Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO of SEOmoz (based in Seattle, WA) packed the place out last night at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort for his talk on Inbound Marketing. With over 200 people in attendance, the room was riveted on his every word. Rand took us through a diagnosis of the eight irrational biases in the world of SEO.
The title of the presentation? Choose Short Men (and tall women)
Sound funny? Well, before diving into his main material, he drew a quick parallel description to the user behavior happening now on online dating sites. People are sorting through potential matches with a filter on height. An example of how women seek men online is when they limit results based on a minimum height of 5’9”. With that filter in place, what does that leave them? It produces a list of limited results, and the competition to connect with that group of users could be fierce! The inverse is also true when men are seeking women, and place a height ceiling on their search queries. So, what would happen if both groups were to remove that one filter? They would actually get every other criteria they wished, fulfilled. In conclusion, you could say they’re being irrational about their expectations.
Now, let’s apply that same line of thinking to what is happening in SEO and marketing.
Here is a list of the current eight irrational biases (and how your inbound marketing could benefit from rejecting them):
Bias #1: Ranking Position is All That Matters
– Click through rate (CTR) is influenced by more than position (star ratings, reviews, price, author photo, date of publication, video snippet)
– Start with great titles, meta descriptions, and URLs
– Profile pictures = CTR boost
– Video XML sitemaps = CTR boost
– Rich Snippets: High value in the right niches
Bias #2: SEO is About Ranking for the “Money” Keywords
– Focus on more specific keyword combinations
– Google wants to dominate the popular searches
– Regular content + UGC = Niche (Specific) Success
Bias #3: AdWords is All The Keyword Research You Need
– Google’s Search Suggest is a great keyword research tool
– Google News: Research the undiscovered keywords (any article profiled on Google News will generate a high search volume)
– Social media leads to queries
– Tools for tracking social: PopURLs
– Tools for tracking social: Topsy
Bias #4: My Site is the Only Place to do SEO
– Controlling brand SERPs matter
– Earning rankings on other sites may be easier
– Dominating SERPs is a powerful tactic
– Consider SEO for your social media profiles
Bias #5: Social Sharing is Fire & Forget
– What you say, and how you say it, matters
– Timing matters
– Repetition matters
– Link placement matters
– Hashtags & Mentions matter
– Snippets matter in Google+
– Snippets matter on Facebook
Bias #6: SEO is About Best Fitting to the Algorithmic Formula
– Google sees all and knows all
– Scale of ROI from SEO (in order): creating content people want to consume and share, making website’s pages accessible to engines, optimizing on-page keyword usage / targeting, optimizing metadata, schema, rich snippets, etc, and building links to individual URLs for higher rankings
– The “algorithm” today has very few inputs (ie. Delightfulness to users + accessibility and KW targeting + ability to reach an audience = Rankings)
Bias #7: There’s No Simple Way to Increase Traffic
– Site speed optimization: Simple.
– 404, 500 & 302 Fixes: Simple.
– Retargeting: Simple. Increases Traffic.
– Sharing new content on each network: Simple.
Bias #8: CRO is About Testing Variation of Content and Design
– Desire for your website: 1) Have more visitors 2) Have a higher conversion rate
– Improve the Call to Action
– A/B Testing (At this step: Be sure to check out Convertasaurus)
– Multivariate Testing
– Ask smart questions to the right people (groups based on how they interacted with your company or website)
– Gain a deep understanding of what makes buyers buy
– Determine what makes some qualified visitors not buy
Remove Irrational Biases. Win at Marketing.
Finally, a special thanks is in order to the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association for hosting the event, all the participating sponsors, and the great food that came from the kitchen!
To view Rand’s full presentation on SlideShare, click here.