SEO – What Doesn’t Work Anymore

For those of you who don’t know – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the term used when a website attempts to list themselves on the front page of the Search Engines for certain keywords.  There’s a lot that goes into SEO and because it is based on the ranking algorithms of the search engines, it’s constantly changing.  What you knew to work a year ago might not actually be valid anymore.

I’m going to discuss what isn’t valid any longer, in hopes of getting less spam:

1) Blog Commenting

This hasn’t been valid in about 2 years. Ever since the  ‘nofollow’ attribute was added, most blogs automatically ‘nofollow’ all blog comment links.  So stop sending out your spambots. It doesn’t work

2) Reciprocal Links

No, I don’t want to exchange links with your random site on porn / casino games / celebrities.  No, really.  I don’t care – reciprocal links haven’t worked in… what? 5 years?

3) Directory / Search Engine Submissions

No, I don’t care or want to submit to 50,000 directories.  The vast majority of those directories are junk and certainly not worth paying you to submit my site to.  Worst case scenario – you could actually hurt me.

4) Page Rank

I don’t care what your Page Rank is.  It’s nice you’re at 5. So what? The data is inaccurate and out-dated by at least 6 months.

 

 

Marketing : Passive & Active

Let’s talk about marketing again.  Specifically, what I’d like to term Passive & Active marketing.  No, they’re not real terms but it’s a distinction I occasionally use in my mind.

Passive & Active Marketing

The difference between passive and active marketing is the way those tactics bring customers in.  Passive marketing continually draws customers in due to its nature by building the company’s brand, while active marketing if turned off would result in no customers at all.  Here’s a few examples:

Passive: Blogs, Videos & SEO

Active: Social Media Marketing & Adwords

Now, this obviously isn’t a direct correlation – some Active marketing like the Social Media marketing does help build the brand; but it also requires a larger commitment of time and continuous management.  Same with Adwords to some extent – you can turn it on quite easily and not manage it; but if you ever stopped investing in it, you’d get no additional customers due to its very nature.

Passive marketing on the other hand builds the brand and is ‘consistent’ in its returns.  In some ways, banner advertising falls under that category by building an impression of the company with your customers.  There’s long terms return from this type of marketing; but it can often take a long-time to take off.  SEO for example requires consistent work for a long period before you notice any actual difference – but also has a large amount of inertia behind it (generally speaking – we won’t discuss algorithm changes here).

Implementation

Theoretically, you could only use one or the other form of marketing and build a company.  However, I’ve found it more useful to balance both forms – passive marketing is great but takes such a long time, while active marketing brings immediate short-term returns but doesn’t add to your long-term results.

Another way to view this is via the sales funnel and where you are ‘stuffing’ customers in.  A lot of active marketing targets customers as they are in the later stages of their decision process – pushing them to ‘buy’ now.  Passive marketing works to ‘stuff’ customers in in the earlier stages, increasing the total number of customers in the funnel.

By only using passive marketing, you might increase the demand for board games but you also lose many of those customers when they finally make the purchase.  On the other hand, only using active marketing means you continually fight for the same few customers with your competitors – a nasty business of diminishing returns.

5 SEO Myths explained in Gaming Terms

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the organic(non-paid) ranking of a website, thereby improving it’s overall visibility.  There’s a lot of mis-information and myths out there about this arcane art.  So here’s 5 myths I run across all the time.  Oh, and I’m no expert; I’m just a guy who has to do it to keep his company afloat. 🙂

1. SEO is an Arcane Art which requires induction into its Seven Halls of Mystery and Wonder

Sort of.  There’s quite a few good primer books out there (the equivalent of your Pathfinder Beginner Box) that will get you started in this game.  However, depending on what realm you are in; you might need to start buying the supplements and expansions ASAP; or else you’ll be beaten down fast.

2. By doing SEO, you’re gaming the system

Well, yes.  There’s nothing wrong with using the system to create the character or website you wish.  If you want to buy animals, you better start fencing up enclosures.  If you have a fighter, you put his highest stat as strength.  Same with SEO – you choose what terms to describe your site based on what you want it to be.  Of course, there’s a difference between playing within a system and min-maxing.  The first is acceptable, the second has the DM (Google) smack you around the head.

3. You should trade links to gain better position

Yeah, the Game Designers figured this one out a long time ago and released a rules update.  Trading links hasn’t been a valid form of SEO for years.

4. SEO is a one and done thing

Nope.  The designers keep releasing new expansions, changing the FAQs and adding ever more content.  You don’t want to buy? Tough.  Then your deck stops being competitive, you fall behind and you just aren’t in the game anymore.  D&D Basic might be cool; but it sure ain’t something you can talk to most gamers about either.

5. Content is King

Really? How many great games have we seen go out of print and only get the buzz they deserve afterwards? How many great designs are out there that never even make it to print? Yeah, exactly – good content is good; but it takes more than just content to make SEO work.