Advanced Search Engine Optimization Techniques with Ric Dragon
For our third and final installation on search engine optimization we reached out to Ric Dragon, CEO and founder of nearby DragonSearch Marketing.
Ric is an expert on all things digital and his firm specializes in SEO, social media marketing, digital strategy, analytics and advertising. We sat down to discuss (SEO) search engine optimization and how it relates to social media and digital marketing in general.
Ric Dragon makes one point perfectly clear: “Nothing is black and white”, in SEO or digital marketing as a whole. There is only grey and as a dynamic function. Search engine optimization is hardly an exact science.
Dragon cautions against putting excessive focus on page rankings and reminds us that SEO relies on a good website and great content.
Advanced Optimization. Search engine optimization techniques become significantly more complex when a company has multiple websites in multiple languages. All sites today must be mobile responsive. If you site is not mobile ready, Google will NOT rank you site. The type of industry as well as the structure of the website impacts your page ranking. An e-commerce site for example is very different from an informational site in terms of optimization.
“The game changes yet again and a whole other level when you do business beyond our boarders. There are cultural and language differences that need to be considered. In some nations there are filters on what can be said and restrictions on what can be sold. Needless to say, it can get complicated.
Organic Search vs. Paid Search. It is critical to understand the benefits of paid versus organic search tactics when marketing your business. An organic search will most always produce the most engaged visitor to your site. Organic visitors have stumbled upon you site and find something of interest or value to click into your site. Organic growth builds long term brand equity by creating trust and credibility.
In order to jump start a business or a campaign, paid search options may prove desirable. In many cases organic and paid search tactics go hand in hand. Carefully assess your goals weighed against the resources necessary to effectively achieve the desired outcomes.
“Every single business is different. Conduct a competitive analysis to assess what similar services spend on their marketing and identify opportunities that will yield the highest ROI. Truly understand what your marketing and sales acquisition costs should be, to arrive at a budget.
Any campaign will take time. Realize that there is a cost to generate and sustain high levels of awareness to increase marketshare. A sustainable plan factors in the costs for ongoing efforts (typically three to five years forward).
All efforts must build lasting brand equity. All efforts must create and sustain trust and credibility. Savvy marketers constantly assess their market efforts and continually make adjustments, refinements as well as consider new options regularly. Assess your campaigns weekly, monthly and yearly.
Data, Insights, Inspiration. Subscribe to Google’s Best Practices Newsletter. Advanced SEO practitioners stay current on changes in search rankings and know when and how to adapt to Google’s algorithm updates. Google doesn’t publish its specific code modifications but search engine optimization is an industry that routinely shares knowledge by publishing articles and papers on algorithm changes.
Ric Dragon, “Google doesn’t say “oh, this is exactly what happened” because they don’t want the Black Hats to turn around and figure it out. So people run all sorts of extremely sophisticated tests. They’ll do things like have made up words on websites that aren’t connected to any other websites, in order to rank higher. They’ll see how the test keywords gets indexed or does not get indexed, and try to find a competitive advantage for using that new keyword. There’s a lot of experimentation that goes on.”
Social Media. If you are not promoting your business online, most likely you won’t be around for much longer. Social media is a critical component of any marketing campaign. Search engine optimization is a must, you have to rank in order to do business online. Ultimately digital marketing must place the right message, to the right person, on the right channel, on the right device.
Great content is crucial to increase customer engagement which increases brand value and can lead to increased sales. Great content is talked about, gets shared and social media provides a platform for like-minded people of similar interests to connect. It has the amazing ability to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries.
“We also want our content to exist within a context and the context is the network of how information is connected and a big part of that is social. So that’s critical. So, yes we want to be connected to social, we want to be connected to relevant audiences. That we’re providing great content over here and they’re like ‘hey wow, you’re producing great content. Let me talk about it, let me share it with my friends.'” — Ric Dragon.
The tradition of SEO is founded on backlinks and citations but the newer trend focuses on links within context to weed out SPAM. When a piece of content is shared on social media, it is shared between people who exist in a specific context.
A webpage with a delicious recipe for red velvet cupcakes will be shared between people who enjoy baking or eating cupcakes. When that happens, the value and ranking of the page will rightfully increase as more cupcake aficionados post and link to the recipe. If the recipe were linked to from web pages having nothing to do with cupcakes, its influence and ranking value would not be as great.
Focus On Quality And Optimization. SEO is really important, and it’s going to become even more critical to compete online. Find balance. You need to optimize your pages, but at the same time you must break though will compelling content that move your target base to action. Focus on creating great content that customers will value, Ric Dragon.
“There really is a difference too between sitting back and going ‘I want to create content for SEO’ or ‘I’m going to create content for traffic.’ It’s wrong thinking. Completely wrong thinking. Right thinking is ‘what can I do to really bring value to people? And be of value.’” — Dragon.
Focusing on SEO can have tremendous benefits in terms of acquisition. Once the user clicks on a site link, great content is the key to keeping them engaged and preventing them from clicking out to or bouncing out to another site. Businesses should place more emphasis on the destination pages that they want customers to see. The best SEO in the world is useless if it directs people to low-quality content.
Special Thanks to Ric Dragon and DragonSearch for taking the time to talk with us.
To learn more about search engine optimization give us a call at 845.202.7087 or visit our website a www.hudsonvalleypublicrealtions.com.