SEO Strategies and Inbound Marketing Best Practices for 2012

by Jason Acidre on December 20, 2011 · 72 comments · Content, Conversion, Search, Social


SEO is warIn 1998, when Larry Page and Sergey Brin received funding from Andy Bechtolsheim, no one really expected for Google to grow or to be as big as it is now. And perhaps, not one person expected for it to create massive job as well as business opportunities for people worldwide, which is now one of the most competitive and in-demand industries in the web space – Search Engine Optimization.

People have speculated enough – for over a decade of its presence – that the industry is predestined to die (particularly on every year-end posts/articles predicting that next year, SEO will be dead, I guess most of you have seen this statement a lot). Seeing that SEO is still continuously evolving, we all might not see its end anytime soon.

Given that it keeps on evolving, does it mean that SEO will be requiring more advanced methodologies? What is advanced, really? In my opinion, advanced SEO (now) is all about efficiency and appropriate marketing channel integration. That’s how Google is gradually transforming its services, and obviously, search/inbound marketers are already moving at this pace.

So what’s your approach for next year?

Here are some of the best practices (that I know and some of my ideas as well) on search, link development, social, content development, conversions and online branding for 2012.

On-site Optimization

Let’s start off with the basic website optimization processes, as this is the foundation of any online marketing strategy.

  • Site Structure – it’s best to have all your site’s important pages be very accessible to both users and search crawlers through a good site navigation scheme, as this will allow your important pages to be crawled, indexed and be ranked by search engines.
  • Page Titles – use unique titles for each of your site’s page as well as specific “keywords” that actually pertain to your page’s content. It’s also important for your title tags to target humans/users and not search crawlers.
  • Optimized Internal Links – using partial match anchor texts on your internal links to support the site’s landing, useful and deeper pages in terms of indexation and search rankings.
  • Length and value of content – in-depth content obviously gets higher search rankings (in some occasions), especially for informational content, these days.

These four are the foundations of a website that I see that might have bigger impact on search next year. But of course, there are also other areas of a website that need to be optimized for search, as search engines use hundreds of factors to map out the best and most relevant content for their users. For more tips on on-site optimization, you can check out my other (older) posts about it here and here.

Rich Snippet Optimization

Building trust upon first impression of the site is definitely one of the most effective ways to market a website next year (and as always), as it enhances the chance of selling your products/services to your visitors once they can see that you are offering real value to them.

And optimizing your pages to show up trustworthy on Google’s search results by having rich snippets for your pages’ search listings is one way to exemplify trust and prove that you’re an authority in your field. Here are some of the on-site optimization techniques that you can employ in optimizing your pages’ search listings:

  • Schemas – using microdata on your web pages’ source code (you can visit Schema.org to learn more about how to apply microdata on your website).
  • Authorship markup (rel=”author) – you can check out this post for a more extensive guide on how to implement authorship markups on your site/blog.
  • Optimized videos embedded on content, as Google’s search results are also displaying video snippets for pages that contain highly optimized videos.
  • Optimizing your list pages for search
Authorship Markup

The main benefit of having rich snippets for your pages (when they are showing up on search results) is that it increases the click-through rate of your listings – even they aren’t positioned on the top spot –since they are able to psychologically attract users through the perceived value of the content, which strongly suggests that your site/page is worth seeing.

Trust Optimization

As I’ve mentioned above, and even before – SEO is all about trust! The more people trust you, the more that search engines will place you higher on their search results, seeing as you truly deserve the spot.

Rand recently published a post on SEOmoz on how to prove trust over the web, and in this part of the post, I’ll just use one of his graphs in measuring a trustworthy website (since Rand has already mentioned everything that’s significant to this area of site optimization and I personally think that there’s no other better way to demonstrate it).

Mobile SEO

According to Google, 1 out of 7 search queries are happening from mobile devices (14% of overall search queries and almost 30% on some industries such as restaurants) and also reported to grow up to 22% of overall search next year.

Mobile users are still a growing segment of any industry’s target market, particularly when it comes to search, since businesses are also able to target users through building and promoting their own mobile applications, so tapping in to this area of marketing can be very promising for small, medium and enterprise-level businesses in 2012.

Here are some of the best practices on optimizing your site for mobile users:

  • XHTML code validation – you can use W3C’s mobile validator to see if you’re website is mobile friendly.
  • Testing the actual display as well as user-experience of the site when on mobile devices.
  • Implementing traditional on-site optimization such as the use of strong page titles, relevance of content to headline/page description and inclusion of inbound and outbound links within the content.
  • Long-tail optimization for speech recognition search, particularly on pages on your site that are getting mobile traffic or geo-targeted visitors (which you can track via Google Analytics).
You can also check this mobile search optimization guide for more tips and mobile search statistics.

User Experience Optimization

User is king in 2012 – as mentioned by Gianluca Fiorelli on his recent post on SEOmoz’s Youmoz – which makes design/usability testing a seamless strategy to be integrated with your online marketing efforts, since we all do want to satisfy the traffic generated by our campaigns, as this will always give positive results in terms of branding and conversions.

UX optimization usually streams through three major processes:

  • Collecting data from users (feedbacks).
  • Analyzing the site’s performance and results through the users’ feedbacks.
  • Making revisions and testing it again.

Some of the most known forms of usability enhancements are as follows:

  • Ensuring a user-friendly navigation scheme for the site, including the appropriate anchor texts for each destination page, specifically to direct visitors to the information that they’ll be looking for within your website.
  • The internal funnel of the site, an element that contains visitors and making them stay longer on the site (providing what they really visited for or more than what they have expected to see).
  • Site speed optimization, which is very important nowadays, as it’s being used as a factor by search engines in determining high-utility websites. You can use Google’s Page Speed Online to test your pages’ performance.
  • Removing or reducing distracting elements in the site to improve user activity.
  • Testing the site’s display on different platforms (different browsers, screen resolutions, mobile devices/browsers, etc…)
  • Readability, grammar as well as reading level of the content, in which you’ll mostly tailor your content to accommodate the specific audience that you’re targeting.

You can also use free usability testing tools like Usabilla and Silverback to improve your visitors’ experience when browsing your website.

Conversion Rate Optimization

SEO is the part that drives specifically targeted traffic to a website, while CRO is the side that converts the generated visitors into customers by compelling them to take actions once they are on your website/landing pages.  Combining these two practices is probably the most powerful approach to online marketing.

Based on Google’s recent algorithmic changes/updates, it is somehow evident that they are already on this path of determining high quality pages to be returned on their search results, by simply collecting user as well as website usage data.

This just means that the more that the users of a certain website are engaged (taking actions, staying longer in the site and/or frequently visiting the site), the more that it will be granted with higher search rankings, given that users are finding the site useful and valuable based on the usage data.

Conversion rate optimization is an area of website optimization that focuses more on testing site elements in order to refine results, particularly on how to increase user activity and of course, to improve the site’s ability to generate more revenue.

The major processes of CRO can be broken down into 5 segments:

  • Goal setting – identifying and deciding the goals that the website should achieve (leads/sales) as well as in building metrics to measure the campaign’s performance.
  • Measuring the site’s performance – knowing the benchmark of the how the site is performing, specifically with its current capacity to achieve your targeted goals, through analytics, user testing and surveys.
  • Analyzing existing data – this is the process that allows you to identify the site’s problems, which also allows you to determine areas of the website that might need revisions to be tested, based on the collected data from the 2nd stage.
  • Implementing changes for the testing phase – optimizing the conversion rates of the site’s important landing pages is usually done by employing the revisions that you have visualized to have better impact, based from your initial research and analysis. It’s also important to track everything that you’re about to test, as these changes are the ones that will justify your results.
  • Testing – you can use Google Website Optimizer to test the changes that you have implemented from the last stage by comparing their results (through A/B testing or Multivariate Testing).

Here’s a more extensive guide on how to implement CRO to your website from Unbounce.

CRO is a looping process, wherein getting positive results from your tests wouldn’t mean it has to stop, as you’ll need to continuously find more ways to refine the strategy for maximum results.

Enhancing your site’s CRO campaign by using/integrating methodologies that are mostly used in SEO is a strong as well as a scalable approach to marketing medium to large websites. Here are some of the integral methods that you can use:

  • On-site behavioral targeting through geo-targeted, demographic-targeted and/or contextual webpage content.
  • Absolute relevance of the landing page to its targeted keyword(s).
  • Increasing the amount of keywords that a certain strong landing page can rank for on search results, by building more links to it using variations for its anchor texts (short-tail, long-tail and semantically relevant keywords). Given that the more traffic that the page can generate, is the more you can increase your site’s conversions.
  • Segmenting types of traffic through efficient keyword research – and this will usually encompass the implementation of appropriate keyword targeting for the site’s pages (separating buying keywords from general information keywords). Here’s a great deck that explains a lot of SEO methods that can be used to improve conversions.
  • Also, here’s a good line from Patrick Altoft: build more links to important landing pages, rather than important keywords.
  • Strengthening the page’s main call to action by making it more obvious.
  • Putting emphasis on your product/service’s value proposition through the landing pages’ content to improve conversions.

Linked Data

Linked data is a practice that interconnects related data, information and knowledge on the semantic web (as defined by Wikipedia) through URIs and RDFs. Basically; it’s a process that assembles pieces of data retrieved from different open databases to form a single channel that will store all the interrelated information, which can serve as a more extensive resource about a certain subject.

A great example of this type of content is World Bank’s open data – this was a tip sent to me by Hannah Poferl a few months ago.

As you can see, most of their pages (from their data center) contain solid statistics extracted from different open databases that could be very significant to many existing or ongoing studies, which means these pages are of high value to both large and small communities (and would definitely mean a linkable asset that will continuously gain and attract natural links).

Making this a part of your campaign’s content development strategy might just earn you a lot of authoritative links, especially if you can link important datasets related to your industry or to its target market.

The outcome of the content may also be compelling enough to be worthy of ranking for highly competitive keywords, particularly if you can build a good navigational structure for these pages as well as obtain quality links through its promotion stage.

Learning how to create this type of content is quite hard, but the good news is that there are lots of available resources over the web that you can start with to know more and understand how linking open data works. Here are some of the resources that I’ve found very useful through my own research:

Continuously Upgrading Strong Pages for Freshness

I’ve been an advocate of this method for quite some time now, and will definitely be doing this more next year, as I’ve personally tested this method and has proven positive results in terms of getting higher search rankings. Especially now with one of Google’s recent update – Freshness – you can certainly dominate the SERPs for years if you have a solid content that can offer evergreen information.

Freshness doesn’t necessarily imply that a document should be new based on its inception date, but rather plays around many factors that can consider and indicate the content’s authoritativeness. Cyrus Shepard of SEOmoz recently published an article about the factors of freshness that may influence rankings.

A good sample of this method (I’ve been using and over-promoting this one a lot) would be my SEO strategies resources page:

Basically, it’s a compilation of my blog posts that I regularly update – every time I have a new post that’s suitable to be included on that list – which makes the page more powerful, as it’s continuously upgrading.

Here’s another tip:

Linkable Asset Creation

A linkable asset is a robust component of a website that aims to stand as the best content in a specific area of an industry. This type of content is capable of:

  • Serving as a link magnet that can continuously attract linkers.
  • Ranking for highly competitive keywords, as it can attract natural links.
  • Consistently generating traffic, since it can rank for highly searched keywords.
  • Sending out massive brand signals.
  • Producing highly fascinated leads, given that the content is exemplifying your expertise in the field.
  • Improving your site’s domain authority, through generated traffic and usage data.

There are certain elements that a web content must have in order for it to be a scalable asset, such as:

  • Appeals to a large audience
  • Content is evergreen
  • Have high content value

Ross Hudgen’s deck on creating a link building machine is a great guide to start with. And to get you more inspired, here are some of the best samples of linkable assets in this industry:

Using Statistics to Create News

This is probably old news to most of you, but again, solid data is still big news to any industry. Launching a survey that will gather relevant information to give solution to a particular or a well-timed issue in your industry can just give you massive linking opportunities.

You can use tools like SurveyMonkey in conducting your research/survey. Then after collecting the necessary data, you can then present your survey’s results in a graph format or you can as well choose to present the data by including it to rich-media contents (video, slide presentation or infographic).

Extending the reach of your results is very possible once you have released your initial content (that will host the statistics), as it will be easier to pitch your story/statistics as a resource to news websites, columnists, editors and even reputable bloggers in your industry.

Interactive Infographics and Data Visualization

Richard Baxter recently shared a list of interactive infographics that really caught my attention. Infographic creation and marketing has proven itself to be an efficient online marketing tool this past year, and many are saying that it’s already being overused by marketers worldwide, which might lessen its value in the coming years.

However, enriching your approach to data visualization – as a marketing channel for your content development strategy – by making it more interactive is a different story. It takes time to develop one, but its results can definitely be overwhelming, mainly in attracting solid links to your website.

via TheDailyBeast

In creating interactive infographics, here’s a video tutorial that I’ve found useful via Larry Ferlazzo.

Online Branding with Social Media

Branding is evidently one of the biggest factors that search engines will use in determining authority websites next year, knowing that brand-based data is one of the simplest metrics that they can use to measure authenticity and web popularity.

The most common metrics that search engines might use in assessing a brand’s importance over the web could be through:

  • Search volume for the brand name
  • Brand mentions from other websites (without link)
  • Amount of branded anchor text links directing to the website
  • Brand mentions from users on social networks

Judging from these metrics that Google is using, it is somehow certain that branding in SEO will mostly require the practice of social media in order to cultivate brand mentions, brand awareness, branded search queries and most especially brand advocates.

Using Social Media for CRM

One thing that really empowers businesses today in social media, is the benefit of having it used as a tool for customer relationship management (CRM), given that a large share of audience in most industries are actively using the web (particularly social networking sites) these days.

Social media, as a channel for CRM and customer support, can positively impact the efforts of building the brand’s online presence, and can definitely cultivate brand mentions, spread brand awareness, and branded searches from highly satisfied users and from people that the brand will be referred to.

Brand Building through Content Marketing

Externally distributing content or crafting extremely awesome web-based content can also help in building a strong brand presence for your website, as these types of content can send out massive brand signals. Types of content that can boost your social media and brand marketing campaign may come in forms of:

  • Videos
  • Games
  • Applications
  • Free web-based tools
  • Awards
  • Contests
  • Whitepapers
  • Free Ebooks
  • Infographics
  • Guest blogging

When distributing or launching heavy content marketing campaigns, it’s also important to make them have strong call to actions, such as following/liking you on social networks (Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+), as this will allow you to measure and scale your campaign(s).

Tracking Brand Mentions and Utilizing Brand Advocates

As you are building your brand and user-engagements through social media, it’s also vital to monitor brand mentions. You can use free tools like Google Alerts and Twitter Search to keep track of people talking about your brand, especially those who are citing your brand positively.

Keeping track of these people also means that you’ll need to make a list of them (use excel), as you can utilize this list in scaling your online marketing campaign (especially in link building). You can segment your list, particularly the ones who are mentioning you on Twitter, and see those who have blogs. Engage this area of your list (like offering freebies for reviews, VIP access, coupon codes, etc…) to get more contextual link opportunities.

Rapport Building through Content Creation

Building relationships has been one of the most effective and scalable ways to build high value links to a website these past few years, given that relationships can also take online businesses to a higher level in terms of acquiring links as well as in generating business leads through network referrals.

There are many ways to build relationships online, which most of the time starts with conversations through community discussions (forums, blogs, Q&A sites, social networking sites) as well as on industry conferences. But targeting to engage influencers in your industry might take you some time, there are still ways that you can do to get into their radar – by simply creating compelling content that features them.

Some of the most effective content formats that you can use to build connections with your link targets:

It’s always important to notify them once you have published your content, as most of them would share it to their own networks, which opens your doors for more linking opportunity, as this can somehow validate your site’s credibility.

Bonus Tip: If your client won’t authorize you to do this within their domain, try to start a niche-targeted blog (that uses a “personal” approach) that will focus on creating these kinds of content (it’s easy to build these types of content, as you’ll mostly focus on researching, curating posts in your industry, outreach for interviews, etc…).

Once you get to talk to your link prospects and have them thanking you for featuring them on your user-generated content, it’s then easier to penetrate guest blogging requests to them (which I think is a win/win/win situation for your client, your self-hosted blog and your link prospect).     

Link Building in 2012:

Link building in 2012

Targeted Link Building

Targeted link building is more of a principle than a practice. It’s a perception that focuses on building the right anchor texts to the right destination pages from the right and highly relevant linking websites. Other factors that make a link building campaign more targeted:

  • Focusing on your list of link prospects! As sometimes, people tend to get distracted by obtaining fast live links from general niche websites. You can refer to my recent blog post for extreme link prospecting, use it wisely.
  • Building links that people will actually click – through the position of the link within the document, or the length as well as the usage of powerful words in the link to attract users to clicking. Studying the top websites sending referred traffic to your site is also a good way to get ideas on how to build your artificial links.

Bonus Tip: Building links to undiscovered powerful pages of the site.

Basically, it’s just digging through your Web Analytics to track unseen opportunities that might help scale your link building campaign – particularly in generating specifically targeted search engine traffic – by pushing pages to rank for the keywords which people use in finding the page.

In discovering powerful pages of your site:

  • On Google Analytics’ Traffic Sources > Keywords
  • Segment keywords that have high user activity, which can be measured through the % of new visits and its bounce rate (keywords that have high % of new visits + low % of bounce rate).
Analytics link building

Having these traffic data segmented will eventually guide you to the right anchor texts to target for your strong pages, as some of the data that you’ll be finding indicates that people see those pages relevant to the search term they have used in finding them.

These pages are then easier to optimize and also have greater chances of achieving higher search rankings, especially when you start building links to them, seeing as they’re already showing up on search results (for their newly targeted keywords), and most of all, the data that you’ve collected prove that these pages have high user-activity.

BizDev Link Building

Recently, Eric Ward’s works and perceptions on link development as well as on how he really sees where this business is going have heavily influenced my own views about the link building business – and his BizDev link building style is certainly one of them.

BizDev link building is a methodology that concentrates more on the business end rather than the site’s search rankings – as defined by Eric Ward.

Brilliant examples of this technique can also be found here:

Although, probably the most excellent example of bizdev link building that I’ve seen so far was a technique that a got from a thread at Webmasterworld (by “viggen”):

  • Find authors of upcoming books (2-4 months before they get released) in your niche on Amazon.com.
  • Contact the author and ask if he/she’ll be interested to review another book or interview another author who writes about the same field or industry (preferably the ones that they might need for their own research), as this can help him promote his upcoming book. Basically, you’ll be offering help to the author in promoting his new book by creating a content that will be published in your website.
  • Once the content is done, you can start contacting the publishing house of the reviewed book and let them know that you have an extensive review of one of their books posted on your website. This can get you some links and social shares from the publishing house’s end as well as the author who wrote the review.
  • Another advantage of using this method is that many universities in the US and UK have publishing departments, which means you can have higher chances of engaging people who are authorized to reward citations from an .edu domain (knowing that they also have blogs and they also enjoy citing resources).
  • Benefits of the technique: you get a link from the author of the upcoming book, you get a link from the publishing house (could be from .edu), you receive a high quality content, and you get to build a strong reputation in the academic sphere of your industry.

User Generated Viral Campaigns

Viral marketing will definitely be still one of the most powerful marketing tools out there next year. This method has a lot of faces, and with social media growing larger every year, tapping more in to your target audience’s passions could be a little more interesting to implement – basing on the increase in web users’ online activity and involvement.

A good approach to this type of marketing is to support or create a movement (could be politically-related, perennial issues, etc…) that relates to your industry or a belief that your business genuinely believes in. Once you have this part sorted out, you can launch campaigns that will encourage actions from your targeted audience such as:

  • Collecting online signatures and compiling them all in a single webpage, which participants can freely share on social networks or link back to (online signatures can come in form of a link to their social network profile/blog, which may also include a statement from each participant). You can also choose to automate this process by allowing users to just key in their contributions using an online form and have all submissions moderated.
  • Interviewing real people (not industry influencers) and compiling their contributions in a single webpage (this will be more interesting if it’s a video). You can also scale this approach by allowing users to send in their own videos (it’s like allowing them to have their opinions about the issue heard).

People are more likely to share the content if they feel that they have slight ownership of it.

My Call to Action

I will have a Christmas/2011 testimonial /link love post this week, so if you liked this post, you can just tweet this:

You don’t necessarily have to say that I’m awesome or what, feel free to say anything alongside the #Kaiserthesage hashtag, and I’ll take screenshots and include them on my next post, and of course, I’ll be linking back to your websites.

Subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Image Credit: Poibuts

 

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Rhoades December 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Wow Jason! This is the ultimate blueprint for campaigning in 2012. I can’t even soak all this in right now. You even included resources and examples. I especially like the Linkable Asset Creation section. This really simplifies a concept I have been trying to communicate for a month. Bookmarked! Thanks!

Reply

Wpfix February 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Yes very nice post by Jason on seo strategies 2012.

Its a very long post, I think you have listed all major points that to be deal in 2012

Thanks for sharing this seo strategies in 2012

:)

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Anthony@LED test and measurement December 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Awesome post Jason! I agree with Don that I don’t have enough time now to digest everything included, but I’m tagging it and will refer to it frequently as I finish planning for 2012. Thanks.

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James Hind December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Nice work. Quite motivating list for going into 2012.

Like the ‘change Top 30 to Top 50′ tip, easy to do and refreshes the content nicely.

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Wayne Barker December 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Wow, Jason, wow…
I love how in depth your posts are and this has to be one of your finest. Consider it shared socially – and tomorrow with the rest of the team. Looking forward to more cracking posts from you next year – happy holidays!

Wayne

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Miguel@Web Design Minnesota December 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

This list is awesome Jason! Galing mo! :)

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OrganicSEOconsultant.com December 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Whew, this was a long one!

I have to dispute something that you have said though. The freshness update that Google just had does not account for updating content on an old page. It is for new pages with unique content. So simply changing content on old pages is not supposed to work for this.

You mentioned having used this technique with great success but I wonder if your success is related to increased linking to the post rather than just a refresh of the content. If you were able to run a test on this in an environment where inbound links did not increase then you may be able to prove something here. I’d love to hear your thoughts or debates on this.

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Kane@Seattle SEO December 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Killer post – I’d posit that this will be very relevant beyond 2012.

The focus on content is great – it’s easy for all of us to forget CRO and creating a better user experience while we’re busy building links.

All snippets but definitely social will grow a ton. I think schema.org gives many glimpses of what will start showing up. That metadata takes a bit of work to implement but I think early adopters will be rewarded. I seem to always gravitate to the fancier SERP snippet, I can’t be the only one who does that.

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Matt@New York Web Design December 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Amazing content in this. I bookmarked it for a reference. You’re doing a great job at getting out some very useful content. We SEOs appreciate that. Also, it was cool to see the ‘shot out’ to World Bank in the post. Our company actually did the design work for them, but not the awesome functionality you are talking about. Anyway, keep it up, I get your feed so I’ll be looking forward to the next post!

~Matt

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Ben Jackson December 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

Hey Jason, this is a bit off topic, but I can’t help but notice that you get tons of SU votes on your posts. Any method to the madness?

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Alessio Madeyski December 21, 2011 at 2:26 am

Thanks for sharing this. I’m gonna print it out and give it to all my team for starting a new aweSEOme year! ok, too nerdy this joke!

keep rockin!

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Ruth Sayson December 21, 2011 at 7:17 am

I really have a good read about your post. Like what every one said this is a good blue print for 2012. The important thing here is that the information we want to give to search engine user is accurate and well written. After all that’s what Google was trying to aim for and as a website owner we need to ride on it.

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Jeff@ Xstudios Web Design December 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

This is a really comprehensive list, and you hit the points for 2012 spot on.
I think Conversion Rate Optimization is one of the most underutilized tool small businesses are missing out on,and quite often lose a lot of advertising money in the process of ignoring this.

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Matt Clark - Damang Media December 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm

That is a fair amount of detail and thanks for sharing. I had posted a few article on the new SEO and goals for 2012 as well. What do you think the impact of social media will have on SEO in 2012?

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Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) December 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Fantastic collection of suggestions. I’ll be digging deeper into this list while planning our SEO strategies for the new year.

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Geoff December 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Fantastic post is an understatement. You seem to organize my thoughts better than I do. I imagine people will be coming back to this post time and time again when they’re looking for stuff to do.

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Sean@SEO Philippines December 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Sobrang haba na naman ng entry mo :))
Great work as always Jason! Very informative – in fact, this entry is easily OVERLOADED with data and SEO inspiration. Keep on writing bro.

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Mat Bennett@Hampshire SEO December 22, 2011 at 2:48 am

I’ve been sketching out an end of year ‘state of search’ talk to go through with my small team here and I think I’m now going to rethink a big chunk of it. Great overview. Much clearer that what I have been mashing together. Thanks for the extra work!

Also – I second Ben’s request above for any insights in to your SU use.

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Rojish December 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Wow, a lengthy article, but very useful one. I think what Google going to give priority in 2012 will be Quality – quality articles, quality design and quality back links. In fact with every new Panda update they are able to take away junks from the search results and this is getting better and better in each update. So our primary focus in 2012 should be to improve the overall quality of our websites and build it with users in our mind.

A great article buddy, thanks for sharing it.

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Lucy R. December 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

OMG !! You have almost written a whole book :) Great work !! Keep writing :)

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Adam James December 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

Jason, another amazing post .. I especially like the call to action for your viral campaign, please keep us updated on it’s success.

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Duy December 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

You’re done a wonderful job Jason :D

I understand that the game is changing now for SEO and it’s time to pay real attention on content optimization user experience not just the SEs like before. This post is a huge post and I will comeback to check frequently!

Thanks for sharing.

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Devesh @ WordPress Resources December 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Hey Jason,

This is ultimate post for someone who is getting started with SEO. Thanks for sharing this excellent stuff, with us.

Happy Holidays to you & your family ;) !

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Astro Gremlin December 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Wow, this post is epic. Talk about “linkable asset creation.” Jason, this kind of work is a real community resource. A lot to digest. A couple of tips stand out: Evergreen content and refreshing your top pages.

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Arfan December 24, 2011 at 11:48 am

Awesome post.

I Def agree that CRO is going to have an effect on SEO as well. We have too remember that the bottom line of SEO is “usability” and CRO is all about making the site more usable and focusing on its goal. Good CRO = good SEO BUT good seo doe NOT = good CRO.

Also the freshness point, will keep that in mind for my next round of trials.

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Ryan Critchett@Lehigh Valley PC Repair December 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Sick, and totally in depth stuff here man. Definitely a couple of things I’m going to go implement and change because of this.

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Juphet Mislang December 26, 2011 at 1:35 am

My boss din pointed out to me about the importance conversion. It very important that traffic or visits to are converted into clients, which means make money. It is some what a challenge for me to do that. Thanks for the suggestion and I may try to implement the 5 major processes of CRO. Very useful article. Thanks again.

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Join Scentsy December 26, 2011 at 5:45 am

Awesome post! So much info! I’m trying to optimize my site now. So much to learn – this article really brought out some great points! Thanks!

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Alex December 27, 2011 at 1:17 am

the longest, fullest and most detailed SEO strategy i’ve read. I’m really impressed and sure will implement some of these on my website nexwt year. Thank you very much, Jason.

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Matt@HR Resources December 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Jason: Are you crazy? How good was that, almost never ending fluid of knowledge, good on you!

About the Rich Snippet Optimization, any of you guys reading my comment, do you all use that and since when and do you think it’s essential?

Apparently there seem to be never ending opportunities for linkbuilding, hey.

Cheers from Cairns, Australia, Matt

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Noel Addison@Logo Design Ventura December 28, 2011 at 12:20 am

Online branding with social media will never be out in 2012. And I believe that social media will continue to expand in the upcoming years.

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Manuel Marino December 28, 2011 at 4:26 am

impressive post! and huge… I learned a lot!

the most important factor, I think, it’s the trust. Or you can call it the word of mouth, because more trust you have, more people talk about your blog in websites, social networks, etc etc

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Diana Grant December 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hi Jason, this is great! I love your article, complete and this is really informative. I know that you spent precious time in working on this. I really thank you for sharing this wonderful post… Happy Holidays!

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Frank@Customer Service December 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Hey Jason, I love the amount of work you put into your posts. There are quite a few things I am doing right; however, there are just as many things I’m doing wrong. I really need to add a bio to my blog, for a start. The one thing I think is evident from Googles recent updates is that trust will be the most important thing, going forward. My blogs have always been honest so that is not an issue for me. Where I seem to fall down is in the technical and promotional side of things. I’m for ever learning though.

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Sheena December 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Hi, Jason! I hope you had a great Christmas :) I am still learning about SEO and even with the few things that I have learned, I have come to realize how broad it is. And with this comprehensive post, it shows that there is still a lot more for me to learn. Thanks for these great tips; I hope I can apply and learn all of them next year.

I really agree about rich snippet optimization. When I search for stuff in Google, I don’t always click on the number 1 site. I usually read the snippets first and go to the one with the best explanation.

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Reag Aguda December 29, 2011 at 12:36 am

Awesome post. I was supposed to take a half day today when i bumped into this post. Solid! Love the BizDev Link Building part. Thanks man! Mabuhay ka! :)

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Mike Starks December 29, 2011 at 11:50 am

Excellent! I am in the Real Estate Business and SEO is becoming increasingly more important each day to be found by buyers and getting your sellers listings out in front of everyone. I will defiantly be implementing some of these tips.

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John Benedict December 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Wow! Great article! Will be sharing with my clients and partners concerned with SEO, and will definitely be re-visiting for reference and tips.

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Chris Warren December 31, 2011 at 9:57 am

You nailed a huge focus for my company going into 2012 with trust optimization. It really is easier than ever to run extensive tests and get lots of data about how your customers are interacting with your website. We want to make a shift towards getting as much information from our customers as possible and delivering the best experience they can have based on what THEY want instead of what we think they should want.

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Mark @webbythoughts January 2, 2012 at 8:53 am

Looks like a big summary of 2011′s post! Good thing I don’t need to flip pages. Everything I need is here plus the tips. Cheers!

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Andy January 4, 2012 at 6:19 am

Thanks for putting the time to write such a detailed post. It was most helpful.

I have marked up a number of my review websites to include rich snippets and another website to get video thumbnails. And i am reluctant to say this, but it has increased my search traffic a lot. So i definitely think this is going to be an area of growth in the coming year. You will see a lot more rich snippets getting a lot more clicks and sites without rich snippets getting a lower CTR.

If Google goes the way i am thinking they are going, the stuff like CTR, time on site and bounce will start to matter more and these sites with rich media will potentially do better in the search results.

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KT January 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

You began your article by posing the question, “what is advanced?” and then answered the question superbly. I definitely need to bookmark this page! Thanks for the truly insightful article.

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LMS January 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm

This is a phenomenal post, Jason. I particularly like the ‘trust’ table – it’s a very sensical concept but haven’t seen it represented like that before. Thanks for sharing real words of wisdom.

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leo lito January 9, 2012 at 2:47 am

Great post Kaiser.. Kudos mate!! Great Job wow PR 4 going to PR 5 na imo Blog.. Go GO GO

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Robert January 10, 2012 at 2:17 am

Also, Google is putting more and more ranking weight on social media. In the past it was mostly about the number and the quality of the incoming links – I think that won’t be sufficient any longer to get a top ranking (at least in highly competitive niches).

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John@Digital Marketing January 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

Great in depth post! I have bookmarked it because i’m gonna have to come back again, there’s no way i’m gonna remember it all! I like that the topic is On-site optimization. Always ideal to start work on a good solid base. I spent a large chunk of December working on a site getting it ready for 2012. Gonna try a few things you mentioned on the post. I’ll let you know how i get on. Good luck guys!

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Michela@Rinoplastica January 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm

A complete overview on SEO strategies. I would like the author explores each topic treated. I understand that the author is very knowledgeable on the theme, I was wondering if he has ever considered writing a book on SEO.

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Ram Kr Shukla February 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm

The way CTR has changed for the rich snippet has changed the standard CTR metrics, this will definitely encourage all the online business websites to change the strategy they are currently working on

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Hannah miller February 11, 2012 at 7:22 am

This post is brilliant!!! This brings together many SEO strategies that are part of a successful SEO project. Thank you for pulling this together!

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Brenn Almario February 16, 2012 at 12:57 am

Dude, Your post is very impressive! I’m making blue print like this for Campaign in 2012. Luckily i found this helpful insights and making this my database. As of now i’m using Traffic Travis for my keyword category search. Thanks to you.

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sakthi Ganesh February 20, 2012 at 3:06 am

In depth content, solid ideas for SEO 2012.
I am definitely going to work with my blog in coming days

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steve garth February 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I learned more in this one post than any SEO book I’ve read. Being a web developer I don’t profess to be a SEO expert but I need to have SEO best practices in mind when developing a site. This post pretty much covers the range. Have you ever considered authoring a book Jason? Sign me up for the first copy!

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Salvync March 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Thanks for the article. I just realized I have a lot to work on my site. It will be kind of hard since my site is a game site, lots of flash files and few words. :(

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Neil@mac blog April 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Am I the only who feels like the authorship markup is a way of forcing bloggers/webmasters into utilizing Google+? Sure it’s a great idea, but the fact that it has to be integrated with your Google+ account is a bit of a roadblock for most who aren’t as active in the social media scene.

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Paul Millard April 23, 2012 at 7:43 am

Some diverse techniques here Jason with plenty to digest.
I have just started using Rich Snippets on my personal and money sites to good effect.
I think that branding yourself is the only way of staying ahead of the game especially in-light of Googles latest stance on affiliate sites coupled with the mass de-indexing of the major blog networks.

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Alexander Alexis June 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Hi Jason,

I dabbled a little with some websites (which make a little Google Adsense income each month, still) a couple of years ago. With the Euro crisis dampening prospects everywhere, I decided to re-start building some more residual income streams. Spent a few months reading stuff by Dan Thies, Kim Roach, Mark Ling and I felt ready to move.

Then I thought, one more step, I better google “2012 SEO strategies”. That’s when I chanced upon you at position 2.

Gosh, what treasure and it’s not even hidden! I am absolutely floored by what you are willing to share and at the same time thoroughly terrified, so much has changed in SEO, article marketing seems totally dated. Everything seems to have taken a quantum leap in cyberspace in just a couple of years. I feel so lost again e.g. what is commentluv??

But your extensive in-depth writings inspire me to press on and not give up.

Keep it up!

Cheers.
Alex

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Alan | Life's Too Good July 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Wow wow wow Jason.

Awesome awesome awesome. I hate reading in comments I’ll definitely bookmark this and return to it later or ‘great post’ because they usually both hint at spam but in this case it is a great post and I do have to bookmark it for later cos you just threw so much info at me.

Thanks – now you just gave me plenty of work to do on my website ;-)

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James Brown September 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Hey Jason.. You have a very nice and simple but informative post.
Thanks for sharing this seo strategies in 2012

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Rachel May 25, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Unfortunately, Usabilla and Silverback are both paid tools.

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Silvia Gomez April 16, 2014 at 6:44 am

Thank you very much for the information. SEO is a constantly changing game that you always need to make sure to stay on top of if you want to stay relevant. Any tool that is out there to help with SEO I consider because it is such a daunting task.

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