SEO 101 – A Guide for the ‘Dummies’, the Faint of Heart, those ‘Faint from Trying’, or Those Stuck Somewhere in Between
Let’s get real, folks: You can’t have business without some marketing, and you can’t have marketing without the Internet. That’s where the very future — no, the present — of all commerce has gone. Like a spirited ghost upon Christmas past, all forms of business have fled to the Web, and that’s for a good reason: Everything can take place there. Whether it’s buying or selling, trading, investing, learning, or even communicating with other human beings, it all happens online. Why, then, have some folks still not done like the ghost and taken flight there, leaving every egg in a collective online basket? I repeat the question, then, but with further urgency to allow reinforced repetition: If literally everything now takes place on the Internet, then why does literally everything not take place on the Internet?
It may sound like an ‘iron hoax’ or a double-clad ‘whack statement’ — or perhaps like the writer of this has had a few too many of the “best drinks from the downstairs wine cellar”, if you get my meaning — but take a look at what I’m really asking, and you’ll see that there’s more — far more. Thus, I rephrase the question, but one last time, as many say the third time’s the charm: If the Internet poses potentially every life strategy and dilemma solution within its limitless knowledge and resource base, then why don’t people take it for its full worth and put all their chips down?
Why do people not employ the Internet like nothing else, and use it for everything as it relates to their business strategy and, heck, business survival as a whole? Have you, for one, even dared to fully probe and ask yourself this one question? If not, then may I gently ask, “Why not?”
Here’s my point: SEO strategy is now proven the number one method for getting one’s business recognized by the masses. It’s simple, and even a monkey with a rocket-packed engine strapped to its back through a strap could understand it — well, perhaps not literally. But it’s this: The Internet connects the world, and those who know how to dominate one — guess what — rule the other. To reach a greater audience than ever exponentially envisioned in your very lifetime, all you need to do is to master the “online platform for everything”, or as some call it, the Internet of Things. Those who do so know no limits to what they could achieve in life, save for whatever obstacles they alone allow to overcome them, and this has perhaps become the Baby Boomer generation’s greatest weakness to date — along with a failure to keep up with the times and emerging trends.
No, Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore, and that’s a good thing. In fact, we passed Kansas years ago. Where have you been all this time?
SEO ‘Guru’ – Those Little “Tips & Tricks” to Get You There?
All joking aside, there are some hefty strategies, subsequential starter pointers to help anyone truly gain a grasp of the Web and its many sites, systems, applications and more. Like the elephant in the room, however, it all starts with one bite at a time. You can’t expect to chow down that mammoth steak, after all, without first slowly and painfully grazing through a few starter salads, and that’s what we want to get you to do! So first take a few bites, but don’t overindulge. Learning all you can is helpful but not in terms of SEO tricks as the systems and servers are now smarter these days, far more than we imagined they could become just a couple decades past; senior marketing execs, remember those days?
A few tips and tricks may be the dressing on the salad but not the hearty portion that will stuff your SEO belly in the end, so never forget this. According to Haden Interactive, in fact, it couldn’t be truer. The real “meat and potatoes” lies in the properly implemented mix of knowledge and strategy — in other words, a data-driven approach that offers tangible results. We live in a competitive society driven by the stats and figures, the ‘hard numbers’ that determine the final crunch. In the world of SEO, why should we expect it to be any different?
I will stress the point furthermore as there are still many who have not caught up with this generation. A strategy driven solely on little tips, tricks or ‘inside cheats’ won’t lead far. We are far past the days in which “cheating the system” through keyword over stuffing was the way to greatness! Tricks and cheats were great for the 90’s and even the start of the New Millennium, but now it’s all about success through innovation and perspiration. And don’t forget the data!
A Truly Innovative, Original, and Not Fully Explored Solution: Data-Driven SEO At the Very Core!
Data drives business, and there’s no way around that. The more you know becomes the more you can do with what you know. If that didn’t make sense right away, read it slowly five or six times. It will. You’ll sense the deep implications inherent in such a small but well-placed statement.
It truly is a never-ending cycle! Data leads to findings, which lead to further research, which leads back to more data! Is this not the cursed fate of man? Well, to be honest, it can be a gift or a curse; at day’s end, it all depends on how we take it.
Additionally, as Ryan Shelley has so well put it, we need to carefully look past the informational overloads and process each bit of data qualitatively and in properly processed sequential fashion if we’re to harness lasting results. It’s not all about how much information we can attain and bend to our disposal but rather about how little we can use well, or if feeling on the competitive side, better than the rest. That’s the very core of all SEO! And if you want an introspective list of 100 of the top SEO “geniuses” currently taking the most advantage of such methods, please take some time to browse this site as well. You’ve got nothing to lose from reading some of their stories and learning from their experiences and wisdom on the matter; as a matter of fact, you’ll be jealous you didn’t think of some of their ideas first!
Also, here are some top SEO tools you can use for your data-driven marketing and SEO. They’re some of the best: (source:http://www.datadrivenbusiness.com/sustainable-seo-methods-and-tools-that-work-in-2014-infographic)
Who Is Lookup
So go with an SEO company that has offered consistent, data-driven success. Choose one that can offer real-life stories and testimonials, blogs with tips and much more. And don’t forget to expand your knowledge to see why data-driven SEO really does count!
Whatever you choose, the importance still lies in using an SEO company if you want data-driven results with proven marketing success; you simply won’t be able to garner the amount of real-life statistics, live data, multiple feeds and more than through using proven experts with an optimized strategy, and that’s a fact! There are many out there, no doubt, but why don’t you start with ours? We’re affordable, precise, quick and efficient in numerous SEO offerings and can get you the traffic you need! Let Dot com Infoway come to the rescue!
No one knows the world of data like a computer, for instance, and no one truly understands a computer like an SEO analyst, even one with years in business. That’s why it matters. To sound like a repeated robot or broken record, that is why you need an SEO solution, much more for your data.
If you’re ready for it, Here’s another “little secret”, this one worth its weight in gold, and not in contrast to the previous points just made on using those “dirty little tips and tricks”. Any data-driven approach should still remain simple and begin by properly defining each research question before collecting the relevant data. This is where it all starts, and having the right tools to offset the visual data, besides the usual spreadsheets and yadayada, is no less valuable. If you can start there, you’re a step in the right direction.
I’ve shown you, for instance, a few links to multiple experts employing data-driven SEO. But now I want you to do a little something beyond this; cut any “list” down to three. That’s right. You read correctly. The next bit of homework you need to take on is some research, based on your goals, business and preferences altogether; it’s not difficult, but it is homework and will require some dedicated research on your end.
According to whatever niche you serve, whatever you hope to accomplish professionally, or even what data-driven SEO success itself has to say about it, find the top three ranking pages and analyze them over the next few days. Ponder. Scrutinize. Compare. Cross-analyze.
Imagine how you can incorporate the most successful traits of these sites into your own as you test the SEO data waters like you’ve never done before. Try each backlink, and rate each loading page by your own standards of excellence. Divulge. Explore. More than anything else, of course, have some fun.
A True Balance
Track your efforts. I can’t stress this enough. The immeasurable is also the unmanageable, so do tread wisely. And above all, be clear on what to track, when and why. Don’t feed the impulsive urge that has led many modern SEO experts astray — even some of the best — that undying need to track everything. Choose what you’ll track and what can wait.
You’ll also desire true balance in the form of matching your datasets, URL-wise. Once again, it’s quite simple, especially when you have a plan in place for doing so. You’ll want to stick with the same format for all data sources in downloads and reports generated, for example. Save time by using the same domain and version for each. In today’s fast-paced, advanced age, you could even teach yourself how to easily match datasets online through YouTube or numerous how-to blogs.
Did you know Microsoft Excel also holds a VLOOKUP setting just for this? Play with it. It can match multiple tables and output URLs, simultaneously, without any effort on your part. Locate all site URLS, as well, and make a collective list so you know where everything’s at. You can use each, in balance, and go back-and-forth between your site maps, plain URLS, on-page metrics, and more.
Speaking of on-page metrics, locate your site’s unique meta data by title or description as well as by summarized text amounts for each page. There’s a fantastic SEO for Excel plugin that was born for this very purpose, conceived in its mother’s womb with the sole goal of helping you further succeed in this tough realm. Look it up online, and take advantage. But first find if your current Excel capabilities hold for 32 or 64 bit as this will make a drastic difference. (For more, see:http://www.stateofdigital.com/data-driven-seo-getting-detailed-insights-using-free-tools/)
Here’s comes the marketing side of it, and every business has one. Now you need to invest both time and money into learning your user demographics and user persona as much as possible. Those businesses that get the most return clients and repeat business are — mark my words — they who have mastered the delicate field of online SEO strategy through data-driven research. They have seen the importance of having these tools in play, and their results have shown no less. These “sly business foxes” have learned how to milk the cow for all it’s worth, while still leaving a few empty buckets for the next day.
In other words, they’ve studied every angle of user behavior and tracking, even employing certain online services or systems that have been built-in to their site. Those who purchase online — often unbeknownst to them but well-known to the business owner — leave their information there for further follow-up. All consumer interests, past purchases, clicks and even numbers of visits to certain sites will often remain internally recorded for the business’s knowledge and future targeting campaigns.
Sneaky, right? Sneaky, but totally legal, and well worth the investment! Now you can see exactly what your best clients are doing, or buying, when they’re on your site; how cool is this?
What’ll It Be: Knowledge or Info? Or Can You Get Both Pieces of the Pie?
As Search Engine Land will no less affirm with fullest clarity, we should never mix information with knowledge, two means to the same end, which are often confused one for the other. Even the best online strategists have made this sly mistake in their lifetime, and many more still do so today. So where do we weed out the sheep from the goats, in this respect? It’s easy. We start by exposing the myths and shedding some light for clarity.
The first misunderstanding, along the same line of thought, is that those who acquire the most rapid information tend to gain more helpful knowledge in all respects. While this holds some truth, let’s further evaluate to see if we can uncover some kinks within this line of thought. First, there’s a lot of revolving information but far less properly processed knowledge, and information without the knowledge behind it is like ringing a bell for help in the middle of the Sahara — cute but usually pointless, save for the occurrence of an unexpected miracle through someone passing by. Thus, turnover rates for information will always be astounding and often impossible to keep up with. So, then, we see that it’s the intake of knowledge — from knowing how to assess and digress the most useful bits of data — that truly makes the difference here; remember the analogy of the elephant?
It holds no different here. A small bite of qualitative intake has always gone a thousand steps further than several bites of random, scattered information. Start by chewing on a bit at a time and properly digesting what you intake, implementing the new knowledge into your strategy and overall SEO plan. Little by little, you’ll start to notice the gradual ascension and, before you know it, you’ll have eaten the elephant in the room. But why not start with a small fork and a bite?
Information is good, so don’t get me wrong. Information leads to knowledge, and knowledge leads to power. And power, my friends, leads to all else. And, as I stated before, what better source than the globally-connected one known as the Internet, the infamous World Wide Web?