Is Your SEO Campaign Missing Something?

by on February 5, 2010

Maapu's Candles

Uploading a useful and well-crafted article on the Net without search engine optimization is like getting ready for your Oscar debut and remaining hidden in the closet. Unless your clients come to your house, peek inside the closet to find you and spread the word, the chances of you being seen are slim. The same can be said for your well-crafted article. However, a well-written page can ensure organic traffic that can last the test of time.

One must understand more than just the basics of SEO. It’s 2010 and we are dealing with different search engines, as well as a more educated and savvy users. You must first find optimal keywords and phrases to lead a maximum campaign that results in organic and targeted traffic. All marketing decisions for the SEO campaign have to be made on hard data, not educated guesses. Tracking is also very important, so make sure your website tracking provides important metrics.

When a user keys in a search query, regardless of what search engine used, web pages come down like a tsunami. Inevitably, search engine results and users’ requirements do not always meet in a hand-in-glove manner, but web crawlers manage the selection process to give you optimal results… or so it seems. The way pages are selected and offered from those floodtides in seconds would look like a miracle, and this miracle is made possible because of a strong SEO keyword campaign.

Keyword research, keyword use, and link building are some of the more important aspects of successful SEO.

Keywords are extremely important for any SEO campaign, because matching keywords with content is the only bait that search engines will swallow. As of now, the web crawlers that select the pages are blind to the beauty of the rest of the page, such as beautiful graphics. They do their job by matching the keywords visitor type to the content found on a particular web page. Not to beat a dead horse, but let’s repeat: the first step for any successful SEO is research, test, and data mine keywords user/ customers are likely to use.

Okay, so now we have that out of the way, what’s next?

Keywords have to be progressively narrowed; often they may need to be twisted out of shape to make them effective in an SEO campaign. For example, if you want to advertise a holiday villa in Canberra, you might have to coin different keywords like “holiday villa Canberra”, “Canberra holiday villa”, “holiday villa Canberra Australia”, or “villa holiday Canberra”. Since these keywords can’t all be naturally squeezed into the same page, the promoter will need different articles to use each keyword phrase.

Since there is no end to the idiosyncrasies of those searching things online, a keyword can be anything in order to satisfy SEO campaign requirements. For example if, by keyword research, it is found that too many people refer to Australia as “down under”, then you may have to write new content integrating the phrase “holiday villa down under”. Some of these keyword phrases may be linguistically unacceptable, but a successful SEO campaign often requires that we say goodbye to the Queen’s English. Now, this doesn’t mean your content has to suck, nor does it have to have every keyword on a single page. On the contrary – be creative and natural!

How can I find the perfect keywords for my business?

It is clear to anyone paying attention that search engines have not been the only ones to change; people have changed the way they search. In its simplest form, think of the search engines as the dealers of information – the middlemen. They bond customers and sellers with keywords. In turn, those keywords become part of the language, modified to bridge the two.

Once the right keywords and phrases are short-listed, the next step is to weave these keywords into content of the site, blog or article, together with researched material and relevant data. This marriage between data and keywords might often be a marriage of convenience, but it is up to the writer to make it a real marriage. The right keywords in the title, as well as natural placement through the articles, are a must for successful SEO.

Link building is another aspect to consider when building this campaign. Link building is as much a part of your reputation as it is part of your user’s experience. Understand that true, useful link building is not about sending out a generic “let’s do links” email to just any site owner. A strong campaign must be well thought out, with a researched (“researched” is the key word, here) list of potential partners that can enhance your credibility.

In reality, link building is more about a connection: social proof, reputation, accountability – and, of course, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Turns out, respect is important, even in the business world. Link building doesn’t have to be a full time job, but it will take some active participation on your part, as well as the ability to say “no” to the wrong type of link invitations. Always focus on quality, rather than quantity.

Before accepting a link, ask yourself:

  • Will these links really help my visitors?
  • Are these links from relative, upstanding Web, blog or article sites?
  • Are there tons of links on the suggested page (the more outgoing links from a page, the less link juice you get)?
  • Is the linking site getting traffic?

Guest blogging is a great way to build links. For instance, when writing a guest article, you are typically allowed to include a few links, as well as your biography. Guest blogging provides several benefits, such as:

  • Increased exposure
  • Increased chances for recognition
  • Links back to your site from the biography
  • Increased authority

As well, linking out to good blogs will help, although not (necessarily) with your SEO. By linking to other great, relevant blogs or articles, you increase the value of your own blog for your readers. Increased value means increased recognition, which, in turn, means increased readers. For SEO, however, the more willing you are to spread around the glory (i.e. posting relevant links within an article whether they’re your links or not), the more likely other bloggers will be willing to do the same with your blogs.

Finally, while managing your SEO campaign remember the ultimate goal. Ultimately, you aren’t building a website, working on a blog or writing an article to attract search engines. Ultimately, you’re trying to attract clients. If you can’t decide whether you’ve overdone the linking and keywords, always err on the side of caution. Search engines may find you, but populate your website with improperly written SEO content and you’ll lose the visitors (i.e. potential customers) you worked so hard to get.

In conclusion (there is an end to this I promise) everything you upload on the Internet will hold value for the success and future of your business. Things like trust, experience, influence, connection, reputation, credibility are what will solidify your place on the Internet, no matter what search engine people use.



{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Montali March 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

Gabriella,

Just came across this article and after reading through noticed it was published three years ago. Many of these principles are still very important today and have not changed – for instance social signals are the primary importance and link building is more of a way to build a dialogue with other bloggers. That said, I look forward to networking with you :)

Mike

Reply

Gabriella Sannino March 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

Hey Mike, thanks. Funny thing is I don’t think marketing has changed that much since I graduated back in the early 80′s. I may be aging myself, but at the end of the day it’s always been about relevance, and of course psychology 101. Finding and hitting those emotional points that take the buyer beyond keywords. Conversions. as I’ve stated above “Ultimately, you’re trying to attract clients.” See you around the social planet!

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Mike Montali March 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Absolutely. I’m glad to see you’re still on the site and monitoring the old posts :) I’ve read a bunch of the other posts already and I I think the content here is some of the best I’ve seen (the guest blogs by Don Rhoades and Jennifer Horowitz are outstanding) and the posts aren’t unbearably long like most are on SEOMoz.

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Personal Finance Software June 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

Such a informative article the tips about SEO is really helpful and I am looking forward to follow them thanks for sharing such a helpful information.

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lalithaniggula March 5, 2010 at 2:28 am

Really i like the content of the blog..i recently visited your blog but i m very very impressed.Great post on SEO campaigns and very valuable information especially for SEO newbies like me. Until recently I had not heard about guest blogging but I find it a great avenue to get more exposure.

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John March 3, 2010 at 6:32 am

Great Post buddy, great website too.

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Heaven February 27, 2010 at 8:05 am

I’ve done work on the other side of article marketing – being the writer, not the marketer that is. You can get people to create the content for you at a very low price, given that you know what you’re looking for. Most of my clients would tell me a keyword, a density (what percentage of the article the keyword made up), and the general theme they were going for. The creativity was up to me. If you want to get into article marketing but don’t want to do the work yourself, note that there are always options.

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Gabriella February 27, 2010 at 8:27 am

Hello Heaven, yes I completely get what you are saying being on one side of the fence…I am sorry to say those clients will still not get the results they are looking for. Ultimately conversion writing is more than keywords and density. But in my years of writing I firmly believe, in order to write compelling copy for yourself or a client you have to have a reason for the copy. Therefore you must understand the strategy for that copy.

Any solid marketing strategy (article writing) is supported by other strategies. Whether you are writing for more sign ups for an email list, RSS subscribers, higher conversion rates from visitors to customers, inquiries about services, and of course ultimately blog comments it still has to have a strategy.

When clients give us projects and ask us to write the copy, I insist on seeing the whole picture. I want to know why I am writing this, how they are going to gauge the success and are they tracking any comments that may come of the post? In a way I think that will not only endear you to your client (for caring & not just doing) but it also gives you the ability to use your creativity. I love brainstorming with clients and asking them why? You would be surprised how many actually come back with comments like ” I heard that’s the way to get better Page Rank” or ” That’s how you get more traffic” I am always left to wonder if they really have done their homework.

I have gone as far to tell a client I cannot write the copy with a clear conscious because I felt the keywords they are using are wrong. So maybe I want to get involved, but that also allows me to ask for more than just a copywriting fee. It’s a complete package. You have to educate your clients sometimes, that’s one way we have been able to retain clients long term.

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Ilka Flood February 20, 2010 at 11:30 am

Great post on SEO campaigns and very valuable information especially for SEO newbies like me. Until recently I had not heard about guest blogging but I find it a great avenue to get more exposure.

I have also started linking back to other websites/blogs and articles.

I’m learning something new every day :)

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Gabriella February 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Hello Ilka, so nice of you to stop by. We try to share as much information we can with our readers. From great tips we learned along the way to mistakes we have corrected. Do come again and ask your friends to come by too. We don’t bite ;)

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Michael February 18, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Article marketing is a strange area.

I can spend hours writing informative articles and spread them around the net in the hope of getting a link from the many article directories, normally though they just don’t seem to affect the rankings atall.

However, doing guest blog posting is something I’ve never even thought about trying. Sounds like a good idea.

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Gabriella February 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Hello Michael, indeed spending time writing them then uploading them, then making sure you have all information needed for the resource box, summary etc. is time consuming and after all we all have done it or are doing it. I am glad you found the suggestion useful, come back and give us the url ;)

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Azterik Media February 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm

This is excellent advice Gabriella. Thanks for taking the time to put this information together. I especially agree with your suggestion for Guest Bloggers. That is a great two-way street for promotion and shows your readers that you think enough of them to expose them to more than just your content.

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Gabriella February 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

@Azterik Media We have been getting new readers because we are guest posting and of course encouraging your readers to write posts for your own blog isn’t such a bad idea.

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Chris February 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm

wow great post, keyword use is such an important part of seo these days. you are so right

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riders February 7, 2010 at 3:08 am

Its nice articles,i like to read its very useful.

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