The following is a guest article by Zachary James.
Sitting back and looking forward to the coming year, I have thought about the key elements of SEO and what I have learned from simply talking to other SEO consultants in the field. As we wind down 2011 and begin to gear up for 2012, here are a couple essential SEO interviews on my mind these days.
Tim is entirely focused on the search engine marketing and current trends in the industry. One of the areas he has placed the majority of his attention on is the importance of landing pages. Having worked with companies like Sony Music, Coach, American Honda and COMP USA, he has an abundance of experience in the field. Here is his take on the impact of landing pages on SEO.
ROI is an important factor in SEO efforts. While many experts are touting the importance of social media as part of building backlinks and increasing website traffic, you cannot avoid the fact that you still need conversion rates to be high in order to justify your investment. While increasing your backlinks and increasing traffic is good, if it does not ultimately result in conversions and increase the bottom line, then it is a wasted and financially inefficient approach.
You cannot avoid the importance of continually updating your site content. Even if you are sending new traffic to your site, your landing pages need to have relevant information on them that translates into conversions. You can accomplish this by having high quality content on your blog pages, publishing white papers and other media.
Landing page analytics are extremely pivotal in determining how effective your content is and what your conversion rate targets should be. If you take the approach going into your website design that you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, then you should make an effort to create content that will result in the highest conversion rates possible, instead of looking back and analyzing what has worked in the past.
Vanessa worked for Google as their search engine strategy spokesperson and has been involved in the industry since the early 1990s. She has a recent book out called, “Marketing in the Age of Google.”
SEO should an all-encompassing part of product development from the start. Unfortunately, many companies do not include search concepts as part of their product development and do not consider how customers will find or look for their products. The success of products depends on meeting some need the consumer has for that particular product; how they find the product is often dependent on how easily they can find it online through search engine results. Integrating this basic concept into search engine strategy can save companies a great deal of time, effort and money in the long run.
Search and social media can no longer function as separate entities in marketing strategy. In today’s world, they overlap and even branch into web development. Some of the factors that come into play are the consumer’s experience when they interact with social media efforts. For example, do they go to a single site or do they go to several different conflicting sites. Another factor is understanding how search engines function. For example, knowing how search engines index and technically crawl pages can have a gigantic impact on the content included on your site pages and how those pages are promoted and marketed in social media posts.
Every effort and action you take in your SEO marketing plans should have a measurable outcome. Regardless of whether you put a great deal of effort into using social media posts for building backlinks or increasing traffic or article marketing to increase page hits, you should be able to measure the impact of those actions.
There you go. In a nutshell, both Tim and Vanessa say that in order to be successful with your SEO efforts in the coming year, you need to get back to basics and be strategic in your plan. Make sure that you build strong landing pages that will result in conversions and make sure all of your efforts dovetail into each other for effectiveness. These ideas alone are worth the effort in the coming new year.
Zachary James writes for The Regan Group, a field marketing agency that seeks excellence in digital marketing strategy and experiential marketing.
Photo by Randy Stewart