We had a talk within our company the other day, and actually a bit of a laugh about how most people seem to be stuck in 2003 when it comes to SEO – and that made me want to write this blog post.
Now before I carry on I have to give the usual disclaimer… Nobody besides Google knows how Google ranks stuff, all we can do is look at our data and write about our observation. Every SEO expert does the same thing (and I’m not an expert).
In fact, we mostly do “SEO By Accident” (wonder if I can trademark that), but as you’ll see in a bit that’s actually a good thing in this day and age.
Anyway, most people still seem to be stuck on the same page when it comes to SEO, they worry too much about keywords, backlinks, and all that stuff.
Sure – you still get a benefit from having your main keyword in the domain name – and if you’re trying to rank for a keyword you want to have it in your title and use it in your posts etc. it’s just not the most important thing.
And the holy grail of SEO: backlinks … Yes having GOOD links pointing to and from your site will still help but it’s not the “be all, end all” it used to be.
So what is important?
Well, we have identified 3 main things that seems to have the most effect on your SERP these days, and they all revolve around a very “revolutionary” concept… Write stuff for people instead of writing stuff for Google Bot!
1) Your Click Through Rate
When people search for a keyword on Google they get 10 results on the first page (and more if they go to page 2 and beyond). They choose which ones to click on, and the CTR is the ratio between your displays and your clicks. The higher your CTR the better, because it tells Google that people find your content relevant to a given keyword, and they will thus start ranking you higher.
If you are using WordPress it is very important that you use something like “All In One SEO” to write a good custom title and description for each of your posts. However it doesn’t work if your content doesn’t match your title/description, ’cause the next bit is even more important.
2) Your Bounce Rate
This is Google’s measure for how much time people spend on your site (or to be more accurate the % of people who just leave your site without doing anything). A low bounce rate is perhaps the single most important thing for good rankings these days because it proves to Google that you are providing people with the content they searched for (and that’s really all Google cares about, because it keeps people coming back to Google).
They are a few ways you can improve (lower) your bounce rate. The main one is, of course, to give people good relevant content. Yes that means getting to work writing or recording some unique quality content that people will enjoy (or paying someone else to do it for you)
Another is to use video on your sites – increased conversion rates are only half the reason why everyone uses video sales letters nowadays – the increased time spent on site, and the SEO benefits that bring is just as important!
And finally go read this article from Brian Cray, implementing that Google API script on your sites (if you use Google Analytics) will do wonders for your bounce rate… Sidenote, Brian is going to get some nice link juice from that link because it’s 100% organic. He wrote something useful and I linked to it because I wanted to (not because of some linking scheme) – and if you go there, you’re going to read it because it’s highly relevant to this article.
3) Social Sharing
This is quickly gaining importance with Google to the point where it is much more important than normal backlinks. Basically in Google’s eyes, if you people are sharing your content on Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media sites… well, your content must be worth sharing and thus worth ranking.
The funny thing here is that people spent so much time trying to find new scripts and gadgets to force people into sharing their content. And while you, of course, should have sharing buttons like the ones below – That time should be spent on writing content that is worth sharing – if it’s worth it people will share it!
Those are without doubt (in my mind) the 3 most important factors in SEO these days – and it’s EASY – all you have to do is write good content – and write it for people not for machines – and SEO will happen by accident.
I don’t build links or any of that stuff – but the fact is that this article will rank for something – and if people like it enough that they start reading it (spending time here), commenting on it and sharing it – well then the SERP will follow for more competitive keywords.
SEO is simpler and easier than ever (notice I didn’t say less time consuming)… And in summary – now more than ever content is king… just a problem that most people still think writing sucks.
Now I like writing, it’s kinda what I do for a living. Some people don’t like writing, and some just have so much web real estate they couldn’t possibly write for all of it.
One of the most common ways to deal with that is to use PLR (private label rights) articles. Ie. you buy pre-written articles that you can publish as your own and edit in any way you want.
Nothing wrong with that, PLR can be a very cost-effective way to get content for your sites – and btw don’t fret over duplicate content – Google has repeatedly said that the Duplicate Content Penalty is a myth. They do not penalize you for duplicate content – they just don’t show 20 identical results for a query. Yes, you should still rewrite your PLR, but I just wanted to get that one out of the way.
The real problem with PLR is that most of these articles are written by people who still live in 2003 when it comes to SEO. In other words, it’s keyword stuffed articles written for machines.
What you want is PLR that is written with LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) is mind – and that’s really just a fancy phrase for saying it’s written naturally, but you can read more about that here.
Our good friend JP Schoeffel has just released a very good package of PLR articles that are written exactly the way they are supposed to be in the new age of SEO. So before this post gets way too long, I’m just going to finish off by saying that I highly recommend heading over there and both reading his page (good information) and then grabbing this awesome content package before the price goes up!
If you’re sick of articles that are chock-full of keyword stuffing and want some real, solid content that search engines love and people will enjoy reading – I strongly suggest you read JP’s story (and what he found out).
=> Click Here To Get Your Update On Smart Content Today!
Now I also know there are as many opinions about SEO as there are people in this planet – so the floor is open – post a comment below if you agree with me or if you want to throw rotten tomatoes at me – either way, I’d appreciate the feedback!