You build a great looking website, pack it with quality content and useful information and go live. You make sure you tick all the checkboxes, including keywords, their weight, proximity and prominence and even acquaint yourself with Panda and Penguin (they aren’t just two cute animals with black & white skin). But nothing great really happens: you’re not on top of search results, site traffic isn’t what you expected and revenue, well, the less you think about it the better.
What did you do wrong? TOS busts some SEO myths for you.
I need to submit my site to Google. When you have a site, irrespective of whether you tell Google about it, crawlers will find and index it in due time. The idea that if Google doesn’t know about it, your site won’t show in search results is, at best, childish.
SEO is all about ranking. Yes, there is a correlation between search rank and clickthrough rates, but ranking isn’t as big a deal as it used to be before. Search results are now appended with rich text and author tags, making results which appear below the highly sought after “top three slots” garner better clickthrough rates. Even before this started happening, rankings never equaled success. For a given query, you may rank among the top three, drive huge amounts of traffic and yet not make a penny from it. We’re sure that’s not what you want.
I must rank #1. User behavior and clickthrough rates reveal searchers favor the top 3 listings. However, studies also show higher listings on subsequent pages exhibit similar click behavior. Listings with rich snippets and author profiles have higher clickthrough rates even if they don’t appear among the top listings. Your takeaway from all this: relevant information and user-friendly content is more crucial than rank. So, you don’t need to rank first anymore to achieve success.
More links are important than more content. It follows the question marketers often ask themselves, “ Where should I invest in, link building or content creation?” Links are vital to your site’s authority but you need to have someone who can develop quality content for you. More often than not, businesses which pay for link building are only interested in quantity over quality – but it’s not about numbers anymore. You must aim for diverse and relevant sources that link to your pages. Investing in content will make it easily usable as blog posts, site pages, guest posts and lead generation on other websites. In due time, they will bring more leads with them.
Social media and SEO have nothing in common. Social media and search come together in what is known as “social search”. Social search is alive and kicking – and Google is using it’s might to prove the above with Author Profiles and Google+. It merely reinforces what has always been true: content which is relevant, trustworthy and authoritative will keep driving your social media marketing and search campaigns. Social search prioritizes content which has a social connection with you, meaning content shared by people you are linked to via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or any other major social networking site has an affinity to rank higher. On the other hand, social search can also give prominence to content that has been shared by social media experts or influencers, even if they don’t have a direct connection with you. The lesson, here, is to have a social media strategy and align it to your search optimization initiatives – the two are anything but silos.
Google can never tell if bad sites link to me. Alas! This isn’t fairyland. But Google is like Santa Claus. It knows whether you’re a good or a bad child. Infact, after the Panda and Penguin updates, you should never ever try and fool it in the first place. Or else, you know what’ll happen – no presents for you!
SEO has evolved from just getting found to improving user experience and interaction with content. You need to optimize for humans and not search engines. Your users should be able to click through to your website from the listings and once they are inside, you need to ensure they stay there. Publish content that’s relevant, updated and personalized. Even Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer says Yahoo’s future lies in personalized content.
Your site should be intuitive, user-friendly, and easily accessible by users and crawlers. If you are making your visitors look for what they need, you’re committing a cardinal sin. Lay down simple, undiluted calls-to-action, and you’ll soon be converting users into your customers.
If you want to know more about how we can make these or other such insights work for your website, ring us on +91-9910057873 , or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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