Last week, Rae Hoffman wrote a fantastic article about the need to think beyond traditional SEO practices. She explains clearly and with a compelling example why you can’t just optimize your site then sit back and wait for the traffic to pour in.
A few weeks back we launched a little site called Tweetwasters. It wasn’t a “serious effort” or anything we planned to monetize. It was a quick dip into the world of Twitter applications. But it also gave me some actual hard data back up what I had known in my gut to be true for a long while… traffic can have a direct impact on your indexing and rankings.
The old adage that “the rich get richer” is full effect on the web. If you have a popular site, you will move up the search engines ranking scheme, even if you do zero on page SEO. Rae offers the ramp up (and eventual ramp down) of Tweetwasters as a perfect example.
Good core marketing and the occasional yet regular viral success (it doesn’t need to be large scale, especially if your industry isn’t) – both of which amount to driving traffic at the end of the day – can get you good rankings with or without SEO.
Rae hits the nail on the head when reminds us that SEO is but one component to marketing your site. You need to build your user base. You need to cultivate your 1000 true fans, and that doesn’t happen by focusing solely on your on page optimization.
2009 is already seeing the impact of search engine algorithm tweaks, not to mention wholesale changes like search wiki at Google. How are you marketing your site? Are you in a sector that could benefit from you spending some time and energy on Twitter or one of the other social platform? Are you using press releases?
Working with some of the best newspapers in the country is usually great, but some are slow to grasp the change in the way their product is being consumed. Google or Yahoo, more often than not, now decide what newspaper/news-site has the story I search for. The carefully laid out path of homepage->sports section->high school sports->story is rarely followed, because I am taken directly to the story. So while the editor wants to focus all of the resources and cool stuff onto the homepage and section fronts, many visitors never see it. The lowly story page is left as an after thought.
There’s a reason that CNN had some phenominal traffic numbers on Inauguration day, they have a following that thinks of them as “the” place to go get their breaking news. What are you”the” place for?