It’s been an interesting year, but I’ve gotten so much better at Search Engine Optimization, and can now really see and measure incremental shifts that I can make on my website and clients websites. I’ve learned some somewhat frustrating at times lessons, and if you can learn from my mistakes (and wins) I share these top 5 for your benefit.
1. The Anchor text you use to link back to your site matters.
- Link back most with your brand name
- Second most with your URL
- Other variations like brand + keyword, and random stuff like ‘click here’
- 1% (your best/most high authority links) with the keyword you want to rank for
2. Watch out for cheap links, links in quantity, or spammy links in general.
Mostly because they are a time distraction, and do almost nothing. Spend your time and efforts only on the best of the best and you’ll be rewarded with serious shifts in the SERPS.
3. Be snobby about thin content on your site.
I have directories and custom post types on my site that I thought would be great because it offered me an opportunity to rank for certain terms or get content out quickly. ‘Content out quickly’ is always a trap when done in quantity – now I know.
4. Spend time on content that really matters.
So that brings me to point number four, Take time to actually target your content for a long time and create serious value. I’ve had a goal to create one piece of content / a blog post every day for a year and I’m 1 month out from accomplishing this. Once I’m done however, it will be all about big hubs and serious resources. I’d seriously suggest creating only 10 super targeted 3,000+ word hubs every year than 365 tiny posts (like I’m doing – lol.) Ideally it would be a blend of maybe 4 smaller (800-1,200 word) posts a month, and 1 or 2 bigger hubs.
5. Traffic barely matters. Conversions rule everything around me. Cream.
It’s a trap to get focused on traffic. Determine the main thing people should do on your site and count that almost as the only metric you really care about. Rankings and traffic matter, but only as they serve your end goal of getting more customers.
So what are the biggest lessons in Search Engine Optimization you’ve learned over this past year? Has conversion played a bigger role in the way you measure results? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below – looking forward to reading them!