Web Wisdom: Competing in a Shifting Web Landscape Part Two
In part one of this article we talked about the World Wide Web as an ever-changing entity, a concept that is crucial to understanding why you cannot reverse engineer any search engine. Many of us utilizing Web space today, do not grasp this basic concept and that is why you find so many attempting website optimization with yesterday’s laundry lists of DOs and DON’Ts. This is pandemic.
As an example, take a look at the page source of any dozen or so websites you find on the Web (write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want step by step instructions on how to do this, it is easy and available to everyone). Start with your competitors. At the time of this writing, my sampling shows me again and again that more than half go to great pains to list “keyword metatags.” “What’s wrong with that?,” you ask, as an SEO advisor for one of ALM Communication’s global PR firm’s clients recently inquired.
To start, Google’s official spokesperson, Matt Cutts, tells you not to use keyword metatags. He did so in 2009, and those who watch Google closely will tell you that when such announcements are made, the changes have been extant for quite some time.
Secondly, what’s with the laundry lists of unrelated keyword metatags, and few of them having anything to do or being mentioned once in the body of the Web page? You find words like “sale,” “service” or “reliable.” These are telltale signs that there is lack in understanding. Did somebody really think that a person would go to his or her search bar and type in “service” to find their company’s offerings?
But the bigger problem is this: why tip your hand to your competition? Yes, it’s like a poker player insisting on sharing all the cards in his or her hand with everyone else at the poker table. YOU ARE ALWAYS COMPETING ON THE WEB. The good news, however, is that you are only competing with the Web pages that are using keywords identical to yours. Web pages that are optimized for different keyphrases are not your competitors and there is absolutely no reason to pay any mind to what their Web pages look like.
You are graded on a curve always. If you are lucky, your competitors will be crippled by out-of-date SEO techniques. Chances are, whether you realize it or not, you are lucky in this regard.
How many inbound links do you need? What is the correct “phrase depth” to pursue? What is the authority of inbound links that you need to draw traffic away from competitors? There are answers to such questions, but you can only determine them by using high-powered mathematics tools built for web competitive analysis that zero in on your company’s unique competitive landscape on the Web.
You know how big box stores are able to spend significant dollars on analytical tools that help them determine optimal ways to price and display merchandise in each store? The clerks stocking the shelves are not required to know the math behind the methods for displays or the logic of sku pricing. They just need to follow instructions. This is not news; it’s been an open secret of big box success for well over a decade.
The price tag for the best mathematical tools to help determine pricing, shelf displays, etc. is somewhat steep. GOOD NEWS: That is certainly not the case with web competitive analysis tools for search engine optimization. You can do a month’s kick of the tires on these tools to your heart’s content for less than your store pays for a seasonal sale window sign!
Warning: The bigger expense is in time budgets. You can succeed with math-based tools for SEO even if you flunked HS math—I kid you not! But you have to take time to get up to speed on the only SEO approach that matters: Web competitive analysis. It will take one week at least.
Amy Munice is president of ALM Communications, now also d.b.a. Global B2B Communications, www.globalb2bcommunications.com and Web and Design Science, www.webanddesignscience.com, a marketing/public relations firm that both gives, guarantees and fully integrates high-powered artificial intelligence search engine optimizers for lead generation and online sales, into all communications strategies. Contact Ms. Munice at email@example.com, or 773-862-6800.