When first greeted with an unfamiliar situation, survival depends upon your willingness to adapt. Since Google Analytics' switch to not provided data, adapting to new keyword management tools and processes has been a top priority for SEOs, as forces beyond our control alter the environment in which we work. The best keyword research tools post-not provided include SEMRush, SpyFu, and SearchMetrics.
2. Remain Aware
Maintaining awareness of your environment is an essential aspect of survival. For SEOs, rapid adaptation hinges upon the ability to recognize changes in the virtual environment, both large and small. Between the latest moves from Google and fluctuations in industry trends, awareness of current events affecting internet marketing prepares SEOs to take action. After major Google updates, SEOs must remain aware of their link profiles and be proactive about link removal. To complete post-update link audits, tools like LinkDelete, Remove'em, and Linkquidator simplify the process by reviewing a site and removing unwanted links.
3. Stay safe
Surviving is largely about staying safe. With the myriad of suggestions Google provides, it can be difficult to stay in-the-know about the latest webmaster best practices. To avoid penalties from Google, carefully review Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Certain strategies are considered best practices for webmasters, including sitemap submission, clear site hierarchy and the creation of content written with the reader in mind, not search engines. A great way to stay informed is by following Matt Cutts's blog and their Google Webmaster YouTube channel. Matt is the head of Google's Webspam Team.
To successfully adapt, learning new information, techniques and skills is a requirement. Since Google's various changes and updates, link building has taken on a different form than it has in the past. SEOs intent on survival are becoming accustomed to the newly-defined best practices for link building, which include heightened focus on proactive engagement with content creators, building brand-relevant links and working diligently to get links from sites with high authority.
5. Move on
Sometimes, moving on is your best chance for survival. When Matt Cutts pronounced guest blogging for SEO purposes outdated in the beginning of 2014, SEOs across the globe launched into action, thinking of new and better ways to do business in spite of this news. Google's recent crackdown on MyBlogGuest is ample proof that the internet mega-giant means business when they say "it's just gotten too spammy" and aim to clean up the internet. Now, SEOs must move away from traditionally-held opinions of guest blogging and make real connections with virtual publishers.
6. Safety in Numbers
With survival depending on safety, people throughout history have turned to groups to safeguard their well-being. Internet marketers must look at survival in much the same way, as social media becomes a digital representation of the global community. Recent statistics indicate nearly 75% of Chief Marketing Officers feel social media activity is definitively related to positive ROI. While building awareness and engaging with customers is the primary goal, SEOs also benefit from higher lead generation rates and improved customer loyalty. With the rate at which new social networks are created, brands are experiencing increased access to audience-specific platforms. This improved reach puts brands on the fast track to audience engagement.
7. Avoid Hazards
To remain alive in today's marketplace, it's imperative to avoid hazards at all costs. Internet marketers must watch for SEO hazards and take great strides to avoid them, particularly when it comes to directory submissions. According to Google, "article spinning" and "content swiping" are two tactics to avoid, while directory submissions (if chosen correctly) can increase your site's credibility. In general, SEOs are advised to complete directory submissions to sites with high authority and established credibility. Programs that automate content distribution across hundreds or thousands of sites are discouraged by Google and can make it difficult for a reader to find relevant content. Depending on your industry, sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Angie's List are examples of good directories.
8. Get the Right Tools
Having access to the right tools is critical when trying to survive. SEOs can relate to this, as multiple tools are used to complete daily tasks. After Google released Hummingbird, the value of keyword research tools decreased as the focus turned to high quality content. To emerge victorious in spite of Google's changes, SEOs have begun to view content as a tool capable of communicating value, increasing brand awareness and providing thought leadership.
A Tip for SEO Survivalists
Though it takes time and effort to pull these resources together, the payoff is your ability to survive and overcome the worst days to enjoy the rewards of the best. By remaining diligent, aware and determined, SEOs can develop the skills and acquire the tools needed to succeed in internet marketing. Keep your head up as you make your way through the changing SEO terrain and your story of survival will be one worth telling.