What if I told you that 85% of SEO drivers happen off page? What if all that keyword stuff you’d dedicated so much time to only accounted for 15% of its total impact? Would that feel like wasted time, or would you suddenly feel liberated to refocus your efforts?
We uncovered a recent statistic from Moz (so you know it’s good) that says exactly this – that your SEO is much more dependent on external factors than certainly most SEO so-called-experts would dare to admit. I mean, I STILL receive emails from link-dump websites claiming they can get me top rankings, because they claim some sort of mega-domain authority I know they don’t have, acquired through spurious techniques I know don’t work. I know this because the same was true two years ago.
And anyway I’ve got my top ranking, thank you very much. I got it through hard work. But going back to that stat, as with most happenings in the world of content marketing, you can either see the evolution of SEO as a restriction, or you can see it as an opportunity.
I say it’s party time
SEO is like a party. I know, right? How frickin’ stoked are you now?
As the party host (i.e. the content manager) your job is to make the party awesome. You need to make an invite or flyer (i.e. your content), occupy a place where guests and passers-by can find you easily, and create a fantastic atmosphere within which your guests can easily mingle, get drunk and find the toilet (i.e. the user experience of your website).
So what do you put on your invite? Well, keywords, mainly. (I know it sounds like this party’s getting more boring by the second, but bear with me.)
You’ll talk about what your guests can expect – what kind of party this is (rave / outdoor / indoor / glamorous / utter filth), where it is (bar / warehouse / car park / mum’s basement), the music genre you prefer (drum ‘n’ bass / hip hop / house / Mongolian throat singing), how late you’re open (12am / 6am / till fiftieth complaint / till arrival of police), abundance of cake, whether girls get in free before 11pm and how acceptable white trainers are.
In other words your invite / flyer / keyword content categorises you, such that those people looking for a party this Saturday are under no illusions as to what’s happening at your place. Keywords do the same thing for your digital brand, for the benefit of Google, Bing, et al, and the users that search with these tools.
Then you create a user experience that works. You want people to navigate their own way around, feel relaxed and unpressured, but also informed, and to immerse themselves in the world of you at their own pace.
It’s not what you know; it’s who knows you
So far, so successful. But this brings us to my point – you can promise the world and deliver the goods, but it’s all a bit moot if no one turns up.
Of course, the better promoted your invite is – on social media and/or by some paid promotion – the more likely people will turn up. But on the other side of that coin, you need buzz, excitement, the talk of the town.
You want friends telling their friends about you. You want influential figures shouting about how damn skippin’ hot your party is going to be from the rooftops. You need the networks – the ties – i.e. the links.
And I’m not talking about those bogus links from link-dump opportunists; I’m talking about the big players in your industry. Clearly if you’re running a hip hop party, then a link to your party from Kanye West’s website will be pretty bloody valuable (one presumes); a link from Bob’s Cleaning Company Clapham might not have the same gravitas.
So, now we know that the majority of your SEO clout comes from external influences, you should be encouraged to foster relationships (and links) with the respected people in your field. And what better way to kick off a lasting relationship than with a sick party full of killer content and awesome keywords?
Don’t answer that.
Essentially, our advice is to take this as another reason and opportunity to publish unique, high quality, authoritative content that people of influence want to link to. Do that and you’ll be going to parties every weekend.