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Surprise, Surprise: SEO Works



MarketingSherpa today has the results from an SEO case study—4 tactics that increased traffic 58% (free until Feb 27). In the case study, they outline the tactics that helped to increase the website’s traffic.

But if you’re holding your breath for groundbreaking new techniques, go ahead and stop. The four tactics strategies:

  1. Develop new language versions of the website
  2. Create new white paper to qualify leads
  3. Boost incoming links from relevant sites
  4. Test design and placement options for links to Web forms

AKA

  1. Add more (multilingual) content
  2. Add more content
  3. Build links
  4. Test website effectiveness

It’s a bit surprising that #1 was even necessary: the website is for a translation company. The company had already given its site an SEO makeover: in 2006, they “used keyword-rich content and enhanced page headers and description tags to boost Web traffic . . . and saw a 240% boost in Web traffic.” So for 2007, they’ll delve into the uncharted territory of “link building.” Woooo.

However, there are a few worrying details in the conclusion of the case study. The “link building” campaign is suddenly called a “link exchange.” They also haven’t found a good way to benchmark and measure progress in the link building/exchange: “Malik knows the campaign generated new inbound links for the Argos homepage, but he can’t be sure exactly how many because each time he checks Google to see new links he finds different results.” Additionally, this sounds like only the homepage is receiving links from the direct campaign.

While far from revolutionary, it’s always nice to see that the tried-and-true, well-established techniques that we all know and love continue to be effective: leads from their site were up 58%.

  • http://www.faceliftdentistry.com Sam Muslin

    These steps sound simple and logic – but not if you have a small business, or more specific, a dental practice.

    How many pages of meaningful content could you really add to a dental site? I am adding case studies as I complete them – but this amount to few pages. I publish Press Releases as often as I can – but how newsworthy is dental work really? The press people feel obliged to turn me down as my news is not really news.

    It leaves me with one thing – finding links. Google suggests that if your site is good, then links will find your site. This may work for big business, but not for dentists! As natural link building (Google talk) excludes the buying of links, I find myself up against a brick wall.

    Quite frankly, I don’t believe that the SEO model can work for small business websites!

  • http://www.ioergercreative.com Roderick Ioerger

    @Sam – If you really want to succeed with a small business SEO and you haven’t been able to do it on your own then you should work with a professional to help you plan and implement a strategy that will work.

    There are many strategies that would work for a dentist depending on what your goals are. But you cannot have all three of the following at the same time. Inepensive, Quick Results (this is a relative concept), and High Quality. You only get two of the three and that is often what side tracks small business.

  • http://www.faceliftdentistry.com Sam M

    I have no argument with this and have long accepted the fact that a website needs ongoing marketing investment and that there is no silver bullet for quick lasting results.

    However – where do you spend the money? Every solution seems to be based on some form of link building which actually comes down to buying links. (I’m talking organic – not PPC). Any form of “link enticement” through blogging, articles, etc seems unnatural – which are the common solutions offered.

    Whereas good SEO initially seemed to make it possible for both large businesses (e.g. Superpages, Yellowpages, etc) and small businesses (e.g. Dental Websites) to compete, it now seems that the only way is through PPC.

  • http://www.searchengineoptimization.com Search Engine Optimization Journal

    Gee whiz. Who would have thought SEO works? Great to hear another study on the subject which proves its success. As for Sam – the only “unnatural” way to build links are spammy ways and a “natural” way truly is to write quality content that is worth reading by someone within your industry or someone who is interested in your industry. Since you are not putting up junk to artificially boost your website’s rankings, it is the most sure fire way to not only contribute to the online community but to build a reputation and quality links to your site. You could write articles on a growing trend within dentistry, a new product or truly anything. As long as it is well written and thought out, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be published on the web. There is a niche for every industry and people who want to read it. It doesn’t have to be completely “newsworthy” in everyone’s eyes and you can use an online press release service to talk about new changes within your office even. Again, unnatural ways would be completely spamming sites and buying links here and there and everywhere. Quality content is what will get you on your way regardless to what industry you are in.

  • http://www.technogumption.com Tom Beaton

    SEO is so full of secrecy that people easily get confused about what exactly it entails. The fact of the matter is that people just need a little guidance a lot of the time. SEOs have the problem of having a bit of a shady reputation.

  • http://www.businessol.com/ Gratefullab

    Hi Tom,

    SEO’s not full of secrecy. There is plenty out there that is transparent, most of the white hat techniques have been stated, reiterated and regurgitated so many times that people take for granted that the basics really do work. Now, if you get into some more complicated areas, you may not understand the terminology you see in forums or blog posts, but that doesn’t make them secretive. Keep up at it and you will get the hang of things….

  • http://www.technogumption.com Tom Beaton

    That is not exactly what I meant. A lot of it is open and clear. The problem is that anyone can call themselves a SEO and tout for business, no matter how good they are. Firms who do not know much about SEO can find it hard to know if what is being done for them is being done properly, or whether they are being cheated. SEO cannot guarantee results.

  • http://www.businessol.com/ Gratefullab

    I can see your point. A lot of people are down on SEO due to a bad experience but, in the long run, most SEOs should have a history of results and show the ablity to help clients increase conversions. You cannot guarantee results, but with experience you have a pretty good idea if you stand a chance in the vertical you are attacking with your given resources.

  • http://www.technogumption.com Tom Beaton

    I think in this year everything will become a lot more formalised and everyone will be more comfortable with the concept. Firms will have more referrals and testimonials. It is still a pretty new concept after all.

  • http://www.gowfb.com GoWFB

    With all the blood sweat and tears that people put into SEO, it should work! And even if it cannot guarantee results, it is, to large extent able to be accurate.

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  • http://www.greatpriceshere.com Nicole

    LOL. Just putting well known information in different terms does not make this report any more valuable.

  • http://www.freeipodsetc.co.uk Mike Touch

    Seems like the formula for SEO is the same from whoever’s mouth you hear it from.

    Increase on page SEO, increase quality original content and increase number of backlinks to your content.

    The main ideas are pretty simple, it’s the execution which gets a lot of people!

  • http://www.trbr.net Seomotion

    Multilingual comtent is the really good way to increase website traffic. Last year I made one experiment: I made German, French and Chinese website versions of my website. After 2 month I increaseв website traffic 430%.

  • http://www.hotproductsplus.com Mike Montague

    I love the multi-lingual idea. I’ve seen that on a couple sites lately, as was very impressed.

  • http://www.newhomessection.com Jayson

    Yep no surprises and no secrets! Google tells you exactly how to get better rankings and if you do what they say continuously, and are patient, the results will come. It won’t happen over night.

  • http://www.craigs-blog.com Craig

    SEO is becoming one of the hottest job fields. Its only going to get bigger as the internet marketing medium grows.

  • http://www.spidergourmet.com Ryan3PRIME

    @Sam, you need an SEO that can speak with you about your business and find creative methods to add new content. You might find dental content very vanilla, but if I assign a writer to your needs, they, not being dentists, can probably think of a dozen questions that you could answer, each of which is a content piece. Give us a call and I’ll show you all about it!

  • http://www.faceliftdentistry.com Sam M

    SEO is not a secret – it is actually so simple that it does not justify an industry or a career! It is simply about feeding the information industry with information. If your “information” is a repeat and a re-write of someone else’s, then you need the SEO magicians to do something for you – which will be short-lived. Google’s goal seems clear: keep on improving the search algorithm to improve the quality of information – not the quantity.

  • http://chasinggoogle.blogspot.com Mobile guy

    We all know that SEO works even without adding any new content.

  • http://www.jordankasteler.com/utah-seo-pro-blog/ Utah SEO

    Multilingual content is tricky because different geographic locations respond differently. It isn’t as simple as translating your content to another language. So if done correctly, I could see a huge increase in traffic with just that alone.

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  • http://prosperitywriter.com/ Prosperity Writer

    simple solutions are the best ones in most cases. but then again if it were that easy, most SEOs will be out of business.

  • http://www.cookingsoftware.com.au Natasha

    With regards to Sams dilemma, I would employ lateral thinking in search of links for SEO. As a food orientated site I for one would be happy to host an article relating eating to dentistry – I mean after all they do go hand in hand.

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