Rehabilitating SEO — Part 2

We live in an age of instant conversation. Feedback occurs between hundreds of millions of people at any given moment. Many of those conversations are discovered via search. Site owners and commerce generators have become obsessed with their position in search.

The SES San Jose session SEO Rehab sparked quite a bit of discussion on this topic in the search space. Last week, we looked at SEO addiction and took the first step: admitting there might be a problem. Clearly some help is in order.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at how to maximize time and efficiency while avoiding some common search pitfalls.

Time Wasters

Every generation of Internet tools and technologies have to pass through “time-waster adolescence.” That’s the phase in between, “hey, this is cool,” and “wow, this is useful.” New applications that appear on the scene usually have no way to generate revenue. The consuming public adopts the apps because it’s the cool thing to do; later, someone has to figure out how to make money with them.

Search guru and SEO Rehab panelist David Naylor offers tips to avoid time-wasters and avoid some of the traps search marketers can fall into. SEOs can spend entirely too much time heading in the wrong direction, a fact that is the epitome of counter-productivity.

Naylor suggests avoiding spending endless hours counting backlinks, pages indexed, and obsessing over rankings. Instead, focus on tools to help save time.

Naylor’s list of tools is here. A simple query for SEO tools brings back a list of great tools. Additionally, dare I say, checking out Google’s Webmaster Tools, a great resource for optimizing your time.

The Right Stuff

For example, say 74,327 keywords brought people to your Web site. Which ones actually made you money? Why waste time looking for, optimizing, and obsessing over every keyword? Naylor used an example of his site bringing more than 100,000 total site visits with more than 45,000 keywords.

Isolating which terms bring in the cash is critical for saving your time and sanity in this realm. Any number of analytics tools and providers allow one to manage time and efficiency in selecting keywords that make money.

Several variables come into play when selecting the right areas of focus, including content relevance, usability, and matching searcher intent with the desired landing page. Investing time in evaluating the right tools for you can still make the difference between critical balance and a padded room.

Take it to Task

Naylor wound down his discussion with more tips for saving time. Looking at SEO from a macro or high level to determine big shifts before getting into specifics is great advice. Also (and I know we said this last week), setting up the appropriate e-mail alerts will push the right information your way.

If you passed through a wormhole in space from another galaxy and encountered the Internet for the first time, what would your first look at the Web tell you? You’d likely head to a search engine to try and find tools for survival and get acquainted with your new world.

If you’re new to the search world, spending some time on efficiency and approaching SEO with a level head is the way to go. If you think you already have a problem with SEO addiction, consider spending some time separating hype from reality and time waster from time waster.

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