What Do The Experts Say About Search Engine Optimization?

Are you feeling confident about your Search Engine Optimization efforts for 2015? If not, we don’t blame you. SEO is a complex element of digital marketing and there have been a number of updates in the past few years that have business owners and marketing directors scratching their heads about how to organize their SEO efforts.

Fortunately, that’s why we have the Internet. Here’s a look at the latest insight from three SEO experts on where you should be directing your energy for the best SEO performance:

1. How To Target Keywords From Search Engine Land’s Trond Lyngbø
“When it comes to keywords, your aim shouldn’t be to target everything. Rather, you should aim to discover where the richest vein of gold lies, and then focus your efforts on extracting it,” writes Trond Lyngbø on the Search Engine Land blog post “Effective Keyword Targeting: The Key To Growing Traffic & Revenue.” And it’s a fair point: so many businesses generate a list of SEO keywords based on the type of site they run, whether it’s a particular set of retail products and services or genre of information. The instinct is correct, but the application leaves much to be desired.

Instead of “covering all your bases,” you need to specialize your keywords. Identify which keywords drive the most overall traffic and then which keywords drive the most qualified leads. Then focus your content efforts on describing every aspect of that topic for your prospective customer. This will offer two important benefits: your customer will be more likely to land on your content when researching your product or service, and when he comes to your site, he’ll see a comprehensive source of information.

2. Samuel Scott From Moz On The Future Of Search Engine Optimization
In his blog post “The Coming Integration of SEO and PR,” Samuel Scott writes that “SEO as an entity unto itself is quickly dying. The more SEO entails, the more the umbrella term becomes useless in any meaningful context.” This might be disconcerting for a company developing an SEO strategy, but Scott points out that the field is just evolving. “It is crucial that digital marketers learn as much as possible about traditional marketing and PR,” he continues, pointing to the slow merging of traditional and digital media sources.

The lesson here is that no website exists as an island. Your SEO (and PR and website traffic) function as metrics that measure the overall effectiveness of your marketing and website design. Focusing on one at the expense of another leads to an overall less effective digital marketing strategy.

3. Jon Tabita From SitePoint on Social Media and Search Engine Optimization
Google has gone back and forth about how much social media factors into search rankings. But Jon Tabita’s SitePoint post “5 SEO Trends You Need To Consider for 2015” gives it to us straight: correlation does not imply causation, and social media likes and tweets don’t directly affect a website’s SEO rankings. It’s more that a website that has “gone viral” or received a lot of attention will also (unrelatedly) receive attention and clicks at the same time.

“Social media must be done within the larger context of a content marketing strategy,” Tabita concludes. “Shared content (both your own and others) generates backlinks, drives traffic and increases search queries for your brand, all of which influence ranking.” If you want to see a correlation between SEO and social media, it’s more important to build a genuinely engaged audience than to have that audience like, click, and share.

How you approach your website SEO efforts has a direct impact on how effective your efforts are. It’s not about achieving as much activity and attention as possible– it’s about directing carefully targeted attention to a specific topic or product. Use these advice from these three SEO experts to make your website even better in 2015.