- Category: SEO
- Published: Thursday, 25 July 2013 14:49
- Written by Mark Krajewski
When I use the word "primary" here, 6 of that word's 13 definitions as an adjective apply. The SEO factors I am about to present to you are, to some degree or another, highest in importance, first in sequence, earliest, constituting the first stage in a process, fundamental to and of the nature of the ultimate or simpler constituents of which Search Engine Optimization is made up. Wow! That was mouthful, even to write!
These you should know cold, whether you are a pro or a novice, because everything else about SEO can occur rather naturally out of these factors being handled. One can certainly speed up the process by adding other strategies and techniques but these truly are the foundation for success.
I should also add here that as time has passed over the years, the art of SEO has changed but these factors have remained constant and I don't see them becoming irrelevant anytime in the near future.
1. Crawlability - I have heard Google's Matt Cutts say many times that the most important thing to do is to make sure your site is crawlable. I have also heard him say that uncrawlable content is the #1 mistake he sees. How in the world could you optimize your search engine ranking if the search engines cannot get to your content to determine what it is all about? Makes sense, right?
2. Interesting, compelling content - This factor is usually talked about and seems a more fitting discussion in regard to usability or marketing fundamentals or copywriting. The truth of the matter is that this truly is a cornerstone for good SEO. Why? Here's why:
- By its nature, interesting, compelling content sets itself apart from other websites and pages on the same subject. It is usually something more and in addition to the standard content on any subject. Eventually Google will recognize that. This is what Google tells us they want us to do all the time. You can bet that their system is set up to reward it, however it may be doing so.
- Interesting, compelling content has a better chance of being bookmarked, shared and spreading virally, which of course results in better rankings for that page as well as the domain so your other pages will benefit too.
3. Come up with a hook - a viral hook. What can set you apart? This works largely for the same reason compelling content works. A hook is compelling by nature. It sticks in the consciousness of your public. The hook captures the potential customer's attention and draws them in. An effective hook makes your company and its products memorable long after they've seen your ad. The funny thing about hooks are that they are undefinable to the degree that they can take so many different forms.
Sometimes they are a character like The Marlboro Man. Did you know that in the year that The Marlboro Man was introduced, company sales rose 3,241% over the previous year?!!!
Hooks can be some kind of strange and humorous application of the product like BlendTec's "Will It Blend" campaign where they put outrageous stuff in their blender and blended them.
Sometimes the hook simply touches people in a very emotional way. Take, for example, The Hoshyar Foundation. Ever hear of it? A whole lot of people have! They turned a video into an amazing hook. How amazing? Here are 6 counter-intuitive facts about this video that got up to 70,000 unique views per month. In 2012, when this video was released:
- The organization did not have a Twitter account
- They did not have a Facebook page
- It was not on YouTube
- There was $0 promotional budget
- It was relatively inexpensive ($3,020) to make
- Viewers were watching for over 3 minutes
I could probably spend more time on viral hooks but I will leave it for another time. In SEO we sometimes get caught up in the technical aspects only like keyword strategies and link building but we are doing ourselves a great disservice when we set aside the truly powerful tactics like viral hooks. They frequently create search success far beyond any of the technical methods, so why wouldn't you have them a part of your SEO toolbelt? It's real marketing! Hooks are not always easy to come up with but you should always be considering how you could.
I have one more for you. It's not what one might traditionally call a factor in SEO because it lies within you and not on the web page or on the internet but I find that when I apply it well, my SEO works and when my SEO is not working quite as well as I want it to, sometimes I have lost sight of this factor.
4. Think about your public - Think with their mind. Inform yourself of their viewpoints. Doing this would mean you would be more capable of delivering to your public the content they are interested in and can use and that is exactly what Google wants you to do, not to mention your public, and they will both reward you for doing so.
Whatever you are doing in online marketing, make certain that these points are in and you will be well on your way to success. Likewise, do not let anyone divert your attention away from these points with their hype of other strategies. It is not those other strategies will not work or that they are not valuable but they will be hindered to some degree or another if they are implemented without these factors in place.