Though the concept of search engine optimization (SEO) is fairly straightforward, how it works is often subject to speculation. Not that long ago, conventional wisdom held that embedding copious amounts of meta tags and keywords into websites was the perfect way to build traffic and to generate conversations, the goal of SEO. But that was before Panda, et. al. For the uninitiated, SEO can seem like a crapshoot or a bandwagon, and in some cases there’s just cause for those assessments. To put it plainly, SEO is a strategy, based on proven methods and sound logic, that is proven to yield positive results in the hands of experienced professionals.
In honor of Halloween, take the following, myth-busting quiz to help determine if your SEO strategy is a “Trick” or a “Treat”.
“Our Rankings are Up and Down – Is it a Trick or a Treat?”
SEO is a lot like the stock market. And just as the stock market fluctuates, so do SEO results (i.e., rankings). And as with managing a stock portfolio, properly assessing and managing your rankings requires a solid, long-term SEO strategy that offsets short-term losses with long-term gains. In other words, the value of SEO is best demonstrated and appreciated over time. If your rankings are fluctuating, don’t rush to dump your SEO strategy, rather take a deeper dive into your analytics. Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/05/21/what-roi-can-i-expect-from-seo/
Verdict: Fluctuating rankings are not (necessarily) a trick.
“Our SEO Strategy Seems Like a Guessing Game – Is it a Trick or a Treat?”
Back to the stock market analogy, SEO is a bit of a guessing game in that, as with stocks, investors (SEO campaign managers) make an educated guess as to which stocks (keywords) to invest in, by shrewdly studying the market and its drivers. In terms of SEO, consummate keyword analysis (past performance, competition, potential traffic, etc.) is a part of a successful SEO campaign, in the same way a stock analyst or financial advisor would review a company’s past performance, reputation, and industry recognition before recommending it.
That said, there is no crystal ball, and the SEO landscape can change dramatically on a dime. So, while your SEO campaign may seem capricious, in reality the constant of change is simply par for the course.
Verdict: SEO strategies constantly evolve. Not a trick.
“Writing For the ‘Bots – Is It a Trick or a Treat?”
Making your content attractive to ‘bots is a tempting proposition. But, if you fall into the trap of “Gray Hat” (or worse Black Hat) tactics, the payoff will be short-lived. Post-Panda, there is no shortcut for getting quality traffic to your site. Simply put: you’ve got to put the time and money into producing and publishing quality content that is written for real people (that are interested in your products/services) and provides relevant solutions, if you want to enjoy sustained and quality traffic (more on that in a minute).
Verdict: Writing for ‘bots instead of people is a trick!
“Getting Rankings Up by Blasting a Site with Traffic (relevant or not) – Is It a Trick or a Treat?”
Unlike commuters, SEO managers love traffic. Getting more eyes on a site is one of the principal ways that you can measure the success of your SEO. But, if visitors are bouncing outta your site faster than you can say “Holy SEO!”, the traffic may not be the “good kind”. Black hat SEO tactics can bring tons of traffic to your site, but what matters (in terms of ROI) is how much of that traffic converts. To wit, companies need SEO teams that understand how to bring relevant traffic through organic and non-organic searches. Quality or relevant visitors (traffic) are more likely to buy (convert), instead of just window shopping (bounce). Source: http://white.net/blog/4-steps-measuring-roi-seo-campaigns/
Verdict: Driving irrelevant traffic to a site is a trick!
Getting “Treats” from your SEO requires a holistic approach
Successful SEO campaigns are like a balanced diet: too much of any one thing to the exclusion of other essential nutrients is a recipe for disaster. The nuts-and-bolts of SEO techniques: branded and non-branded traffic, content marketing, domain authority ranking, back links, etc., all work together to bring the traffic you want to your site. And when you work with your SEO team or consultants to make your site consistently relevant to your target audience, that audience will beat a path to your door.