How to develop and optimize your marketing campaign to be algorithm proof SEO
My favorite teacher in high school used to say “some days you’re the bird, and some days you’re the windshield”. Those are essentially the only two outcomes companies face when Google makes a significant algorithm change. You are either a winner or a loser.
So on the week of October 17th, when Penguin 3.0 crushed the industry, it turned out to be a great day both for Farotech and its clients. Our SEO numbers experienced the greatest increase in our 13 year history.
As you can see in the chart below:
Gauging Our Success:
If an SEO Company can provide a 20% increase in total keywords optimization over the course of a year (assuming that traffic is also linked to keyword growth) that would be a very, very successful outcome. So on October 17th (yes, geeks like us work on weekends) when our client’s experienced improvements like this simply because of an algorithm change it is a good day.. But it had nothing to do with luck. Would you like to know how we did it? Keep reading.
Understanding a Google Algorithm
Depending on how long you’ve been in the game, you are aware that Google is constantly making changes to their search algorithm. In the year 2013, SEOMoz documented 36+ algorithm changes. You can find the details here. (hopefully you are not reading this with tears in your eyes).
If your SEO managers are as good as ours they should also be reading forums and paying attention to certain monitors such as MOZCast so that they are prepared and ready.
With MozCast, our SEO experts measure how turbulent the Google algorithm is on a daily basis. When you see a spike and the temperature gets hotter, your SEO team should know why and how to respond.
How Does Farotech Accumulate So Many Words to Rank?
There are a lot of factors that are critically important when you want to get keywords to rank, but I want to focus on three of them:
- Keyword selection
- Commitment to really great content
- Content Promotion
This is easily the most important factor in getting your keywords to rank. In my early days, I used to try to sell my clients on one thing and one thing alone: keywords with the highest amount of total visitors. If/when things didn’t work out fast enough or possibly ever, I would explain how difficult the job of SEO is and that results take time. I was not lying, but if I was brutally honest, I was not pointing my clients in the right direction.
Today, our approach has changed dramatically. We try to rank for keywords that have the highest probability for converting into sales. But the biggest difference in our approach is something we call VOD (or Visits/Difficulty).
Let me explain how this works. Rather than trying to target the industry’s most competitive and highly typed-in keywords, we try to split the traffic into 2 – 3 different keywords that are less competitive and easier to rank. It is our goal to make up the total number of visits in the aggregate. Let me explain.
Let’s say that being high on the first page of Google for the keyword is “tennis shoes” would be a total game changer for your company. And lets also say that that keyword receives 1,500,000 visits a month. If we are honest with ourselves, the odds of obtaining that keyword are very slim, unless you’re a total rockstar. I am not saying that you are not… but very few are. (NOTE: If you have the moves like Jagger, please redact the previous sentence).
So if we can’t go after the biggest word in the industry let’s approach it more realistically. Let’s look at the search volume of 3 related keywords:
Red tennis shoes 800,000 visits
White tennis shoes 400,000 visits
Best tennis shoes 300,000 visits
Here you are getting the same amount of visitors, but with this approach you might actually be able to win.
Why? Because with the long tail approach the competition would be much lower and you have the benefit of diversification.
To be totally transparent, it is more work to do this but it’s our belief that we would rather put in more work on less competitive keywords then a ton of work on keywords that we may not ever rank for or rank for a short period of time only to get beat out by the competition.
Commitment to Great Content
In the good old days, we used to be able to get ranked for a certain keyword even if you had very little content on the target page that you were trying to rank. Sadly those days are over.
I still have potential clients say, “I want to be ranked for keyword A”, but when I look at the target page and it has little to no content and the keyword, it is barely optimized on that page I know we have a hardtalk waiting for us.
In the last 3 to 4 years, things have drastically changed. It is essential that the content you’re trying to rank for is clearly optimized on the page you’re trying to rank.
Write Things People will Love
In a generation where every company is searching for backlinks (And Google is tightening their grip on unnatural backlinking methodologies), it is more important now than ever to make a paradigm shift in your mind towards writing really great content rather than trying to game the Google system. It is time consuming and difficult, BUT it is also completely worth it.
How We Do It
Our SEO team and content writers work together toward determining which keywords they would like to rank for. These words are then added to a publishing schedule. Everyday, our content writers begin to write blogs about one particular topic related to the respective keywords on the publishing schedule. (Please note that our team is actively trying to get high traffic keywords to rank for ourselves and our competitors, you might not have the means to be as aggressive as we are).
Golden rule: One keyword per blog.
Our writers do a lot of research, and they try really hard to have no less than 400 words on a particular blog. Note: in our experience the longer the blog the easier it is to rank. Adding pictures, graphs and statistics are absolutely essential. You might think it is time consuming but it is essential.
The final piece of the puzzle is making sure that your headline is optimized effectively. For tips on how to create good headlines, visit the following link.
It is wishful thinking if you believe that you can just write a blog and have it will show up on the first page of Google. The critical piece to getting on the first page is for outside websites to link to your website. Therefore if you want to win, make sure that you go the extra mile to promote your content.
The easiest way to do this is to reach out to popular authors who have a decent following and mention them or their work in your blog posts. The hope is that they will retweet or promote your article in response. (No, you’re not a brown noser, you’re a networker). For other tips on how to promote your content, I would recommend that you read Neil Patel’s blog post on this topic.
Like I mentioned above there are a ton of factors that contribute to dominating the first page of Google. I hope that some of the points here were helpful for you.
PS: I want to mention that keyword rankings and web traffic are two totally different animals. Just because you are ranking for a ton of keywords does not necessarily mean that your traffic will increase.
There is no guarantee that your content will be algorithm proof, BUT if you stick to the methods on this page they are very effective and it is the most “white hat” approach that you can use to be successful online. If you have any questions please feel free to ask below. I will try to answer as many as I can, and soon as I can. Thanks and Godspeed.