As a brand, what could be worse than climbing a long ladder day after day, month after month, only to discover that it was propped against the wrong tree. Unfortunately, this is exactly what many brands and agencies are doing by following search engine optimisation practices.
If SEO is what you’re doing, you’re working to please Google, not the people who control your profits. Enter web search optimisation (WSO), a comprehensive, people-centered approach to taking control of your search traffic.
Strategy and Key Performance Indicators
SEO strategies focus heavily on rankings. SEO consultants invest significant time and money into boosting a website’s position by any means.
The WSO philosophy takes a more holistic approach to optimisation, focusing on success in several key areas.
The WSO approach is about building not just a bigger audience but also a more targeted, relevant, and responsive audience.
Keyword Research and Content Creation
The WSO strategy for researching keywords and producing content is rooted in the notion that a site’s natural and potential audience is the best indicator of language.
This is reflected in a WSO’s approach to keyword research:
Typical SEO data sources
• The Google Keyword Tool
• SEM Rush
Typical WSO data sources
• Past analytics/traffic reports
• Journalistic research into the sector
• Aggressive fact checking
The WSO approach involves looking far beyond key phrases to learn what really matters to a given audience, producing a key difference:
• SEO copywriters understand keywords and produce content written for search engines.
• WSO writers understand markets and produce content written for readers.
Link Building and Audience Outreach
Link building is a core strategy of any responsible search plan. However, WSO places a high priority on finding links that target relevant responsive audiences.
In SEO, the audience outreach priorities are roughly:
1. PageRank of inbound links
2. Number of inbound links
3. Social syndication of inbound links
In WSO, we see much different link building priorities:
1. Audience exposed to inbound links
2. Content fulfil a search and social purpose
3. Mapability of the links to the client’s website and resources within the search ecosystem
The WSO philosophy is that a targeted audience member is more likely to become a customer.
The Growing Importance of Social Search
WSO places a big priority on audience, the extent of the content to provide search answers, and social search. This is no longer a vain search popularity contest, but rather a contest to extract the maximum audience traffic from web search from and beyond Google.
Today’s search engines are more intelligent than ever, and focusing on manipulation of their algorithms has more than ever become a losing game. WSO offers an alternative way that gets results by prioritising target audiences over search engines.