On Thursday 2nd of February Ricemedia were lucky enough to go to DistilledLive, a meetup for industry professionals to talk about all things SEO. This wonderful event took place in Distilled’s London office, where we were greeted with beer, wine and pizza (huge fan). A mild freak out over a spider also occurred, but we are going to brush over that (it was not a black widow).
Now, you’re probably thinking about how boring that all sounds (apart from the food and drink obviously) and all the other things you would have done with your Thursday evening, but here’s the thing – every business with a website needs SEO, but your SEO strategy should be unique to your very own company. From discussing site testing to keyword ranking and link building, here are some things your business needs to take into consideration when you’re looking at your digital marketing strategy.
A Love Letter to testing: going beyond best practices
Distilled consultant, Zee Hoffman Jones kicked off the evening talking about the importance of testing what works for a business’s SEO and Digital Marketing strategy, even if best practices suggest that it might not work. We’re so used to relying on blogs and other pieces of information to give us the answer and tell us whether something will or will not work, we’re forgetting to go further and test whether these best practices work for each individual client.
Whilst trends are helpful to shaping the strategy that will work for your company, it is important to remember that these trends are always changing and do not represent everyone. So, be understanding and flexible. Don’t be afraid to test numerous things – even if it does contradict what best practices state. Your business has individual needs and testing and questioning can add some real value to your business. If you want to read more about the benefits of testing and questioning best practices, then check out what Etsy had learnt from Multivariate SEO testing and how it had benefited their business.
Proving the first few things you learnt about SEO right (or wrong).
Following on from Zee Hoffman Jones, fellow Distilled consultant Sam Nemzer also suggested that we question everything we know about SEO, because Google is always changing. Instead of thinking about how to get the outcome we want for Google’s SERPs, we need to think about the process in order to get there, as Google is always developing.
Ad Block is killing your web traffic
Oh, and you need to corroborate your sources of analytic data before you settle on a final statistic. From referral spam giving you fake hits to Ad Block killing your analytic data, a singular method of tracking is not an honest representation. Because of Ad Block, 10% of all your web traffic isn’t being accounted for. The solution? Confirm or oppose this with another data source, such as server log based analytics, and never take a singular method of measurement as the truth.
Canonical Keyword Ranking does not exist*
When it comes to ranking for keywords in the SERP, there is no one overall ranking (according to Sam Nemzer). From location to personalisation, there are numerous reasons why a site will rank – it isn’t just down to the keyword or key phrase. So, if you find that you’re ranking for a keyword (which is still awesome), get your SEO agency to check it across multiple browsers before you pop that champagne! Extending on this, after testing 10 linked key phrases Sam had found that only 60% worked. So, don’t keyword stuff but find out what works for you.
*This is of the opinion of Sam Nemzer, and is a bold statement to make.
Low(er) risk link building for 2017 and beyond.
Founder of Manyminds, Kirsty Hulse gave us a whistle stop tour of her link building strategy, and the best ways to come up with a varied set of goals that will give us high value links whilst utilising the time and resources available to us. The main point to take away from this is as follows; if your site offers high value content and good quality information that will be of interest to people, then you will have more success in getting those links.
First things first – the ultimate objective of link building is to get a high value link to your site that will bring you traffic and engagement, and in-order to get these high value links it takes a little time and a sprinkle of creativity. However, coming up with these ideas can be a real challenge – but we have the Internet. The recommendations of where to get some high value ideas from were as follows;
- Reddit. You will find so many sub-reddits for things you didn’t even know people cared about.
- Think about your idea before the format – otherwise you’re trapping yourself.
- Look at Amazon’s Recommended Books to get those ideas – it is always changing.
- Plan a brainstorm a week in advance – give yourself time to think.
The downfall of content
Once you’ve come up with a great idea getting that high-value link is the next battle. Kirsty’s solution? It’s as follows; Find expert opinions and statistics to back up your idea. This means that finding someone who says yes to giving you that link will be so much easier.
From taking a survey to getting confirmation from an expert, the data you collect will fuel your campaign and get you the best coverage. If you’re stuck for who to go to then check the New Releases section of Amazon – it’s a great way to find someone in your niche who will partner with you.