Ever since Google came with its Panda and Penguin updates, websites with low quality and irrelevant content took a major blow. Traditional SEO practices like keyword stuffing and use of unnatural or toxic links proved to be of no profitable use anymore. This made many industry experts to say that SEO is no more; that it’s dead! However, that’s not true. SEO is still critical, and now a part of the overall digital marketing mix focusing more on conversion optimization and brand acceptance than just on keyword optimization and link building. Digital marketers call it the ‘New Age SEO’.
With that being said, let’s check how you can deal with the question that raises a very genuine concern of clients about the relevance of SEO and its role in bringing conversion to their business. Before we answer that, we would like you to first take a look at our previous blog that deals with the role of keywords in attracting quality traffic and higher conversion.
Why Traditional SEO is No Longer a Key to Success?
Traditional SEO’s approach was to focus more on ranking with a set of keywords, however, the new age SEO focuses more on needs and requirements of the users who use those keywords. New Age SEO is nothing but an expanded version of the traditional SEO which now also includes tasks like brand building through influencer mentions, social media engagement, campaigning to increase sales through PPC. To sum it up, the major goal of the new age SEO is to attract quality traffic to the website in order to provide a higher conversion.
Imagine a business website that is optimized traditionally for search engines i.e., optimized for target keyword searches, and with many natural or unnatural backlinks to reach it. This way, it has all the prospects of topping the SERPs by attracting a good chunk of traffic. What happens is when people search for some services with a set of keywords, this website tops the results to appear on the first page, because it is highly optimized for those keywords, but there will be other websites which will appear on the very first page and will become our competitors. Any person who will have to choose among those service providers will go for the one who has an already established brand value, because they know about them and trust their quality of service. That’s what the new age SEO is all about. The focus is not just optimization but also brand and value building.
The dimension of SEO is increasingly becoming multifaceted. Everytime Google or other search engines make any updates for improving their user experience, the entire SEO industry falls into a coma. However, those who keep themselves updated and upgraded according to the indutsry needs, win the race.
To have a better understanding, let’s go through the case study below.
A transcription service provider built his entire business on the boom of white SEO and became a million dollar business. They worked according to the codes and ethics set by Google to become and continue to be a leader for 2 years in a row. However, they became complacent and even after doing all the right things, they couldn’t continue their fairy tale and lost their business.
Google penalized this business in 2013 for unnatural links. Google informed them about it in a message two weeks earlier. However, no one checked. They had been lulled into complacency by sucess. They never bothered to take care about anything as they were ranking high on search results. Their carelesness led them to fall victim of negative SEO. It took us 8 months to clean those links and to get Google to reconsider them.
One of the reasons why Google delayed in reconsideration was despite ranking on the top, they built their brand online. So, it was tough for Google to believe that they did not practice unnatural link building.
Loss they incurred in during those 8 months: $545,000
Steps We Took
So naturally, besides cleaning the link, we had to focus on their brand building too. In those 8 months, what we did for brand building are as follows:
We did influencer mentions by getting some very good influencers on the line. It helped greatly in their brand recognition.
We focused on publishing high-quality content that were able to connect to the people and helped in diverting traffic also.
One important task we did was to increase their visibility on social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This way we provided a good engagement level of the company with people on these platforms. They started talking about it.
We also started PPC campaign on some specific long tail keywords that generated revenue.
Put a system of asking for feedback and improving.
This was tough and more expensive way of doing things but it helped in keeping the company sustained. We were successful in bringing them back on top of the SERPs, and in building their brand by increasing their visibility, thereby providing bigger conversion level.
Google keeps changing its parameters to rank the websites, and we can’t control it. That’s why sole dependency on SEO can be fatal for your business. So while it’s okay to focus on one channel, it’s advisable to invest time and money to ensure maximum visibility over other channels so that you can scale when required.
Every business must build a varied long tail keyword profile, and map them to relevant pages and optimize them. Dependency on one or few keywords simply no longer works.
Never underestimate your competitors. While brand building, the first thing we do is to know everything about the business’ competitors. Only by knowing them, you can outrank them.
Check your back link profiles, web server and any other quality matrix that matters for ranking.
And, the most important thing: Build a brand, business follows.
SEO hasn’t actually died, but its gamut keeps expanding. It has already integrated its role of keyword optimization and link building with a more integrated approach of conversion optimization and brand building. Take it this way: traditional SEO was all about ranking, new age SEO is about brand building. This kind of holistic approach to SEO is the need of the hour. Digital marketing is all about this new age SEO, as popularly referred by the marketers.
This was the 3rd blog in a series of 13 blogs based on the most important questions that digital marketers keep pondering over.
Next week we’ll come with our 4th blog, again with a case study that will deal with the role of Facebook in generating business. Till then, stay with us…