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Better SEO With Less

SCALING DOWN THE AMOUNT OF SEO YOU DO DOESN’T MEAN SCALING DOWN RESULTS. MANY SEOs CONFUSE ACTIVITY AND RESULTS. YOU CAN HAVE SUCCESS DOING LESS “STUFF” BY FOCUSING ON KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS, AND DOING BETTER WORK.

Back in 2006, a couple smart internet folks got the idea that they could churn out tons of content, get it indexed in search engines and drives tons of traffic. And it worked really well, for a little while.

But search engines got smarter.

And the content carpet-bombing approach became less effective. And yet, many SEOs still talk in terms of quantity and avoid discussions of quality.

A lot of SEO SOWs focus on how much marketing stuff they’re going to produce. They list things like:

  • Number of content pieces
  • Number of links to be built
  • Number of outreach emails sent
  • Number of hours of work

But these numbers often have little meaning in terms of SEO business results.

After all, you can create thousands of pages, builds tens-thousands of links, send thousands of emails and put in hundreds of hours and not move the organic search traffic dial, and more importantly, the new business from organic search dial.

Likewise, you can create a single amazing piece of content, that earns a handful of really great natural editorial links, with a few targeted emails in only a couple of hours and generate some new sales. Of course, creating “stuff” that people care enough about to link to and talk isn’t as easy as I’m making it out here.

But the point is that SEO work should be defined in terms of meeting business goals and a plan that focuses on quality to achieve those goals.

You can do much more effective SEO if you focus on the strategy and quality of your work. This is not a new concept. It just hasn’t yet been embraced by a lot of SEOs, yet. But it will be.

Clients, marketing officers and business owners are catching up.

They’re learning that churning out SEO crap isn’t working as well. In fact, it comes with risks.

So, how does one do this.

First, spend more time on research and strategy. This is where the opportunity is for really doing better work. While I believe you should have an agile marketing framework to fail fast and iterate, don’t rush the brainstorming, planning processes.

Second, build strategy around tangible meaningful goals. Hours, link numbers, etc, have no meaning. Tie your work directly to business metrics.

Third, execute with precision. Too many great ideas fail due to poor execution. It has to look good. It has to motivate action.

Fourth, measure all the things. If it’s capable of measurement, measure it.

Fifth, analyze only the things that have meaning. Don’t confuse measurement with analysis. Measurement should be done liberally. Analysis of the things you measure should be done judiciously.

The only way to do better SEO with less is to know when you’re doing better SEO so that you can do more of it and less of the stuff that doesn’t work.

  • Matt Green

    Nice post Gyi. I’ll share a lesson around this topic from personal experience.

    I once had a client who was paying me a substantial amount each month (in excess of 10k). I allowed myself to become intimidated by that number, and rather than taking a step back, forming a plan to achieve business goals, executing the plan, then measuring and analyzing, I instead just started “doing SEO”.

    Mind you, I didn’t do anything black hat or dangerous; I just did a lot of shit that was largely ineffective because I felt the pressure to DO ALL THE THINGS.

    So, there’s a real life example illustrating your precise point :).

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