How to Win in the New SEO World

Take a deep breath SEO fans…t’s. Going. To. Be. OK.The last few years of massive Google algorithm updates shook up the SEO industry. But this isn’t new. Similar seismic shifts occurred in 2003 (Florida) and 2007. So how do you win in this new SEO world?

1. Don’t build crappy links

Crappy directory links and a few social media profile links used to work like magic.Now, those types of low-quality links can come back and bite you. Think of your website as a house, –an investment. Crappy links aren’t worth the investment anymore. There used to be no-risk associated with low-quality links. Those days are gone.

How to win?Don’t build shady links without knowing the potential ramifications!

2. Speed up your page load times

You don’t need 30 plugins for your WordPress blog., I promise. Each time you add another widget/plugin to your site, you’re potentially slowing down response times for your visitors. And Google doesn’t like it when you make visitors unhappy. So make them happy, and monitor your page speed times.

How to win? Use tools like webpagetest.org and Google’s page speed tool to analyze your pages.

3. Be a human on Twitter

Besides the spot-bot accounts, did you know there’s a real, live human behind each Twitter account? If you offer a service, talk like a human on social media. Social media isn’t the place for corporate buzzwords; it’s a place to connect with people in a casual setting.

How to win?  Start replying to 4-5 tweets a day from influencers in your space. Everyone loves getting replies, so you’ll start to see some small results quickly (someone tweeted back at me =winning!)

4. Build links offline

Some of the best links I’ve ever gotten have come from people I met at a conference or meetup. People link to people they know and like. One thing we did that worked great at SERPs was sending out T-shirts to some top SEOs….the response was fantastic.

How to win? People love getting real life, tangible objects. So, send ‘em to people!

5. Think like a PR company

A few years ago, the big shift was PR firms starting to do more SEO work…now the tables have turned. SEO firms want to do more PR type work. PR can drive links that no one else can get. Getting press isn’t easy, but a link from CNN can be worth a massive amount of domain trust for your websites. I’ve seen rankings skyrocket across the board for sites that got links from top-tier news agencies.

How to win? Ask yourself, what’s your story? Why are you worth writing about? If you’re worth writing about, you’re probably worth linking to, too!

6. Use data visually

Your company is probably sitting on a ton of data. Could you turn that into something visual and digestible? We just spent a week at SERPs building a tool that shows when Google does an update. We had a ton of rankings data and turned it into a free tool for the industry.

How to win? Got lots of data, but not a designer? Try tools like Infogram to take data from a spreadsheet and turn it into something beautiful.

7. Measure your progress.

“If you can not measure it, you cannot improve it.” – Lord Kelvin

SEO is mostly about small gains over time. If you know what types of links and tweaks are working, you can be more confident and probably get a bigger budget for SEO work.

While keyword rankings aren’t everything, they ARE an importantsource of insight into how your website is viewed by Google. You’ll often see a shift in rankings before any sort of traffic pattern change.

How to win? Don’t just track your current rank, but always compare rankings to a change from a week ago or since you starting working on your SEO.

8. Think local & global.

Growth in Google is coming from developing countries and mobile. Don’t forget to look outside your own country for potential traffic sources. If you’re a local business, make sure you’re tracking your local results, as Google changes their results based on your city or zip code.

How to win? Check out our free rank checker for spot checking local and global results.

Guest Author:

Scott Krager is the founder of SERPs.com, SERPs makes web-based rank tracking software for SEOs. SERPs is based in Portland, OR. Scott has been a competitive webmaster since 2006.