The advantage of search marketing over its older sibling has always been its tangibility – the capacity for clear data (from analytics, etc) has always meant search marketers can refer to specific information – whether it be in relation to strategic planning, analysis of activity or understanding best practice.
Of course, as Google has become more and more sophisticated in its algorithmic analysis, it has become significantly more difficult to hang our hats on specific activities and say, “that’s worked – we need to focus more on our budget on THAT and less on THIS”. As in so many other ways, search marketing has grown up and now more than ever, is a doppelganger for traditional marketing – we need to get past this drop in certainties and accept that a broad suite of tools are required.
This is, in part, the crux of a great from Rand Fishkin earlier in the week. In this, he talks about the fact that we need to stop looking for causation and accept that correlation is a good rationale for our strategies.
In short, we need to – simultaneously, lighten up AND get serious. Experience and access to a wide variety of appropriate solutions are the only way one can be equipped for this.
Secondly, Rand was up again with his Whiteboard Friday today; this time, illustrating the need for listening to your audience.
We’ve advocated this strategic approach (both from a content development and a link outreach development perspective) for a number of years now – after having heard Jim Boykin talking about the subject in details.
It seems a no-brainier when spelt out but, given the element of user engagement that Google incorporates into its authority assessments, the modern SEO content writer would be mad not to be given his audience what they have explicitly expressed an interest in – how else can you expect them to be interested in what you write!
Continuing our “sponsored by Moz” vibe this week, I’d like to draw your attention to their 2015 edition of the Technical Site Audit.
For those who have been adjusting their technical best practices as the need demands, there are no particular surprises in here – however, it’s good to have this go-to checklist as a starting point for all site analysis. Of most interest to those who are reviewing their processes is the addition of mobile performance analysis – I said it last week (and repeatedly in previous digests) but everyone needs to get their sites in order for mobile traffic.
Lastly, in case you’re feeling in need of some 20000 feet justification of how big a deal the digital market is, Dave Chaffey at Smart Insights has a really nice (and extremely informative) infographic here.
Again, there are no fireworks here but, rest assured, there are a significant body of people out there for whom this represents a real eye-opener.
Dave will be at TFMA next month and I’d imagine he’ll be going over this – having caught him there last year, I can’t recommend it enough. Whether you’re a SEO rookie or an old hand, Dave will have something to say that will make you change you approach – one of the good guys who understands the big picture without forgetting the need for specific practical advice.