We recently sent our SEO team to an engaging SEO conference and they brought back some thought-provoking industry insights.
What really stood out to us, was every speaker trying to push the ‘new’ and ‘shiny’.
The conference raised some interesting thoughts, one of them being for new people in SEO, say with six months experience, they wouldn’t really have learned anything new within the industry. Perhaps that inexperienced person might only learn as much as what you’d discover in a ‘top SEO tips’ post.When Emir first got into SEO, it was new and shiny and evolving rapidly, at points it was evolving on a weekly basis, however, things do eventually reach maturity. He still believes sticking to the basics reaps the best results.
SEO is no longer seen as the shy ugly duckling to Traditional PR and Advertising, SEO is now a major player in any marketing strategy and if the numbers from Search Engine Land are accurate spending on SEO will be close to $80 billion by 2020.
Source: Search Engine Land
Neglecting the principles of SEO can harm your growth, and Emir’s blog post will explore this.
Value what you already know
The SEO team at Parallax understand what it means to take a step back and reflect. Appreciating what we have achieved in what is a relatively short period of time, is vital for continual improvement.
Isn’t it now the time the industry starts to embrace a new methodology and existence?
Afterall, we’re almost like a beautiful swan, waiting to break out and embrace the beauty that is inside of us. That neverending, expanding, technological insight which is there for the taking should be grasped with both hands.
Most digital magpies have been mesmerised by new shiny AI, Programmatic, Voice and Experiential (a term we’re not particularly fond of!) and are starting to neglect or fail to digest the basics.
However, what most masters of digital are failing to realise is that AI isn’t going to change search, search is going to change AI – that’s what Google is trying to achieve.
However, we can discuss that some another time…
SEO is not the only marketing discipline that’s in danger of forgetting its roots as mentioned by Mark Ritson in his post Marketers have forgotten the meaning of marketing’s most basic principles
As our discipline ages and the concepts of marketing become established and embedded into the lexicon of everyday life, we risk forgetting what their original definitions meant and how we were supposed to apply them.
The Three Pillars to SEO
Here at Parallax we take a simple but effective approach to SEO.
We focus on 3 core pillars:
The technical side can be really simple if you think about it. It’s important to stick to good practice by making sure your client’s website adheres to Google’s best practice guidelines and we don’t wish to bore you with excessive technical aspects; you could simply google that and you’ll be served with a million ‘how to’ guides.
If we can give you some tips, they would be:
- Focus on site speed. The faster the better.
- Make sure the site is built for humans, UX will become an even bigger core algorithm factor.
- Make sure your site works properly from a mobile perspective.
Look at your GA data, if 80% of your traffic is mobile based, however, you’re rocking an outdated desktop focused site that’s not mobile friendly, we needn’t say more.
Secondly is content, as the adage goes “Content is King”, we’re not a fan of that term but it always will be. At Parallax, our keyword research and content strategy is extensive. We focus on really understanding the client and their needs, we take into account their industry and most importantly their current and future customers. We do this by attaining a lot of data from multiple, valuable sources.
As we’ve previously covered in this post before, prioritise your users over bots. The content must be targeted to users. It must provide value and it must answer the search intent or users will just bounce away from your site, which leads to no direct sales for your client.
Thirdly, we focus on authority building, including extensive outreach methods. This, in our opinion, is the least appreciated role in any agency, however, it can be the most difficult. In fact, 99% of SEO’s cannot do this effectively and in our personal opinion, you can easily fall into that percentage with lazy approaches!
Emirs first role in digital marketing was as a link builder and he was reasonably effective at it back in the day when most links were attained through being bought. (We’ve all done it in the past)
Persistence. Patience. Desirability
These are the three aspects that are very much required in order to attain backlinks to your client’s website. We could bang the drum for weeks talking about how to go about achieving them but sticking to best practice usually brings you the best value. What we are really talking about, is the likes of local press, the high authority publications.
Find a reporter who covers news relevant to your client’s industry. Sell your pitch over email and if you’re ignored, tailor a second email! You’ll need to be persistent to achieve the better quality links. You could have no patience and just pay for your links, however, it’s against Google’s best practice guidelines. Additionally, doing this could risk evoking a penalty to your client’s website if you’ve not properly scoped out the quality of the backlink you are thinking about building.
The link building ‘outreach’ role has truly evolved into something very specialised. Earning natural links now is an art form, arguably best achieved through the development of excellent content. Some of the links acquired by our team here, not only for Parallax but also for our clients, we’ve been truly been amazed at because some of the quality behind the domains we’ve secured for clients has been top notch. In our opinion, backlinks will always be a major ranking factor, so make sure you have a team or agency that can do this properly. You can build the most amazing SEO-optimised site but if nobody knows about it, it’s useless.
You know more than you think you do
Now, the SEO team here at Parallax haven’t intended to reinvent the wheel with this post. What we wanted to portray with this post was getting the point across that while AI, Programmatic, marketing is great and exciting, a person specialising in SEO should not be scared of admitting that we’ve hit maturity. They shouldn’t neglect doing their day to day jobs and turn their cheek on doing it properly. You know more than you think you do, so instead of abiding by all things shiny and new, work on what really is effective.