15 Jan 2013

Marketing Tips for Better Web Design

Ranking Reports Now Obsolete! Here’s a news flash – search engine ranking reports are now obsolete. I know it’s shocking, but true! Obviously, there is a relation between high rankings and having search engine traffic. But knowing the rankings, or not, doesn’t stop you from getting the traffic.

If you think, “But I need to know my keyword rankings!” Actually, you don’t! Why? First of all, there’s now no such thing as a ranking. A ranking for a keyword that shows up #1 for you – may show up #31 for me, here in the Tampa area. Someone else outside the Tampa area might not see you at all. Search results are now very personalized by the major engines; especially Google.

Your target audience is going to see listings that Google thinks they specifically want to see, based on things like geography, past search history, social media circles, etc. The point is – what you see is not what others see. This makes tracking your rankings completely useless. Remember, Google “knows” whether you are located in Tampa, Florida or in New York.

Today it’s not about optimizing for a handful of keyword phrases. It’s about having excellent content that fills the needs of your target audience. It’s about figuring out what people are looking for. If there are pages on your website that specifically provide information in a way that is different or better than other sites, Google will want to show those pages.

Every searcher uses different search phrases to find what they’re looking for. While we can find keywords that get plenty of searches, it only tells us a piece of the story. Those high-volume keyword phrases will also have hundreds of variations — many of which don’t even show up with our research tools.

Most importantly, rankings do not always equal sales. Rankings can, however, give you a false sense of security that distracts you from the things that do matter – gaining more targeted visitors and converting them into customers. Rankings don’t tell you which keywords people actually came into your site for, and which ones really matter. And rankings don’t tell you what content on your site is actually attracting the people who buy.

New SEO Strategies

While SEO is definitely not dead, SEO tricks have been dying for quite some time. For those who relied on tricks and shortcuts, that game is done. In fact, the same things that helped rankings before are worsening them now. But even for those of us who have always used the best SEO practices, some things have changed.

From now on, SEO is less about optimizing for keywords, and more about technical issues, content issues, and the overall trustworthiness of your website.

Technical Issues – Fixing technical issues is your top priority. Technical issues affecting SEO have always been a high priority for SEO’s. But since Google’s lowered the boom on “low quality sites” (Panda) and “over-optimized sites” (Penguin), fixing these problems is more important than ever. If they’re not already hurting your site’s rankings, they will be soon enough. It’s time to quit worrying about optimizing for specific keywords. I know this seems contrary to everything I’ve said before, but it’s become the new way to succeed online.

Content Issues – You can finally forget about link building (thank you very much). Google now considers it to be “spam”. If you can add a link to your own site just by submitting it somewhere, you can assume that it won’t count for much by Google. In other words, forget about useless directory submissions, article directories, link wheels, forum signatures and comment spam. Instead, hire a professional writer and create blog posts and other informational content on a regular basis. Be sure that what they’re writing is actually of interest your target market. Good content is vital.

Trust Issues – Google may find your site hard to trust if your site is poorly written or stuffed with keywords, or if all the links pointing to your site are using one keyword phrase rather than just the name of your company, or if people can’t easily find things on your site, or if you have a number of sites all selling the same exact products when one would do. If you actually want to earn trust, your website must be worthy. Don’t try to fool people into thinking your site’s something it’s not, just make sure it is a site worthy of high rankings.

Let’s focus on stuff that matters. That is, the actual value of your website to your public. Let’s focus on upgrading your website – what you say, how you say it, and/or, what you are offering your new prospective customers. This is the new strategy, and there are no more shortcuts or “magic bullets”. For more information, see

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