Effective SEO Initiatives Involve a Comprehensive Approach

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing, Digital, Search

  • Date:

    May 14, 2014

Effective SEO Initiatives Involve a Comprehensive Approach

Content Marketing, Digital, Search

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: “Content is king.” Playing by Google’s content rules may be more challenging, but the pay-off is greater than ever.

The days of guaranteeing page one listings or other top billing through black hat methods are over. Google is smarter than ever and the tricks that used to work to game the system are now more likely to put your site in search engine jail.

Rather, the goal is to create compelling content that includes keywords and keyword phrases that positively reflect your brand positioning while being both engaging and shareable. Then, once amazing content has been created, you need to maintain best practices on the code side and ensure that reputable sites are linking to your content.

With Google's new philosophy on implied links (or brand mentions without actual links), brands will get credit for good public relations coverage across the web in their search ranking. Although Google states it won't happen anytime soon, some SEO specialists speculate that Google will find a way to discount many links, taking away another avenue some SEO firms use to game the system and manipulate search rankings.

This is where a comprehensive approach to search comes in.

Good Content, Poor Search Performance

An audit we did earlier this year found a website with a great content strategy, an interesting story, solid domain authority and very respectable inbound links. But it was still missing the mark when it came to search. Why?

Through the audit, we found that a section of the website featuring extremely rich content wasn’t being cataloged by search engines due to an error in the URL-building strategy. An easy fix.

During another audit, we clicked through a site hundreds of pages deep with beautiful photography, but the pages lacked searchable copy. The user experience wasn’t so bad, but it was a big miss when considering the search impact.

What went wrong?

Why had these errors gone unnoticed? First, neither site was built according to search best practices nor had the sites been previously audited with search in mind. Secondly, the sites were managed by a disparate group of people with different goals. Through our search audit process, we were able to bring these stakeholders into the same room, where everyone can see the benefit of a connected strategy.

As a function, search is a bit of a nomad. Getting it right often means input and execution from IT, marketing, sales, public relations, corporate communications and human resources. If these teams don’t communicate, it can result in a less than stellar outcome.

Moving Forward with Search

The way I see it, you’ve got two choices when it comes to search strategy. You can chase Google’s whims and try to keep up with every algorithm and philosophy change.

Or, you can build your site so search engines can catalog it, create engaging, sharable content that describes your offerings in the same vernacular that your customers use, build a user experience that is easy to understand and represents your brand, and work hard to make sure people notice you (through social and linking strategies).

Search can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Chances are that you have a great product that people want to find. Let’s just make their search for it as easy as possible.

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