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howdy Moz fans and welcome to another edition of whiteboard Friday I want to address a dilemma that a lot of SEO and a lot of marketers face and that is this this sort of choice between should I be doing what should I be doing to move the needle on my search traffic should I be doing kind of classic SEO the the keyword targeting plus link building which moves the needle or should I be thinking more broadly in terms of kind of a full content marketing spectrum I’ll describe these two and I’ll talk about why it’s so tough for these guys we’re at this fork in the road so in link building land right we researched some keywords to target we know we want to go after those maybe we’ve already been assigned them by our boss or our team or our client if we’re doing consulting right and then we try and go out and find potential opportunities to earn links maybe we do a little bit of comparative analysis we’ll we’ll run like the keyword difficulty tool and look at how people who are ranking for that keyword have done in terms of link metrics versus how we’re doing and maybe we’ll do a little bit of on-page optimization as well but mostly it’s around this link opportunity stuff right and I think a lot of folks the classic SEO world do this even today and it does work right they go out get those links maybe they do outreach find competitive links you know find open link opportunities around the web whatever it is that can move the needle on the links but it’s really about that push for direct outreach and direct link building not kind of passively sitting back and letting the links hopefully roll in and then you move up in the rankings right slowly but steadily you will you will sort of move up because links are still a big portion of the search engines algorithms Google and Bing both and over time if you are moving the needle on links more than your competition chances are good that you will be able to outrank them assuming you’re doing other things right on the flip side is the content marketing world right in content marketing land that this is a very very different approach right we kind of take the broad view at the beginning of who is the audience that I want to reach who are all the people in that audience group and then what do they what do they use what channels they used to discover content to share things to influence one another and to be influenced and to discover new stuff like the product services mission that I’m trying to fulfill or that I’m trying to sell them and that could be things like Twitter and Facebook it could be blogs that they read it might be influencers that they follow on social networks or through email channels or whatever it is obviously it’s going to be a lot of Google searches Google still quite a bit of the web spur traffic maybe it’s YouTube right people using video to find these things and then I’m going to take from this audience and where they are and what they’re doing I want to create content that will appeal to my target to my target audience the people I’m directly trying to reach and to their influencers right and that that might be you know a webinar a video a blog a free tool whatever it is now I’m going to go out and do you know influencer outreach I’m going to try and do good smart keyword targeting on Google I’m going to push promote my stuff on social I’m going to reach out to my community maybe through email or directly and then I’m going to hope to get the results of a little bit of increased traffic I’m going to hopefully grow my community right if I’m producing valuable content stuff more people will follow my social accounts more people subscribe to my email more people will be personalized by you know the connections that they’ve got to me through Google so that their Google search results will be biased in my favor right I’ll move up a little in SEO because my domain Authority hopefully grows some and I get a few more links and referring traffic and then I rinse and repeat this model over and over until I feel like hey now I need to go target new audiences and I’m going to repeat this process all over again challenge here is that and I’ve seen this discussion happening in the SEO world and in fact I think it’s a very fair discussion have right there’s there’s folks who are kind of in link building land who say this works for me this doesn’t work for me right because of and you know you’re here all sorts of reasons why it doesn’t work for them maybe it’s who their client or who their team or what their product is or who they’re trying to reach right and they say well they’re just not interested they don’t do a lot of content consumption they’re not influenced by social channels and by YouTube and by blogs and by industry news or trade shows and events or whatever these things are that I can use to amplify my content I don’t I’m not getting value from this and so I’m going to stick to this I get some links I move up in the rankings I get more visits for the key terms I’m going after that turns into conversions this is what I’m after and actually I think it’s okay I know that in the past many folks have kind of assumed that oh well Rand is really against this or Moz is really against this world but that’s not actually the case if this is working for you I don’t have a problem with it what I have a problem with is when people don’t think holistically and don’t don’t make the conscious choice and simply stick to what they have been doing because they’ve seen it work in the past and even if it’s not working as well or if it keeps getting harder or if you know something like penguin comes along and penalized as a bunch of the tactics that you were using to get those links you just stay on the treadmill that’s where I think things get really dangerous and I I’ve got some ideas here about how you can choose so one of the things that I think you should be conscientious about is you know goals and metrics are your goals tied to broad marketing efforts are we trying to get lots of people aware of our brand aware of our product are we trying to do some positioning are we trying to get people to change their minds about how they solve a problem and come over to our world or are we really is our metric just are we ranking well are we getting traffic directly from Google for the rankings for the keywords that we care about and are we converting them if that’s your whole goal in metric maybe a link building land is the right way to go maybe this is a little bit broad secondary are you thinking long term or short term so in the in the long term one of the things that I do worry about is a lot of these tactics right and a lot of Google’s algorithm has been getting more and more focused on things that are outside of just how many linking root domains do you have and does the anchor text include your keywords and is it pointing to a page that you’re targeting and they’re they’re getting a lot smarter they’re using a ton more sig than they were just three or four years ago they’re doing a lot more rich data options right Rich Snippets different types of results right the classic ten blue links I think dr.

Pete found that was like 15% of search results are ten blue links and that’s it that’s you know that’s not a lot of opportunity even if you are moving up boy you got to be pretty hopeful that they stick with this model and that the algorithm doesn’t change too much and that links continue to be a huge powering force and that nothing else overtakes those multi-channel versus single if search in particular search rankings on primary keyword targeted phrases are really the only channel that’s producing any kind of results and you don’t even see that you know in a multi-channel attribution that’s social or that content or email or referring links or something else longtail searches whatever are having a positive influence then link building lam looks a little more attractive in content marketing land doesn’t and and finally right if it’s if the breadth versus depth of your skill set that your team your SEO your web marketing team is really around hey we’re good at this and we you know we haven’t quite figured out this stuff yet and we don’t have the people the staff the resources the time the energy the buy-in from management to do these things well then then I kind of understand going after link building land I I think that what’s important is that we have a conscious conversation and we understand that I kata me in the different reasons we might choose one of these paths not that we always pick one or we always pick the other and in fact there might be times when you are in content marketing land and you’re right in here and doing some SEO and you really move over to doing this cycle a little bit continuously because that’s the focus of your efforts right now and it could be that you’re over here and you do some analysis you know maybe you’re doing your analysis around your keyword targeting you say boy we’ve got good links to our page but our domain Authority just doesn’t help us we we need a broader set of influencers and of links and of people using our stuff we really need to boost our overall domain and brand awareness we want to get into content marketing for a little while so this choice is certainly up to you I’m sure there’ll be a great discussion in the comments and I look forward to that thanks for joining me take care


Alain Xavier

Alain Xavier est un marketeur Internet passionné au grand cœur qui recherche toujours des solutions innovantes pour aider ses semblables. Par ce que selon lui, le partage est la seule chose qui donne un VRAI sens à la vie.

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