At the beginning of the year I warned that the search will change. I insisted in my articles that once the search changes SEO will change too – not dramatically, but it will. This sounds scarier than it actually is.
To be successful in 2008 you need to basically focus on all things you ignored in the past:
- Brand building: many bloggers and webmasters focus on web content. Nothing bad here, as we all know that all the search engines are content hungry. But the content alone cannot answer the questions “who are you?” and “why should we trust you?” – these are questions all users ask when they find a website. So take care of the brand if you want to convert, and use SEO to position that brand in the search engines.
- Targeted traffic: it’s what brings potential customers to your site and it is also what builds authority. You don’t need traffic for the sake of the numbers. If you have thousands of hits each day but you don’t sell, there is something really wrong with your site. And if you bought traffic or you are involved in shady traffic exchanges, you’d better give up right now!
- Ranking: when you position your brand and you manage to build authority for your site high rankings are pretty easy to achieve.
There are many ways to follow up on all of the strategies mentioned above. Probably the most difficult from an SEO perspective is brand positioning: sometimes you need the skilled touch of a PR consultant to do that. But if you understand your buyers, if you know where they hang, there is no reason to fail.