The Link: SEO.com’s Newsletter January 2013

5 Things to Abandon in 2013

SEO in 2013 is shaping up to be more diverse and holistic in nature, and the old search engine optimization methods are quickly finding themselves kicked to the curb with each of Google’s algorithm updates.

What once were tried and true tactics for increasing traffic, leads and sales are now causing pain points for many businesses involved in SEO.

Fortunately, SEO.com has consistently stayed ahead of the curve, and continues to employ quality, holistic methods for helping businesses achieve their goals. Our account managers pride themselves on creative and strategic campaigns that are built around long term objectives, and won’t be victims to future search engine algorithm changes.

Think of SEO similar to building a community of followers for your blog or Facebook page,” says TJ Welsh, Director of SEO at SEO.com. “A long term SEO campaign takes time to build before you may potentially see the rewards. Algorithms will change but it won’t be much of a concern because you have a solid foundation.”

Here are 5 things to abandon, and how we are moving forward with quality search engine optimization methods in 2013:

Article Marketing

While link-building is still an integral part of an SEO campaign, scoring quick links through “blog networks” and low quality article sites is exactly the kind of method Google is targeting with their Panda algorithm update. Rather than targeting opportunities for easy and quick links, the best use of time is through building relationships with bloggers and websites, and writing guest blog posts for them. In the process, we add valuable content to their website, while increasing the brand’s exposure to their readers.

Thin Website Content

In the past, websites potentially had the ability to rank for different keywords simply by creating a separate web page for each keyword they were targeting. All they had to do was “spin”, or reword the content slightly, and insert the right keywords into the copy. Today, website content needs to be written for the audience, yet still optimized for the search engines to ensure accessibility and indexability. Plus great content can help your brand, drive sales and increase the opportunity for great links.

Unnecessary Focus on Rankings

At SEO.com, we provide clients round the clock access to their rankings anytime they choose through our integrated reporting system. We believe in this level of transparency, because businesses choose to invest their time and money with us, and we want to prove our value. But since ranking reports don’t adequately communicate the true value of an SEO campaign, we instead focus on driving relevant traffic to the website, capturing those visitors and turning them into leads or sales. SEO in 2013 should be comprised of strategies to meet our clients’ goals, not simply moving keywords.

Putting All the Eggs in the Google Basket

Websites with high quality, engaging content have the ability to capture a high percentage of visitors arriving from Google’s search engine, but it should not be the only source of traffic. Sustainable SEO strategies should include driving traffic from a number of sources, including social media, webinars, direct traffic, video, news sites and more.

Not Tracking Goals

It’s relatively easy to just set a campaign on auto pilot and just “build links”, but it’s vitally important to track the outcomes of these initiatives through website analytics. If the goal is to increase the number of leads coming in to the website, specific strategies to increase traffic to the website should be implemented and measured in order to prove value. If a certain method isn’t working, analytics will bring this to attention, and the strategy can be adjusted.

Don’t be fooled by promises of quick rankings. SEO in 2013 is a long term investment in the future, and while the dramatic performance of a website can be achieved within the first few months of a campaign, a holistic approach to SEO will ensure the sustainability of the website through any algorithm change the search engines decide to make.


Client Spotlight: Speed trap and road hazard app uses search marketing to continue growth

TrapsterWhat’s better than a fellow driver flashing his bright lights to warn others about a police speed trap? An app that exposes speed traps, road hazards and enforcement cameras. Trapster, the social networking app that documents traffic and speed traps, allows motorists to warn drivers of potential problems on the road.

The Trapster app launched in 2008 and became an instant hit. Today, it has more than 17 million total users. According to Stefanie Frederick, Trapster’s community product specialist, the startup’s fame was fast and furious.

Because the company was just a fledgling at the time of its big boost, it was doing its best with their limited resources to keep up with the popular pace.

The company website was created hastily and updated on the fly as Trapster’s popularity and success grew,” said Frederick. “While the website offered lots of features, most of them were not easily found or deeply buried.”

Once Trapster was acquired by Navteq, the company was capable of growing its staff to meet the needs of its dedicated users. One of the first steps toward helping the company continue to thrive was utilizing internet marketing.

Our primary goal was to create a seamless experience between our app and the website. We also wanted to create more brand awareness and unify our users across various social media channels,” said Frederick.

Trapster selected SEO.com to secure their competitive online edge. SEO.com created a strategy to assist in content creation and improving the company’s overall online presence.

Frederick openly touts SEO.com’s success for Trapster. The year over year organic traffic is up 88.81 percent with a 103.53 percent increase in the number of unique visitors going to their website.

With SEO.com’s help we reduced crawl errors, launched six infographics, and increased our search ranking,” said Frederick.


SEO Tip: Social Timing Matters

Social TimingCreating a content strategy is great, but don’t waste away hard work by sharing content at the wrong time. By perfectly planning the release of your content on social media services and different platforms you can amplify your exposure and ensure more engagement.

When it comes down to it, social timing is a science. It’s key to realize that 50 percent of the U.S. population lives in the Eastern Time zone. If you combine the Eastern Time zone with the Central Time zone, you will cover 80 percent of the U.S. population.

According to research, differing platforms have optimal times for the best reach.

Twitter

  • Best time to get a retweet is 5 PM EST
  • Best days to get a click-through for links is generally mid week or during the weekend
  • Best time to get a click-through is during lunch at noon or after work at 6 PM EST

Facebook

  • Best day to get a share is on Saturday
  • Best time to get a share during the week is at noon or after 7 PM EST

Blogging

  • The highest percentage of readers is in the morning
  • Blogs get the most traffic on Monday
  • Traffic tends to peak at 11 AM EST

If you want what you post to become share-bait, try to go live with your content at active times.


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10 Comments

  1. Kyle Clouse says

    Darin, this was a great post; especially about ranking reports and not focusing on them.  I have also seen to much focus given to Google page ranks and so on which necessarily doesn’t translate into traffic or sales.

    • iGoByDoc says

      Thanks for the comment Kyle! You should check out my post (live on Jan 23). Based on what you say here, you may enjoy some of that content as well.

      But you are right… a lot more of the focus will be site use experience, and social trust.

      Thanks again!

      Doc

  2. David Shafer says

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It gave a lot of insight to the way the internet, and more specifically, search engines are evolving and what needs to be done to keep your website competitive. I think whether people outsource their seo or try to do it themselves, the information you have listed above clearly outlines the path to building a foundation for a website that hopefully will stay in tune with the all too often algorithmic changes that keep taking place. Thanks for sharing Darin. 

  3. Scotty the Menace says

    In the SEO Tip: Social Timing Matters section, I’m pretty sure you mean, “Traffic tends to PEAK at 11 AM EST” rather than “Traffic tends to pique at 11 AM EST”.
    Otherwise a great post. Very interesting statistics.

    • iGoByDoc says

      Hi Scotty,

      You caught us. We are just makings ure people pay attention. =) (kidding)

      Anyway, I do appreciate you pointing that out, and we have fixed it!

      Thanks for reading!

      Doc

  4. Mark T. says

    Great information here to take home. I was unaware of these tips and tricks and will definitely be using them in the near future. Thanks 

  5. Robert Bernstein says

    Nice post. Confirms what I have been saying for a while. Google is trying to become Facebook and Facebook is trying to become Google. Search engines should stick with providing the user with a fast and refined result of useful information. That result in my opinion should not be influenced by pluses and likes from social media sites. And in the same way, Facebook should not be concerned so much with providing their users with a web search tool but rather a way to enjoy connecting and sharing with with your group of friends or promoting to those that like your business page. 

    • iGoByDoc says

      Thanks for the comment Robert!

      We live in interesting times no? At the end of the day, they both have investors they have to answer to, and it all comes down to the mighty dollar.

      We are past what we wish they would do, and are living in the what they are doing. So we have to adjust and treat both as the channel they are, and do the best we can do to market properly. It is up to us to create the best content possible, with the most precise context, and the engines will battle it out. =)

      Thanks again for the comment.

      Doc

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