through natural link building, establishes thought leadership, makes companies more interesting on social media, and drives traffic and leads.

“The future of marketing is not buying ad space,” said David Scoville, creative director for PRMarketing.com. “It’s in producing unique and interesting content and stories that attracts visitors and builds your brand. Companies must become journalists and storytellers.”

About SEO.com
SEO.com is a SEO firm that delivers a big ROI for its clients by driving traffic to their websites through aggressive search engine optimization services, pay per click management, and social media marketing. SEO.com then turns those visitors into sales through user-friendly design and conversion optimization. Clients range from small startups to Fortune 100 companies.

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23 Comments

  1. Reklama says

    Was interesting to read. I actually think that these years will be dedicated to Video advertising and marketing.

  2. jigar pandya says

    Great to read about this strategies, As a seo analyst i like your blog to covering my mind to new strategies. Really I am thankful to you.. keep it up..

  3. Jeff says

    Of these only 4 actually pertain to SEO. SEO is still only about content and link building, so things like email marketing and conversion optimization don’t apply.

    – Jeff

    • Dan Bischoff says

      Jeff, thanks for the comment. If you look further, you’ll see they really do. Without conversion optimization, your SEO strategies may be worthless. If you’re not turning all that traffic into sales, then what’s the point? Email marketing is necessary for any SEO campaign. Why? You want to be able to remarket to those visitors that come to your site. Email marketing continues to be perhaps the best way to do it.

      While those strategies may not factor into the rankings in Google, both are necessary to make sure your SEO campaign drives revenue. And that’s what it’s really about.

      • Jeff says

        I agree that conversions are the whole point of doing SEO, but they’re not “search engine optimization,” you could call them part of “online marketing optimization” (OMO? if there was such a thing), sure, but the goal of SEO is to rank in search engines, not to get conversions.

        I think SEO.com and SEOmoz do a good job in focusing on traffic and conversion rates, though. Too many SEOs focus solely on rankings, which are worthless if you get no clickthroughs and no conversions.

        – Jeff

  4. Riaan Aggenbag says

    Dan,

    Lovely post here, thanks.

    If I may ask, how do SEO.com plan to capitalize on email marketing?

    I ask merely because you stated it has the greatest increase in proposed marketing spend and SEO.com don’t offer the service per se.

    Much appreciate your thoughts.

    PS: I do know that in the affiliate/internet marketing world email marketing and ‘building the list’ is the most important goal but as the leading SEO service company out there, your comments would be appreciated.

    • Dan Bischoff says

      Riaan,

      Good question. SEO.com doesn’t currently offer email marketing as a service, but we do it for ourselves. For clients, we stick to what we do best: search marketing. SEO gets people to the doorstep. Email helps you remarket to those people. Both are necessary.

  5. Riaan Aggenbag says

    Thanks for that Dan,

    Would you be in a position to recommend software or service provider in that case?

    Appreciate your time,

  6. ocha says

    I agree that becoming a journalist and storyteller (or at least outsource it) is one of the best and most natural ways to increase traffic. Good post here. Thanks.

  7. Avenir says

    These Strategies are improve a web site’s ranking in the search engines and thus attract more visitors.. Thanks for great sharing.

  8. Bijaya K Mohanty says

    Hello Dan,
    I came across this page from a Google Buzz submission, the strategy you’ve predicted for 2011 is going to be 100% correct after the Google PANDA update. Social media is now a major factor in Google ranking which you’ve predicted well before the Google update.

    The unique thing I found is noone telling about video marketing but I do agree with you in this regard. Am going to tweet this article & will share it on my FB page now. Thank you very much.

  9. Mike says

    Thanks for this blog. I was searching for “guest blogging” and I found this blog.

    I used to do article submission but a few months ago, ezinearticle has changed to “nofollow”. I thought there is not a lot of point to continue article submission there and looking at guest blogging.

    Is there any strategy regarding “guest blogging”?

  10. Hideki says

    when i started recently on blogginr, i really dont know about email marketing. though im subscribed at certain IM guys such as raymond selda. I guess it seems that its now the time for me to learn this email marketing stuff..
    any suggestions to start off?
    thanks!

  11. says

    I always believe that E-mail marketing was the best marketing strategy . Look at Groupon , their business is totaly based on E-mail marketing and they make millions , even though in some niches it my not be that effective but for me it remains the best as it needs less time to implement and yet very powerfull

  12. Subhash Transport says

    Lol blogging is still alive. It works but i think it needs enough time. But i love it and i do it.
    Thanks for the wonderful post.

  13. John Lucifer says

    I totally appreciated your work for posted this valuable article for the all concept of seo. You wrote for all the readers and they will like it for sure. The main think for anyone is a written content and then you have to promote it for your company. Thanks a lot.

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