This Week In SEO 59
Data-Backed SEO, Old Content, & More
Updating Old Content, A Different Perspective
Last week we wrote about J-Mu saying there was no real SEO benefit to getting rid of your old, crusty content other than slightly making a better user experience on your site (or making yourself look better, probably. Those first 10 posts are always rough!).
But that’s very broad advice. This post hits you with some specific scenarios in which you might want to go back and check out your old content.
Here’s an example concerning out-dated content:
Outdated content = bad content. Even if your content is driving decent traffic, you should make sure all your content is up to date.
Failing to update content reflects poorly on your brand – don’t you care enough to provide your audience with accurate information? It’s also bad for the people who land on it – when you give people wrong information or answers, they’ll definitely blame you for it.
And if users aren’t happy, then eventually the search engine algorithms will catch up and take away your rankings.
A Massive Guide to Using SEMrush
Matthew Woodward blows it up this week with a giant post on how to make the most of SEMrush.
The tool shows you:
Mentions: Where your brand – whether that’s your own name, or your business name – is being mentioned around the internet.
Backlinks: Where your backlinks are coming from, and opportunities for you to act on them, such as editing anchor text or networking with that site owner.
It’s the best of Buzzsumo and Mention in one, easy to use, tool that integrates seamlessly with the rest of the projects.
Good stuff. Give it a read if you a) want to use SEMrush more efficiently, and b) you have 11 hours to read and 300 to implement all the advice.
Just in case you were wondering, we usually use Ahrefs as our go-to backlink checker & overall SEO toolkit.
Links Are Important in Ranking Well
Everyone, make sure you do some warm-ups before rolling your eyes here…
Yes, links are important.
The next time your clients/team/CMO starts talking about prioritizing whatever new “ranking signal” some SEO-famous blogger starts going on about, you can send them a link to this post + a picture of this dunce cap:
Here’s the big finale:
As a result, there are fewer than ten results on the first page of the SERPs which are driven by factors other than links. That doesn’t mean that links aren’t involved at all in rankings for those pages just that they matter less.
But, our study data strongly suggests that links continue to play a major role in rankings. In addition, our case study data makes the whole thing a slam dunk. When you aren’t facing page relevance or quality issues, links can, and do, continue to significantly impact rankings.
The Importance of Title and URL on Rankings
Having established something you all knew, that links matter, here’s another data-backed post–this time about meta data.
Not as important as link building, meta data is still a helpful piece in the “I want to rank well” puzzle. Like losing that last bit of holiday weight, getting from position 8 to position 2 requires some focus. Good links will get you most of the way, but you’ll want to give attention to the little things.
Including the keyword in the title, domain or URL/URI of the website is not a surefire way to get to the top of search engine results. However, if all other things (in terms of SEO and content quality) are equal, it might be the thing that sets you apart.
If possible, try to be consistent and use keywords that are relevant to you in more than one place. Use them in the title, in the domain and in the URL as well. Of course, you need to be aware that this used to be a “tactic” in the old days of primitive SEO, so doing that might also make you more prone to suspicion from the search engines. If you can’t afford the luxury (or don’t want to take the risk) of placing the keyword everywhere, the domain is your best bet. It turned out to have the most predictably linear relationship between keyword presence and rank (as well as keyword presence similarity effect and rank).
Conversion Rate Optimization Tips for SEOs
If you get your site ranking really well, get gobs of traffic, but poorly construct calls to actions and funnels, you’re just wasting money.
The post contains some solidly useful information about something I see a lot of people neglect: CRO.
Of all the big statements made at the conference, nothing quieted a room quicker than Harshman’s claim that the homepage is “dead”. When you pick up your jaw and digest this statement a bit more, how often do you find that your homepage drives the highest number of leads or the largest social shares? Not often.
This is probably something you want to worry about after your links, your on-page, etc. is dialed in.