Again, there have been so many excellent blog posts and articles written on SEO already this year that I’m trying to get a jump on 2009. So here are several more of the best SEO-related pieces from 2008 thus far.
How to Prioritize Your Optimization by GrokDotCom
Interactive marketing guru and best-selling author Bryan Eisenberg maps SEO priorities against Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. As with Maslow’s pyramid, Eisenberg’s maps out progressive levels of website impact, from being merely functional to truly persuasive.
An outstanding post from DazzlinDonna listing her favorite resources and guides for help with everything from SEO and online reputation management to blogging and social media marketing. It’s almost like a syllabus for your own self-paced interactive marketing guru course.
The SEO Website Overhaul by PromotionWorld
Writer Brandon Cornett gets to the heart of SEO in this concise and practical article, detailing “five simple tasks you can perform on your website over the next few days to improve your search engine visibility and traffic levels” from validating your keywords to creating an XML site map.
Learning SEO and SEM – Where to Start? by High Rankings Advisor
A look at the various options for getting SEO training, including online courses, in-person training at industry conferences, and customized training classes. A tad self-serving, but informative.
Q&A With Google’s Matt Cutts About SEO and the Future of Search by the Epicenter blog from Wired.com
Betsy Schiffman posts a brief interview with the head of Google’s quality team. Included is Matt’s response to the question of whether SEO really works: “It does to some degree. Think of it this way: When you put a resume forward, you want it to be as clean as possible. If the resume is sloppy, you’re not going to get interviewed for the job. SEO is sort of like tweaking your resume . . . It’s helpful if you just think about which words people would use to search for your content. If you’re writing something about Mount Everest, for example, people are probably going to look for ‘How high is Mount Everest?’ . . . If done responsibly, [SEO] can be a great thing.”
What you need to know about SEO in 2009 by BlogStorm
Patrick Altoft notes that by the time an SEO strategy becomes popular, it generally doesn’t work anymore. While no one (other than Matt Cutts) knows what will be important next year, Patrick takes some guesses.
Combining PPC and SEO to Completely Dominate a Niche by Slightly Shady SEO
It’s no secret that SEO and SEM are each more effective when used together, but this post goes beyond the obvious to detail some specific strategies to use these tools together to dominate the home page of Google (or any other search engine) on a core set of specific terms.
Google Benchmarking and how it can generate more traffic by Latest SEO Buzz
A concise basic explanation of how to use Google Benchmarking to identify the most promising potential areas of improvement for a site.
In-Bound Linking Vs. On-Page SEO by SEO-Space
Thoughts on the relative importance of on-site SEO efforts vs. link building (do the on-site stuff first) and the use of microsites for expanding external links.
The SEO Industry Survey Results by SEOmoz
A wealth of data about working in SEO, with an interesting high-level summary as well as links to detail data. Among the conclusions: the vast majority of SEOs are self-taught (ranging from close to 60% in SEM agencies to more than 80% of “self-employed, non-consultant” whatever that is); SEOs are underpaid (even in the U.S., close to half earn less than $60K per year and nearly 60% make less than $75K); and far too many use insidious no-follow tags.
Analyze Your Competition before Starting an SEO & Marketing Campaign by PromotionWorld
Wendy Suto provides an excellent guide to improving your own SEO efforts by analyzing what competitors are doing in areas such as spider-friendly code, navigation, volume of content, meta tags, keyword density and external links. Understanding how the sites that rank higher than yours (or your client’s) for certain highly relevant key phrases can help you implement changes to leapfrog them.
A white hat super affiliate? by CDF Networks
A concise and compelling argument for using white hat over black hat (or gray hat) tactics in SEO. Judging by the volume of comments, apparently the topic of online ethics is anything but boring.
How To Sell “Mom and Pop” On SEO Services by Search Engine People Blog
A wonderful post on the challenges and rewards of working with small business owners on SEO. One key is to not overwhelm them with everything that needs doing at once; simply fixing title meta tags can often provide a significant bang for a small number of bucks. And it’s true that small business owners are frequently more appreciative and loyal than are big companies.
SEO Step Ten Of Ten: Keeping It Up by WebProNews
Jim Hedger writes about what to do once an SEO project is “done,” such as monitoring analytics and tweaking content, or as he puts it, “continuing to update the blog, link building and social media marketing.”
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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom
Best of 2008 (So Far) – SEO Guidance, Part 2