“SEO is in a constant state of transition”. I’ve literally lost track of the number of posts which have emerged stating what’s going to be big in SEO in 2012, the answer is simple: pretty much the same stuff as was “big” in 2011.

It’s probably the biggest fallacy in SEO (that SEO is in a constant state of transition). The same things which were relevant in search last year will be relevant in search this year, sure you can make marginal gains by staying ahead of the curve but when it comes down to it:

  • Keyword Research
  • Accessibility.
  • Content Development.
  • Link Building.

That covered it in 2011, and that covers it for 2012 (unless something catastrophic occurs). However, what can change is how you actually apply yourself to your SEO campaign – the vital component in any SEO campaign isn’t necessarily what you do, it’s how you fine tune that brain of yours to actually do what you need to do on a regular basis.

Create a Link Building Plan:

Wow, what a boring bit of advice, right? To be honest, if I’m launching a new website this is ALWAYS the second thing I do (after keyword research, of course). You need to make a good analysis of your niche and figure out the resources you need to apply to your campaign.

Put a plan together that you can actually stick to. Consider your link building resources and apply them on a monthly basis and make a resolution to actually stick with it (the reason most SEO campaigns fail, in my experience at least, is an inability on the part of the webmaster to actually push the campaign forward).

Set down your link building plan, and stick to it.

Review Your Keyword Research and The Goals You Want To Achieve:

Do you have goals for your website? What do you actually want to achieve with your website?

This is the first mistake of most websites. Getting traffic is easy, anyone can do it. Getting targeted traffic is something else. Setting up a website is easy, setting up a website that actually works for YOUR customers is something else.

Begin by reviewing what you think are your main target terms, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the terms I’m targeting too competitive relative to the newness of my website? Should I lower my expectations to acquire more immediate results?
  • Have I really analysed my niche? Could I tailor my services or products more specifically to how my customers are actually searching?
  • Have I considered all the various inversions, synonyms etc. which I should be looking at?

Another reason behind the failure of many SEO campaigns is simply unrealistic expectations – if you’re in the payday loans niche, and you’ve recently set-up a payday loans website with the intention of ranking on the first page of results for the term “payday loans” within your first year, then to be honest I think you better go ahead and look for another strategy.

Similarly, think about what you actually want to achieve – think about the type of visitors you want to arrive on your website. Do you want to drive informational traffic? i.e. traffic that is simply going to pull information from your website then drift away again? Or do you want transactional visits? i.e. customers who are actually going to do something?

When reviewing your keyword research, think about what you actually want to achieve. For example, you may find yourself in the position of having to choose between targeting the term “payday loans” or the term “payday loan application”:

  • The term “payday loan application” gets fewer searches per month, but it strikes me that it’s a lot more intent focussed.
  • The term “payday loan application” is a lot easier to rank for than the term “payday loans”.

One of your objectives for 2012 should be to focus your SEO campaign – get specific and start thinking in terms of sales, not search volume. Lay down a link building strategy and set realistic goals for what you expect to see happen over a set timeframe e.g. what you want to rank for and where, over a set time frame.

And one last thing, Happy New Year!

Gareth Mailer is a Search Engine Optimisation Professional of 7 years, and works as an SEO Account Manager for Clickwork Media - find out more about link building packages and how to launch and SEO Campaign at the Clickwork Media blog.

About the author

Alex Roman

I'm a 26-year old independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest. I really love what i do!

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