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Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | email@example.com Cracking the SEO Code for 2015: Tactics to Love vs. Leave
This Presentation Is Online Here: bit.ly/seoloveleave
A brief look at how SEO has evolved over the past five years. What Changed?
Ranking algorithms are far more complex – more inputs, more subtlety, more quality checks. #1:
Advancements in User Data Signals Via Eric Fischer
An Uncanny Ability to Spot Editorial VS. Manipulative Links
Keyword Matching is Now Intent Matching
Personalization by History, Device, Location, and Google+
SEO has become a job description, not a job title. #2:
Analysis of LinkedIn Profiles
SEOs Have Learned that Just Doing Their Jobs Often Isn’t Enough And, that the title “SEO” may limit influence
Policing of webspam is more aggressive, more difficult to recover from, & less evenly applied. #3:
Non-Editorial Links Are More Dangerous Than Ever
Webspam’s Become Every Site Owner’s Problem Via Moz: Preparing for Negative SEO
Google is shortening searchers’ paths and disintermediating content creators. #4:
Less Opportunity in Many Simplistic “Give Me the Answer” Queries
No Traffic For You, NFL
No Traffic For You, City of Boston!
No Traffic For You, Moz!
No Traffic For You, Hubspot!
Less Opportunity In Some Non-Simple Queries, Too:
If You’re Expedia, These Results Suck…
Almost 6 Billion queries/day But It May Mean More Opportunity in the Long Tail
The ubiquity of social media has broadened the field of “influencers.” #5:
1997-2011: The Linkerati Rule the Web Via Forrester Research 13% of web users can amplify content
2012-Present: We Are All Potential Amplifiers Via Pew Research Data 72% of web users can amplify content
Disappearing data makes SEO more challenging to measure and improve. #6:
Keyword Referral Data is Gone On average, 87.5% of keywords from Google are now “not provided” (source)
AdWords’ [Exact Match] No Longer Exact Via http://adwords.blogspot.com/2014/08/close-variant-matching-for-all-exact.html
A Significant Portion of Search Traffic May Be Falsely Hidden in “Direct” Groupon’s experiment showing up to 60% of traffic reported as “direct” may be organic search
How do these changes affect which tactics we can still pursue vs. those we must leave behind? So…
Great SEO Is No Longer Just “SEO” Keywords Links Crawl Rankings SEO in 2004
Great SEO Is No Longer Just “SEO” Keywords Links Crawl Rankings SEO in 2014 Social Content Design & UX Speed Accessibility Email Press & PR CX Webspam Mobile Internationalization Localization
Our Job: Choose the Tactics that Marry Our Strengths to Our Opportunities
No tactic will be right for everyone. But, awareness of our potential arsenal is essential.
Tactics to Leave Behind vs. Tactics to Embrace for the Future:
AdWords-Only Discovery Leave It Behind
AdWords + Suggest + Customer Data Many queries with 100s or 1000s of monthly searches don’t show up in AdWords but will show up here.
My favorite tool for keyword suggest research: Keywordtool.io This tool makes the process easier.
Popular questions, phrases, and terms that your audience uses in web forums/social media are excellent sources of keyword data expansion
Create & Scale Keyword-Targeted Pages of “Good, Unique Content”
This is a LONG page from Angie’s List that ranks #1 for “Best Plumbers in Medford, OR”
This is the ONLY “unique content” on that page
You’re dreaming! Think you can build pages like that and rank?
Create & Scale Keyword-Targeted Pages of “Good, Unique Content” Leave It Behind
Modern Criteria for Content: One-of-a-Kind – doesn’t appear elsewhere on the web Relevant – contains content the engines can interpret as on-the-topic to the searcher’s intent & phrasing Helpful – resolves the searcher’s query in a useful, efficient manner Uniquely Valuable – provides information that’s unavailable (or hard to get) elsewhere Great UX– is easy & pleasurable to consume on any device
A Great Example from Genius.com
Accurate, readable lyrics Uniquely valuable annotations A community of contributors One click to play Data re: popularity & activity
Acquire Links Via Directories, Forums, Account Profiles, etc.
Acquire Links Via Directories, Forums, Account Profiles, etc. Leave It Behind
Acquire Links w/ Off-Topic Infographics & Embeds
Acquire Links w/ Off-Topic Infographics & Embeds Leave It Behind
Acquire Links By Scaling Up Guest Posting & Commenting
Acquire Links By Scaling Up Guest Posting & Commenting Leave It Behind
The Truth: Google doesn’t want to count links you can “build.”
The Truth: Google only wants to count links you editorially “earn.”
Instead, Build Relationships My haircut place built a relationship & partnered with a local sex toy shop – now both get more branding, exposure, customers, & links!* *partnering with nearby sex toy shops may not be the perfect bizdev action for everyone
Use Content to Drive Editorial Links
Aim for Resource Pages & Blogrolls
Buy Exposure that Leads to Links (not the links themselves)
For more link building tactics to love, see: Link Building from the Moz Blog Paddy Moogan’s Link Building eBook Experts’ Favorite Link Building Tactics How to Leverage PR for Link Building The Future of Link Building
Social Media & SEO
Share Socially to Get Rankings No doubt about it – there’s a strong CORRELATION between tweets (and Facebook and Google+ shares) and higher rankings.
Share Socially to Get Rankings No doubt about it – there’s a strong CORRELATION between tweets (and Facebook and Google+ shares) and higher rankings. Leave It Behind
Social Impacts SEO Indirectly This blog post from OKTrends earned 100s of links after launch Social shares expose content to those who might link to it (and amplify in other ways)
G+ is the Exception for Logged-In Results Because I follow Mark on G+, what he shares/+1s can usually ranks higher when I’m logged into my Gmail.
Publish Content to Get Links & Rankings Blog Post Blog Post Article Article Blog Post
Publish Content to Get Links & Rankings Blog Post Blog Post Article Article Blog Post Leave It Behind
Links & Shares Skew to the Top 5% of Content http://www.simplereach.com/blog/facebook-continues-to-be-the-biggest-driver-of-social-traffic/
There’s No Prize For Hitting Publish
Rules for Content Investments: Strategic & Relevant– the content must tie to business goals and fit with your branding Targets Likely Amplifiers – there should be an obvious answer to the question “who will help spread this content and why?” Cannot Be Fire & Forget– most content will fail; you need to be willing to invest longer and harder than the competition to find success
Need Inspiration? Check out Buzzsumo Buzzsumo – my favorite tool for researching the competitive content landscape
Traffic & Performance by Keyword Pre-2012 Post-2012
Traffic & Performance by Keyword Pre-2012 Post-2012 Leave It Behind
Instead, Measure Search Traffic Performance by Page (or Section) Observing the pages that receive search visits can get close to the old keyword-based performance reports.
And/Or Use Estimates in SEO Software Packages If you use a tool like Conductor, Searchmetrics, or Moz Analytics, you can see predictions for KWs sending traffic to given pages
Attribution Models This is how most companies (& software packages) do web analytics by default
Attribution Models This is how most companies (& software packages) do web analytics by default Leave It Behind
Attribution Models A model something like this makes far more sense.
Pro Tip: Note which channels are frequently part of your overall conversion process Many times, these contain channels that can’t be tracked, and you’ll only miss them if you stop investing
The Best ROI Often Comes from Non-Measurable, Serendipitous Marketing
SEO is getting harder
But, that high barrier to entry means greater opportunity for those who succeed.
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | firstname.lastname@example.org bit.ly/seoloveleave