Using Google Analyics is essential to understanding visitor behavior and offers a guide to what targeted changes could be made for increasing conversions and more. Even though Google is working on getting as close to real time analytics results as possible, what about a way to look into the future? What about future proofing SEO for any changes that are bound to happen in 2012? That is exactly what @dr_pete via an SEOMoz webinar covered today (Dec. 6th 2011). Here are some highlights to consider:
Why You Need to Future Proof Your SEO
Google is changing all of the time. Some of the recent changes were given as examples. Consider the “Query Encryption update is affecting 12-50% of query’s showing up as (not provided) in Google Analytics.” In other words, this is filtered site data that is not available for you to view. If your site is in the 50% range, what you can view has become so restricted as to almost become meaningless. (update: check out this post from Avinash for an interesting work around) Is it fair that Google allows paying Adwords customers to see that data? No, but that is a choice Google has made. Another highlight to consider is that “Google can’t tell you where the algo will be in 6 months.” There are so many thousands of tests/evaluations being conducted that drive the almost 600 changes made this year alone. Google just doesn’t know which updates are going to make sense. It is important to future proof your site because ultimately no one knows what evaluations will become future updates.
Consolidate Your SEO Efforts
Gone are the days when having a list of keyword specific domains pointing to one site brings any value. Gone are the days when you can rely on having reams of pages with only slight differences in content. Pete points out that in some ways Google has used updates like Panda to save on their operating costs. Instead of having to index all those low quality pages, it gets rid of the whole site. The key take-away is to consolidate both your pages (example: different colored jackets for sale pointing bots to one page) and your domains. Just remember that focused efforts are key to getting focused results.
Create Unique Value
If you have kept abreast of search engine changes, then unique content should be very familiar. Pete reminds listeners that Amazon is a reseller, but they add all kinds of unique value via reviews, book descriptions, videos, and etc. Amazon doesn’t offer added elements like video or interviews for every item they sell. Amazon targets specific high profile content and puts all that value behind them. The take away is to add value to your top 10% of pages with valuable unique content to stand out. If your site is almost identical (such as with some real estate sites) to others, you have to stand out. Beyond being local and within social networks, what value can you add?
Diversify Your Promotional Efforts
There may come a time when you have reached 85% success within on-page optimization, social profiles, or otherwise. Once you start to go above that 85% mark, your ROI becomes significantly less. You are better off diversifying your overall efforts instead of trying to fine tune any one effort. As such, Pete recommends that you “look at the big picture and don’t get stuck on any one thing.”
Ending Take Away for SEO
Most of Pete’s talk reminds listener’s to ensure the basics of their site’s SEO are solid and to remember to diversify all marketing efforts. Create unique relevant content that visitors want, and promote it through social media or online connections to secure weathering any Google updates for 2012. There are many other take-aways not covered here as well as some very informative Q and A. You can listen to the full webinar event on SEOMoz.
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