The SEO industry is constantly changing. There is no more perfect example than the Penguin update that just went live. It is important that Sandra Wallace and her business, Wally’s Hobbies, keep up to date with all these changes.
Remember, SEO is about working within Google’s algorithm, not fighting it. For this reason, Wallace will need to know about such things as algorithm updates, new strategies, when new optimization tools or platforms are created, and then react appropriately.
This article could go over current best practices, but as stated earlier, these are subject to change. What may be advisable now could be irrelevant six months down the road. It is arguably more important to learn about past trends, potential trends, and current best practices--all while keeping your customers in mind. Good SEO should seek to improve the human experience of the web.
Wallace will have to learn how she can keep up with best practices and learn about some of the thought leaders in the SEO world. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of the SEO industry from content creation, social media, link building, site optimization, and keywords. Eventually, Wallace can make her own observations on certain trends and best practices and make informed decisions on altering her SEO strategy.
Where should she be doing her research? What thought leaders should she follow? Here are the publications and influencers Wallace needs to acquaint herself with in order to stay competitive with her SEO strategies.
It is important for Wallace to learn about the thought leaders in the SEO world. They are the ones identifying trends, giving technical advice, and even predicting the SEO “forecast”, or changes on the horizon. I recommend following their social media accounts, blogs, and websites if they provide SEO services. Let’s go over a few and why these names should become familiar to Wallace.
Rand Fishkin—Wallace may not know a single thing about SEO, but still could have heard about Rand. He’s that big of a figure in the SEO and online marketing world. Rand has over a decade of experience in the SEO world, beginning his software as a service (SaaS) company Moz in 2004. Rand is based out of Seattle, Washington and is very active in the ongoing SEO discourse. In fact, every Friday he publishes a video explaining some aspect of SEO. This is a perfect example of content Wallace should keep up-to-date with, and follow regularly.
Julie Joyce—Julie is another leader who has over a decade of experience in the SEO world, creating her own SEO firm in 2006. She is a regular contributor to many SEO blogs where Wallace can find a plethora of insights and trends developing in the SEO world. Julie is also the co-creator of her own SEO blog SEO-Chicks. She is an expert at building links and would be a perfect place for Wallace to learn techniques on how she can do her own research in the RC hobby market.
Dr. Pete—Yes, he is a real doctor--of cognitive psychology to be exact. His official title is “Marketing Scientist,” and he oversees Mozcast, which allows him to have some pretty insightful observations about the SEO industry and marketing in general. MozCast tracks Google’s algorithm and its effects on search results. Dr. Pete is also part of the Moz family and contributes regularly to their blog.
SEO Blogs—Blogs are the backbone of information and education in the SEO world. Especially for the amateur SEO specialist trying to get their feet wet. In other words, a perfect place for Wallace to begin her SEO journey. Not all blogs are created equal, so let’s go over a few that Wallace should be adding to her “Favorites” bar.
Search Engine Land—Search Engine Land was co-founded by another SEO thought leader, Danny Sullivan. This blog is highly active with multiple posts a day covering news, popular trends, and even new platforms that could elevate your SEO efforts. This is a great all around SEO publication that Wallace can read weekly, if not daily. There is always something to be found, something to learn, and new insights that can be gleaned from their assortment of expert contributors. This is one of the first places to start in order for Wallace to keep up to date with best practices for SEO.
Search Engine Watch—Search Engine Watch is in the same vein as Search Engine Land. The goal of this blog is to “provide tips and information about searching the web, analysis of the search engine industry and help to site owners trying to improve their ability to be found in search engines.” It can give Wallace insights into user intent and user interaction with search engines. While Search Engine Land tends to focus a little more on the SEO side, Search Engine Watch tends to focus on a user's interaction with search engines. Both are beneficial to Wallace when she is considering best practices.
Kissmetrics—Kissmetrics is a great blog for any marketer. The best aspect about the articles on Kissmetrics is the majority can be applied to SEO, even if the articles are not directly tied to search engine optimization. They cover marketing A/B testing, brand marketing and relevance, increasing conversions, and more. This blog is a great resource for Wallace to deepen her understanding of marketing while being able to apply what she learns to various SEO strategies including building links, content creation, and even social media.
Best Practices and SEO
Best practices for SEO are never going to remain static. One article published in 2013 outlining best practices may be completely obsolete if read now, while another published the same year maintained its relevance. That’s why it’s important to know how to keep up to date with best practices. With these people and blogs as starters, Wallace will be able to enter the SEO industry with confidence and use the tactics she learns from thought leaders, SEO blogs, and her own critical thinking in order to develop the most efficient SEO strategy for her RC hobby business.