One of the great content marketing sessions at SES NY featured two great speakers, Laura Lippay from SEO Gadget and Shari Thurlow.
Laura Lippay – CEO of SEO Gadget US
Laura from the US office of SEOGadget, kicked off the session stating that link building does work, she has always been white hat. Therefore as Google updated its algorithm (with the many updates), she had to get creative to earn these links.
Link building has changed
People are now all of a sudden losing money off the back of poor link building. Some may not have known what link building they were doing (maybe their agencies were the ones doing all the black hat), while others knew full well the link building was short term.
Now we are rebranding SEOs as content marketers and link building is content marketing. With SEO you want to be popular, you want to get lots of shares, likes, links, people engaging with your site. You want the signals to help rank you better. There is a lot we can learn from traditional advertising and marketing.
Laura went on to give an example of one of her clients – House Trip, which is a UK version of Air B&B.
Laura spoke about the need to make relationships with publishers, but do not spam them. The new web online is all about relationships. If you are publishing offline, you would be calling that person. Instead of pushing content at them and asking them to publish, get them involved. When you have an idea, send it out to a few people so they understand the concept, then present this to the publishers.
- Make sure you are creative – Red Bull is great at doing this. They filmed someone flying through space.
- SEO Gadget’s infographic they did for House Trip was picked up by the mayor of Vancouver.
- There were many links and shares which raised the visibility of the client.
- Know your target audience
- Understand the business goals
- Good content marketing weeds out manipulation
Help turn this SEO industry around with the bad reputation that we have had, get creative !
Shari Thurow from Omni Marketing Interactive was the second speaker for the session. Along with Laura, she does not like black hat link building because she works really hard to generate good quality links.
Shari said that a lot of people think link building begins after a site has been built, but this is not true. you have to provide an infrastructure and context for every piece of content you make.
SEO is flavor of the month, She has been seeing different flavors of the month all the time. It is a very reactive way of doing SEO. A good way to solve problems is to start with the big picture.
Principal building blocks of SEO:
- Keywords and lables
- Architecture and Design
- Link development and social
- Searcher goals.
When on page and off page criteria balance then a site gets visibilty.
Keywords and labels
- Content must contain words and phrase that users/searches type into search queries
- Imitate Google search results and put them in front of users and ask them what they expect to see.
- People skip information architecture but information architecture becomes labels and sub headings.
- It becomes part of the user experience.
Other areas we need to be aware of:
- Is the site usable? Can they complete these tasks?
- What is the user experience?
- What content do they want to see and are we putting their content into the proper context?
- Do we understand their jargon?
Technical architecture comes after information architecture. Look at your users who will provide the context and content for your site.
Link development and social signals
- This is not going to go away
- Right now social is a signal, but not a directive, – it is part of the algorithm.
- Is link building dead? – No it is going to adapt
- Links will continue to have value in the coming years.
Searcher goals and behaviors
- Information queries are the most common type of search engine query. They are very common on mobile phones. Navigational queries are second most popular type of query. 10 – 23% are transactional search queries. So what can you do?
- Navigational query means you can go
- When you are carrying out a link profile, you should see navigational queries on your site.
- What are the type of content answers questions?
- Working with Dentist sites, people do not like photos of mouths. Ecommerce site, having guides really helps people find their way around their sight. Sometimes lists can lead to transactional intent. Wen someone types in “best”, they are looking for lists.
Don’t make crappy content and expect miracles.
- ROI matters
- It is important to look at the quality of the people that are tweeting
- Download is transactional, they want to look at pictures and slideshows. They want to watch a video.
- transactional content is a location finder
- Walgreaves did a good job. Never put prompt text in a search query. People’s eyes naturally go to an open search box. If your are finding a store, take a picture of the store on a locations page so people can find your site.
All websites should contain linkable assets.
- eg References, FAQs. – E-marketer does a good job with infographics.
- If you do a pie chart, put most important point on pie chart betweeen 1 and 3, as that is where people look.
- When linking to a video/article/slideshow then also add written content around it.
- Link development and earning begins at the planning and information architecture stage. It is not siloed content.
- It is not Pagerank sculpting
- Informational and transcations linkable assets should be a natural part of a site’s information architecture
- Every website should have a unique link profile that accommodates s searcher behavior.