Rather than make this an SEO how-to manual, we chose to provide a “big picture” view of which steps are critical for launching a successful website in today’s competitive environment.
- SEO Best Practices Part 2 Marketing and Promotion
From the topics covered in SEO Best Practices: Getting Started (part 1) and this post SEO Best Practices: Search Engine Marketing and Promotion (the follow up), you will have a structural road map which you can use as a springboard to zoom-in on individual topics for additional details.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no longer just about SERPs (search engine result pages); but rather encompasses a plethora of holistic online marketing approaches, promotional tactics, metrics and marketing methods. Online promotion and gaining traction online goes beyond the mere scope of simple link building and directories, quite simply SEO has evolved.
In today’s post, we will cover:
- Social Media Engagement
- Traditional and Deep Link Directories
- RSS Directories
- Conversion Optimization &
- A Bonus Topic – Buying Traffic
Social Media Engagement:
Once thought of as a flash in the pan concept, search engines shrugged social media and many webmasters dismissed the potency of traffic it can deliver. Initially, I also felt the same about social media (that traffic was fickle, unpredictable and it did not convert), however, with the proper positioning, the appropriate context, the right offer and catching people at the right time can equate to conversions regardless of the traffic source (social media included).
The premise is simple:
- Join an online community (Facebook, Twitter, Mixx, etc.).
- Find others within that online community that has an affinity for the topics that you are passionate about.
- Share ideas, products, services, suggestions (but only after you have clout).
Egregious and tactless self-promotion is not accepted in most online social media environments, however people often use automated or semi-automated tools for social bookmarking on websites like Folkd, Reddit, Propel, Digg, etc. or sites that if a story goes Hot (through community acknowledgment and votes) has the ability to deliver a server-taxing barrage of traffic.
Others use social media for sharing snippets, useful posts, blogs or comments (about various topics) or strictly for delivering visitors to affiliate offers with obfuscated links to faciliate conversion.
Regardless of the method, finding the proper balance of respect, realism and engagement that delivers qualified visitors to your website is the bottom line for business. Just keep in mind that nobody likes spam and it is NOT OK to just lob posts, links or otherwise into the space without regard to the inherent protocols that surround each community.
Places to start:
For getting started, once you find the communities that are conducive try using www.amplify.com as an API aggregator to stream your posts from one service through the other (like a mash up), which saves you time to focus on running your business rather than logging in and have to re-post updates from each website.
Traditional and Deep Link Directories:
We have covered some basic strategies about site structure, the importance of internal and external links, social media and website promotion, but now we need to look at the link equation (particularly the link osmosis / transfer factor and link relevance).
Link building is not always a quantitative formula as much as it is a quantitative aspect or (a) link diversity (b) citation and (c) authority and trust.
You will need various “types of links” in order to acquire enough off page link reputation to push past your more seasoned competitors, acquiring links from deep link directories can give your pages a push in the right direction.
Traditional link directories were originally intended as a resource (before the onset of search engines) and at one time did hold a significant purpose to provide additional visitors to your website.
Now, with the big 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) people simply use the most frequent method (their toolbars built into their browsers IE, Firefox or Chrome) to facilitate a search.
Even though things have moved on from using directories for traffic, they can still pack a wallop of link equity if targeted properly (using a drip down approach).
For example, some of the things you should look for in a directory are:
- That the homepage is indexed with PageRank.
- That there is a clear navigation structure to facilitate link flow to the internal pages.
- That the page or category your website will appear in is indexed.
- That the page or category your website will appear in has been crawled in the last 30 days (crawl frequency is an indicator of PageRank and importance to Google).
- That the site has some other way for fresh backlinks to provide buoyancy for the amount of links leaving the page.
- How many pages are indexed in the sub folder you are seeking a link from (using the site:directory.com/category/* search operator) to assess indexation.
I also like to use Majestic SEO to look at the history of the site, how many inbound links it has, the AC rank (preferably over 7) and the age of the domain.
If it has a PR4 or higher to the homepage, internal links to the categories, strong internal page (higher than AC Rank 7 internally and has been crawled recently, then it is a good target for building a themed link to your page.
The only difference between traditional directories and deep link directories is (a) the traditional directories only allow you to build a link to your homepage and (b) the deep link directories allow you to publish links to both your home page and subsequent other significant pages within your website to provide buoyancy for those pages.
For a more detailed tactic for finding relevant or niche directories refer to our post amply named “SEO Tips for Link Building and Directory Submissions”.
RSS directories are a great source for building trackbacks and blog traffic by way of citation. The more places your feed gets published, the more potential for your traffic to gain backlinks and / or traffic from RSS aggregators.
It is yet another type of linking that can create the appropriate citation to expedite the domain authority process. SEO’s main purpose aside from search engine result page positioning is to be able to create enough authority within the domain so that keywords are not a quest, but rather a by-product of creating and publishing content.
Each website and its internal pages has a particular tipping-point where the contents on those pages have the ability to climb over other websites and establish themselves with little effort from outside sources – this is the goal and RSS syndication is another way to achieve additional leverage to accomplish this objective.
You can find a list of RSS aggregators for your content management system by following the previous link (to augment internal blog and ping link building on auto-pilot). For a list of outside sources you can syndicate your RSS feed, refer to this resource for a solid list of RSS directories from Lee Odden and the team from TopRankBlog.com a.k.a TopRankMarketing.com.
What use is traffic if there is no conversion objective. Once you know your offer works, then you can scale the volume of traffic to those offers through various traffic sources. SEO is one traffic source, by far one of the most cost-effective (after the due diligence and difficult stages are overcome as a result of patience, skill and persistence).
Yet if you need to understand the psychology of the consumer and how it applies to persuasion, user engagement and you need to test multiple variables such as landing page copy, multivariate elements (where specific images, text, copy and on site assets) are tested in recipes to find the most compelling offer and conversion, then you need conversion optimization vs. the traditional a/b split testing method to determine which recipe is the strongest.
Just as you can bring a horse to water and not make them drink, what is the point of engaging SEO if you are sending traffic to dated pages with lackluster copy with no viable call to action or potential conversion funnel?
Companies we suggest are:
These firms can help your business identify, test and tweak your offers until they pull their own weight and can produce double digit conversions to facilitate ROI.
*Bonus Topic – Buying Traffic:
People often look past alternative networks (CPA and CPM networks) that broker traffic through an extensive process of matching publishers with advertisers to improve (a) traffic (b) conversion and (c) yield a more targeted type of visitor to specific landing pages.
This is a new field for us, however, in our testing our favorites are:
Services such as this allow you to sell ads or use contextual links from within your website / content for monetization purposes or buy ads via banners, interstitial ads or contextual links on websites with sympathetic traffic sources or a built-in audience capable of delivering more targeted visitors to your website.
They operate on a fee per month, cost per click, or cost per acquisition basis and the ability to scale depends on (a) your offer (b) how well it converts and (c) how much of the profits you can recycles into the principle which in turn buys more exposure to create more conversions to create additional profits, etc.
As you can see, SEO is no longer just a three letter word that deals with search engine result pages alone. It is an umbrella to something much larger – the online landscape.
We hope you found this informative and despite being written for the masses vs. the typical jargon and SEO geek speak found on our blog, if you enjoyed the resources, then pass them along to others or drop a link to the post.
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