This week I’ve been working with a great client on a four day SEO boot camp. It has been fun and a change from my normal routine. As part of this boot camp we’ve been talking about defensive and offensive techniques for online marketing.
When I started my firm in the heart of the recession, I thought that was a rough ride. In the world of SEO I look back at 2011 and 2012 and think that timeframe was an even rougher ride. I was never penalized and my clients weren’t penalized either, but I’ve talk to many others who were hit and hit hard. SEO tactics focused on quick results or ill-advised consulting advice always seem to be at the root of these penalties.
This makes me wonder if the average webmaster or small business owner feels confident in their website promotion efforts or if they are constantly second guessing their tactics. Do they question every step they take and worry if they are within the guidelines of Google and Bing? In my last post, SEO is Like Milk and Cookies, I talked about the important of doing the doing the right things in SEO. I believe in that theory but this week I was reminded that not everyone knows what the right thing really is and/or how to execute it.
Antiquated Marketing Techniques
I strongly believe that many of the older SEO tactics are useless in today’s world of online marketing. On my list don’t do SEO tactics are the following:
- Low quality directories
- Articles sites and content farms
- Blog commenting for link building purposes
- Forum posts for link building purposes
- Link schemes/circles
- Buying do-follow links
- Exchanging links
- Selling do-follow links
- Automated content
- Low quality local listings
- Low value press releases
Safe Marketing Techniques
Well now that I’ve listed all the tactics I don’t like, what would be considered good tactics? There are a lot of great options still available.
- Good keyword research and a balanced list of high volume and long-tail keywords
- High quality content generation
- On-page optimization
- Strong call to actions with professional conversion forms
- Subscriber and contact list building (opt in only)
- Social Media
- Self sharing of content
- Offering easy sharing of your content for others
- Keyword and link rich social profiles (if it provides value to the user)
- Community interaction
- Creating unique imagery and infographics
- Education or entertaining videos
- Online community building
- Offline community building
- Guest blogging (if on high value websites and unpaid)
- High quality question and answer websites (Quora)
- High value (aka paid) press releases
- Media outreach
- Hosting online events
Defensive Marketing Techniques
We can’t forget about defense. I’m no sports expert, but if you have offense, you have to have some sort of defense. After penguin and panda, this means cleaning up the sins of the past.
- Reviewing your Google Webmaster Tools account for links that are spam or we’re executed in an attempt to deceive the search engines (and subsequently removing these links)
- Removing any automated content generation that is in place
- Removing duplicate content from your website
- Removing old and unloved content from your website
- Closing down old accounts that are attributing to any of the antiquated link building efforts I mentioned above
- Monitoring your online reputation and quickly addressing anything that is negative or incorrect
Marching Forward in 2013
What worked in years past, will not work in 2013 and beyond. You have to have genuine SEO efforts backed with good indentations. And by good indentations, I mean always keeping the user experience in mind.
We’re in the middle of March already and spring is rapidly approaching. This means us Midwestern girls will soon find ourselves spring cleaning and scrubbing away the stale winter within our lives. It’s not too late to take a step back and review your marketing plan for 2013. Dust it off, make sure it is inline with today’s best practices, and make sure your house is in order.
There are more algorithm changes coming this weekend and throughout the year so make sure your house, team, and marketing plan are solid.