Is SEO a Moving Target?

Is SEO a moving target or are you simply shooting blanks in the dark? It’s no surprise that for those of you trying to get your site ranked that you’ve discovered that SEO is “subject to change” and often on a daily or weekly basis.

SEO-Moving-Target

Ready, Aim, Fire!

From Florida updates to Panda maulings, despite the ups and downs, certain metrics remain intact.

As a webmaster, these evergreen metrics are the focal point to remain relevant amidst the rise and fall of questionable flavor of the month SEO methodologies before they get leaked, peak and go the way of overused and abused SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and other dated practices from our fabled list of 10 SEO techniques to avoid.

Search engines are stepping up their game, and so should you. Today’s topic is a refresher on strategy, ROI and scalability when determining which keywords are worthwhile to engage.

Aim for Lucrative Keywords

The type of keywords you target matters. Ranking for obscure, less popular keywords never made anyone rich, nor will keyword duds recover their vested interest or the financial return on investment anted up to get ranked in the first place.

The moral of the story is to watch where you point your SEO, more specifically, target the best keywords based on the climate for conversion.

Of the three types of keywords:

  • Long tail keywords (easy to rank for, not as much search volume, but you can target more of them with less effort).
  • Mid tail keywords (they take more time, but have a steady flow of traffic and conversions) – or -
  • Primary root phrases (they take the longest, but are often educational keywords that lack commercial intent).

Certain keywords produce click throughs and others create conversions. Depending on your business model (if you get paid from CPM advertising, CPA offers, Direct Sales, Lead Generation, or other means) determines which type of traffic is more important for your business and where you should put your attention.

If you find yourself in an organic SEO campaign, make sure you stay away from the bright shiny objects and focus on profitable keyword clusters laced with conversion opportunities fermenting with intent that turn browsers into buyers and not browsers into a high bounce rate (which can impact and undermine your websites’ trust and relevance score).

Employ Relevancy and Recency

Two things make search engines tick (1) relevance and (2) recency – making sure the breaking story is still hot or newsworthy or making sure that someone looking for the best sewing kits or fly fishing rods finds a website worthy of praise.

Your goal is to become that site by catering to the full spectrum (not just the tip of the iceberg) and use the secret sauce of co-occurrence (using various phrases found in the most authoritative websites on the topic) to ensure your website is the definitive go to destination for not only one type of query but rather a full spectrum of semantic variables within a market or niche.

You accomplish this through topical relevance and by applying constant pressure though content creation or content curation to provide leverage and scale past complacent competitors.

Keep in mind that Google looks at more than just site structure and links. They observe the stickiness of the page, social signals, bounce rate and uniqueness.

However, if you need to scale and conquer, then content curation (if done properly) can still yield favorable results through leveraging the inbound link opportunities that exist (for creating shingles to your primary landing pages) even if the supporting article or page is intended to rank or just serve as eye candy to entice a larger audience.

If you generate hundreds of visitors to your website daily, search engines will take notice and start sending more theme relevant traffic your way (if you intended it or not).

The key is to understand the effect and keep enough unique content in play (while remaining relevant and recent) such as using trends data from Google, what’s hot in Alexa or trending topics in Twitter or Facebook to find the happy medium that can generate a stream of new visitors to your website.

Flowing with the go instead of merely treading water or getting swept away in a competitive current instead of leveraging the “what’s hot / it factor” and integrating some newsworthy topic or recent event can mean the difference between a couple of clicks from random sources or a flurry of traffic.

Replicate: Syndication Equals Impact

How influential your website becomes is dependent on (1) the audience (2) their propensity to share and (3) the curb appeal of your headlines, writing style, verve or the appeal of the content, tutorial, newsflash or entertainment value therein.

Expand your reach intelligently by straying away from flimsy content and provide quality through and through to develop genuine domain authority. In other words, target behaviors not just keywords.

So, before you write your next post, remember, search engines are designed to follow trends, and prefer a full spectrum of topical content on a subject rather than the tip of the iceberg randomness.

So, before you start writing about dust mites, automotive parts and health and fitness and trying to make it all work, you are only setting yourself up to fail. Snipe a few keywords starting with some low hanging fruit, use those pages or posts to provide internal links to the more competitive mid-tail keywords and then leverage those landing pages using links via syndication to tackle the more competitive traffic-bearing keywords.

If you target keywords in phases, then you can test, measure, determine what works then lean into the phrases bringing your revenue to scale and replicate through content curation or syndication of current and legacy content.

Once mastered, search engines will follow you, not the other way around!

Or Stick Around and Read More Posts

5 Comments

  1. Hammad
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    i Have Heard That Meta Keywords Are Not Important Now In Google Search Engine, Plzz Tell me That Whether Should i include Them In My Website Or not?

  2. Allan
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    You have by far the best SEO blog on the web! Keep up the good work!

  3. Jeffrey Smith
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    @Allan:

    Thanks Allan, we try to keep it real around here. No talk about meta tags and fairy dust here, only real SEO!

    Appreciate the feedback.

  4. Jeffrey Smith
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    @Hammad:

    No need to bother, the algorithms search engine use can read and access the context of the page and assign a value. If you still want to use Meta tags, you can, but they do not carry the weight they once had for sure.

    All the best!

    Jeffrey

  5. Huda
    Posted January 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Quite infomative blog ! liked the content much informative

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