Resolutions! We all make them, 20% of us break them by the end of January and 50% fail within 6 months. If you haven’t made yours yet for 2012 – here are the top 10 most commonly broken New Year Resolutions (with an SEO slant)
#1 – Lose Weight & Get Fit
By now we all know what Panda is and which sites are the most likely to be affected. 2012 looks to bring more of the same algorithmic fun which means it’s time go on an SEO weight loss and fitness programme, and what better time than a New Year to put your site pages on the virtual treadmill, trim those low quality pages and firm up the existing content?
Things to consider in your content strategy this year:
- Less is more – small portions of quality content over massive big platefuls of fodder.
- Fresh vs Processed – it’s easy to crack open a tin of low quality content you know the drill – change a few keywords here, we can get a few more articles out of that right? (I’m looking at YOU spun content!). Fresh and regular content is always going to be the more healthy option.
- Fat vs Muscle – avoid excessive ads on the page – trim the fat with little or no nutritional value to make room for the quality content.
- Make most of the your best assets – You have an Analytics account, so use it, find out which pages are the most ‘important’ pages – and make them better.
- Consult your Doctor before embarking… Google guidelines are a good place to start. They don’t exactly provide sound medical advice, but they do warn us of impending SEO health issues, so stay current and be reactive to changes you may need to make.
- Don’t do too much of the same exercise – a varied programme is more likely to bring results
As with any health incentive, a long term plan is your best option. Snacking in between meals is ok so long as you are doing plenty to counter any long term damage you may be doing to yourself. If you are not sure how to start – enlist the help of a personal SEO trainer to help you get the <BODY> you always dreamed of!
There are many good and bad habits and I could fill up a whole page, but in the spirit of re-visiting blog posts from 2011 – here is a list for you to visit for 2012 😉
#3 Learn Something New
2011 conference mantra #1 was ‘learn to code’ so if you’re feeling hardcore, you can join other wanabee coders at Code Year to get your hands on a new programming course every week for FREE.
If you don’t have the skills or the inclination, you can stay informed and current with an industry conference or event. It can be expensive if tickets are not paid for by your boss and you may come across some of the same content if you go to every single one, but speakers in our industry are approachable and friendly which makes it very easy to get facetime with heroes and colleagues alike. If you choose wisely, going to an industry conference could be the best investment you make for 2012.
These are the search conferences that I have learned the most from and had the most fun:
- SMX – A Search Engine Land gem. If you can also go to the International Search Summit – I highly recommend it as I have learned an awful lot in a matter of hours at the last two!
- SES London or SES New York – 3 Days of awesome speaker content with SEO’s and online marketers gathering for a good old chinwag – literally search and social and a must do on my list for this year.
- The Conversion Conference – A little bit more pricey per day, but totally worth it if you want to see what to do with traffic once you have it.
- ThinkVisibility – Once described as being ‘Like SMX at Charlie Sheen’s House’ – let’s face it, it is one of the most fun and accessible conferences on the planet EVER
- Sascon – I have not yet been to Sascon or Sascon mini in association with Manual Link Building but it is on the list as must visits this year
#4 Travel to New Places
The phrase that springs to my mind in this context is ‘International Search’. I really have learned a lot about strategy and user behaviour by looking at the search industry and search engines outside of the UK. If I have any predictions for 2012 it’s that this will be the year of international search engines rising up to compete with Google in international markets. OK more of a follow up than a prediction but it’s still pretty exciting stuff.
International ‘ones to watch’ for 2012:
- Yandex: Instead of just nipping at Google’s heels, Yandex may start to bite. With reports of Yandex PPC having vastly higher CTR than Adwords in Russia and news of them buying up all kinds of technology including mobile phone provider SPB, joining forces with Seznam Video, teaming up with Facebook new music provision in the last month, and European services being launched imminently, the 5th largest internet search provider is extending it’s power rapidly.
- Naver – Recently said about the Korean giant “considering Google’s near zero market share, Naver is doing something right.“
- Baidu: Now off the US ‘notorious markets’ blacklist and investing half a billion to train 100,000 Chinese search marketing professionals to help get businesses online – that’s pretty epic.
#5 Read More
I keep promising myself that I will read industry news and blog posts for an hour a day, (and definitely more books). You could do worse than start with our very own Barry Adams’ recommendations for books and blog posts, TED, Webmaster Radio, SlideShare, YouTube and many more resources!
- 5 best SEO books that aren’t about SEO
- Top 10 Blogs that aren’t about SEO (but you should read anyway)
- The top 10 Ted Posts of 2011
- Looking back at 2011 SoS Radio Show
- Majestic Top 50 bloggers of 2011
- Top 10 SEO sources to stay up to date
- Re-read the State of Search integration series
#6 Save Time & Save Money
2012 is the year of SEO tools as ‘must have’ as opposed to ‘nice to have’. If you are a large company, the chances are you use them already or you have your own, but if you are a small company it can be costly to buy in to them all. After years of manual reporting in excel, my opinion is that the amount it costs in man hours is often comparable to the amount you spend on tools. If you want to grow your business, best use of your time needs to be considered, especially if included in the price is a ‘one click’ handy brandable report that looks stunning.
2011 conference mantra #2 ‘make your own tools’, but again, if you don’t have the skills or the inclination – here are my most used Fab 5:
- The almighty Majestic SEO
- Advanced Web Ranking – essential ranking reportage
- You gotta love the RavenTools – all round fabulousness
- SEMRush – really great for saving time ranking and PPC stats
- SEOMoz – Bit slow on the old ranking reports but some fab graphics in a layout that clients love.
Note: Don’t rely solely on software to make your decisions, an element of independent thought and analysis is advised 😉
The question is who do you love?
If the answer is yourself, friends and family, then posting what you had for dinner on your Facebook timeline and where you are is all well and good. If the answer is customers, potential customers and anyone who can be engaged in a way that may result in them giving you money or loyalty – think about what will get your target market to engage with your brand online so you can continue the conversation for years to come.
Social marketing resolutions:
- Actually having a Social Media account of some sort helps (you would be surprised how many companies still refuse to partake even in the face of overwhelming evidence of benefits)
- Automation of social processes once you ‘get it’ – use it intelligently – here is a post from Fantomaster to help you
- Are you making one of 77 Twitter mistakes? Employ a ‘social correspondent’ that will do more than just re-tweet competitors and that understands your marketplace enough to provide original relevant content
- Get blogging and KEEP blogging – it may not provide instant results but just keep going
- Start doing more on G+ and using +1 social integration. With Google Plus listings and posts starting to show it is only a matter of time before you wish you’d grabbed your pages and posting space earlier
- If you aren’t already, use more Facebook marketing features, grab your vanity URL, write Facebook notes – invest some time. You can’t make people like you but you can at least try encourage them your friend
- Get a Social Media Policy or you may end up in a legal battle with a former employee over Twitter Followers
#8 Relax more
What do you mean relax? I AM RELAXED!!!!!
Who are you trying to kid? All SEO professionals that I know are competitive, ‘Type A’ people, which means that they are always ‘on’.
To relax, I used to sit in the dark with headphones listening to the water lapping on the shore on Crater Island in ‘Riven’, but things have moved on since then (and you get funny looks in the office from the people that don’t understand). If you missed this one due to your hectic schedule, check out the new website from the ‘Million Dollar Homepage’ Author Alex Tew:
Or just watch this:
#9 Do more nice things & help people
All in the name of Charidee mate! Everyone wants to start off the New Year feeling good, forgiving misdeeds and thinking about what good they can do for the year. The reality is that within the first hour of the first day back at work you have probably ‘had words’ with grumpy workmates or bosses, and you realise you won’t be having that holiday feeling again for quite some time..
Some nice things for you to consider:
- Say Thank you! – If you didn’t say thanks to your colleagues and clients before Christmas, saying thanks in the New Year is a good way to – erm – say THANKS! In a world where companies are going bust left right and centre – it pays to be genuinely grateful to anyone that gives you money or team support!
- Give your money away to good causes – You’ve tried micro blogging – now try microfinance! Sites such as Kiva are leveraging the power of the internet and asking individuals to make a loan with as little as $25 that helps to make up the ‘pot’ that is given to low income individuals. As the borrower repays the loan, the money appears back in your account – genius!
- Consider that Mentoring thing – A great State of Search post from earlier in the year by fellow Blogger Claire Carlile about SEO mentoring. The whole industry is crying out for better training, so why not get involved in the development of the industry?
- Find a charity to help with their SEO/SEM – If you want that warm fuzzy feeling but don’t fancy getting hands on in a soup kitchen, most charities have an online arm and could do with awareness being raised. They may even give you a charitable link in return for your good will from their .org site. Alternatively, write a blog post and give a link to a local charity.
#10 Drink Less
This resolution has been deleted due to the fact it was reviewed and flagged as being inappropriate content for SEO professionals.
(see you at LAC, SES, ThinkVis, PubCon, SMX yeah?)
Have a great 2012 everyone – See you at the top!
This blog post was based on the titles contained in the top 10 most broken New Year resolutions as published by Time