5 New SEO Secrets that Will Shift Your Business into High Gear

New SEO vs. Old SEO Dragons Fighting graphic on Curatti.com

The new SEO with its insistence on great content, social shares, links and likes spins different than the old “optimize everything” and “buy what you can” SEO (see New Vs. Old SEO Table at end of this post). This Curatti.com post shares 5 New SEO Secrets you can use to recover lost traffic and revenue or build strength and scale into your content marketing.

New SEO Secret #1: Test Content Creation With Content Curation

New SEO requires great content. Content capable of winning inbound links, confirming social shares, and LOVE Google looks for to assign authority and clout (Klout). How do you know what content will be “GREAT”?

Testing content marketing on “owned” assets can be tricky. The nature of testing is you LOSE more than you WIN. Consistently adding content that is lower than your site’s existing means will decrease site authority.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you should monitor include heuristic measures:

  • New vs. Returning visitors.
  • Time on your site (or page).
  • Pages viewed.
  • Bounce Rate.
  • Views.
  • Conversions (can be defined as anything from staying on the site to buying something).
  • Social Support (likes, links, shares).
  • LEI or Link Efficiency Index is the ratio of links per pages in Google.

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I use Scoop.it to curate “rich snippets” of content into 12 different “magazines” or content feeds such as Curation Revolution or Design Revolution. Creating a “Rich snippet” adds 100 to 400 words of content to a shared or “curated” link. Rich Snippets add context, test positioning and theme the curated link into one of 12 Scoop.it “magazines” (Scoop.it allows curation of up to 5 “magazines” free).

Each Scoop.it feed includes a “spider” tool.  I supply keywords for “Curation Revolution” such as “content curation” and Scoop.it’s spider searches retrieving relevant content.

Why do go to so much trouble? Why “curate content” and why do so outside of “owned” digital assets such as websites or blogs?

I’m willing to risk more on Scoop.it since curation there can’t hurt “owned” digital properties such my ScentTrail Marketing blog. If something bombs on Scoop.it its “no harm, no foul”. If a piece of content bombs on your website or blog that bomb linked to other bombs will reduce online authority.

I test content on Scoop.it, note performance and leave open places in content calendars for “winners”. Winning content  receives above average views, shares and comments. Testing content on Scoop.it protects the value of owned assets.

New SEO Secret #2: Contests & Games

Content marketing isn’t a democracy.

 No one can tell you the “best content” for your website without significant research and testing. That caveat clearly stated some content is more “social” than others. Contests and games may be the most universally “social” content especially when a “social horse race” is involved. After creating more than ten “social content contests” a phased process emerged:

  • Phase I: Call For Entries, Criteria & Timeline Published.
  • Phase II: Select “participants”, usually 10% or less of entries.
  • Phase III: Create Social Horse Races.
  • Phase IV: Semifinalists – race Winners until only a few left.
  • Phase V: Finals – expert panel selects Gold, Sliver, Bronze.
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Hard won lessons:

  • Make sure voting happens “inside” your site not on Facebook or some other external tool. Most of the traffic and social share benefits happens at the “voting booth”. You can iFrame or embed a voting tool, but get traffic inside your website.
  • Spam, especially if the prizes are LARGE, can be crazy. Best to have the final prizes awarded by a panel of celebrity judges. The panel also creates another PR hook.
  • Include Other Conversion Points on your VOTE Page – Including relevant content such as a Gamification White Paper download on your “VOTE” page can help generate ROI and valuable names for your email marketing.
  • Legalese – Contests bring out the bickering horde, so write contest terms in easy to understand language. Be clear about who can win and why. Cut down harping and complaining from non winners by creating significant WINS for “non-winners” such as profile pages or special “contributor” designations.
  • If you are Doritos you can write iron-clad terms and still receive thousands of entries. If you aren’t Doritos consider leaving the (c) with the contributors and pay for use once you are past your first round as “stealing our ideas” is a typical concern of contest entrants.
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Contests and games require work, monitoring and learning as you go. Contests & Games can provide big boosts for traffic, social shares and rank when there is a clear “mutual win” – contest participants receive real value for their content and Internet marketers tap “friends of friends” traffic, social shares and feedback.

Great Kuno Creative Graphic
Stop Obsessing Over Rank, It is the Wrong Metric is a great blog post on Kuno Creative includes this helpful graphic illustrating difference between old and new SEO:

Kuno Creative Old SEO Vs. Content Marketing Graphic on Curatti.com

 

New SEO Secret #3: Crowdfunding & Crowdsourcing

As I wrote last week in Why There Is A Curatti In Your Future the most powerful content on your website is THEIRS not YOURS.

The most powerful content on YOUR website is THEIRS not YOURS.

What do most people do when their content is on your website? Most contributors support THEIR content on YOUR website with social shares, blog posts and alerts. Can you write a piece of content that will create as much passion?

Maybe, but why bet the short odds when curating content has never been easier. Ways to promote the crowd include:

  • Offering something for sale.
  • Comments & Reviews.
  • Social share widgets.
  • Contests and Games.
  • Curating content in from social nets.
  • Profiling contributors.
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Think of anything you can do to include the crowd as “crowdsourcing” and anytime the crowd gives you something material such as their time, advocacy or clout as “crowdfunding” and you will be amazed at the length of the list you create.

New SEO Secret #4: Mobile First & Responsive

Google wants a seamless world.

Google wants a seamless world.

It wants the Google spider to dive into a single pool and know where to send relevant traffic. Google is device agnostic and traffic-centric. They see the world “going mobile”. If your website isn’t responsive or able to accordion smoothly from phone to laptop then 2014 is a good year to fix that. Responsive design can be a SEO BUMMER, so be sure to have a great SEO like Phil Buckley at New Media Leaders or Bill Ross help you implement responsive design.

I’ve been in several meetings about responsive design and the SEO havoc it can create. Glad I can pick up the phone and get help when needed. Creating a “New SEO” responsive site design is trickier than you think. Get help and get a responsive design done this year.

New SEO Secret #5: Tools

It is possible to do great “New SEO” work with free tools such as PageRank Checker, Alexa and Google (especially adwords keyword tool), but if you have the budget I recommend Searchlight by Conductor. Call Michael Hoffman (mhoffman@conductor.com, (212) 542-5179) and ask to see this cool tool.

I wouldn’t use Searchlight exactly as recommended since Searchlight provides summaries based on absolute listings – are you #1 or not? After the Google float #1 doesn’t mean as much as it used to. You can win top listings on terms that don’t matter. Searchlight understands this and has ways to change their dashboards to monitor KPIs that matter to you.

Don’t obsess over RANK since those days are gone. Do obsess over:

  • How efficiently are you building links, likes and shares?
  • Where are links, likes and shares coming from?
  • Do you need to do some link cleaning?
  • How is User Generated Content (UGC) doing (how much are we receiving, from whom and on what)?
  • What is surprising on either the upside or downside?
  • Where is the site’s 80/20 rule? (20% of the content is probably contributing 80% of the links, likes and shares what is that content and who created it?)
  • What content is doing what and where?
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If you have great examples for how you use Searchlight by Conductor or other “New SEO” tools let us know so we can curate into this post.

Let us know about your favorite SEO tools

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New vs. Old SEO Table Old SEO vs. New SEO table on Curatti.com

* Dragons fighting image came from Micketo on FanPop.

 

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Passionate cancer survivor, Internet marketer and former Director of Ecommerce who believes in Margaret Mead's quote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Glad to be an "Editor of Chaos".

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Comments

  1. Michael Nelson says:

    I think Google is slowly getting to the point where search is becoming better for a user. The days of garbage ruling the top of listings seems to be sliding away (although it’s alive and well with new marketing tool launches).

    I’m looking forward to checking out Searchlight, haven’t seen it before.

    I’ve found social media a powerful means of generating traffic, along with the many other positive benefits. I get immediate feedback on subjects, or at least titles, and can track the flow all the way to a sale in a way that I found much harder via organic search.

    I’m really enjoying your articles here Marty, keep up the fantastic job!

    • Thanks for your note Michael and I enjoy your Curatti riffs too. Glad you are having social marketing success. I wrote a post on Scoop.it about how Beyonce may have just marked social marketing’s tipping point with her SURPRISE album.

      Actually may have marked two tipping points since she launched SURPRISE on social melting it down for a day and rethought her album to be “more visual”. A good lesson for us all.

      Attribution, as you note, is always a bear and organic is a mess thanks to Google’s float. The only way to understand your organic contribution these days is in the numbers and with “not provided” headed up to 100% knowing what those numbers mean exactly can prove challenging. There are always a handful of things that are making the most difference on any website.

      Trick is finding those handful of things and nurturing them like children (lol). Appreciate the positive feedback and do try Searchlight as it is a great “one and done” content marketing tool if a tad on the expensive side still.
      Marty

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