Over the last few years, I've been quite vocal about how so many consultants and agencies in the organic search industry refuse to change. It's unfortunate as they continue to leave a trail of clients that have invested a lot but actually destroyed their ability to acquire organic authority, ranking, and traffic.
Good SEO: A Case Study
The following is a chart of one of our recent customers' keyword rankings over time using Semrush:
- A – This is the launch of the client's website under the previous agency. It was a brand new domain with no authority.
- B – After a period of no growth, the agency decided to kick off an outdated strategy of creating multiple domains, automating the population of dozens of internal keyword-rich pages, and aggressive backlinking.
- C – The site rose dramatically in rankings and organic traffic; however, it didn't take long for Google algorithms to nullify the backlinking scheme and drop the site back to its previous non-authority.
- D – The agency was fired and we were hired to assume the site and the organic search ranking. Over the next six months, we rebuilt the site, disavowed toxic backlinks, redirected all domains to a single domain, redirected the multitude of keyword pages to central, single-topic pages, produced rich content, and an infographic. We pursued zero backlinking with no paid promotion whatsoever. None. Nada.
- E – The results continue to drive sharing, engagement, and conversions. Over the peak of cycles between last year and this year, sessions are up 210%, users are up 291%, pageviews are up 165%, bounce rate is down 16%, new sessions are up 32%, returning visitors is up 322%. This particular client utilizes phone calls for business, so we don't have exact conversion data outside of call surveys where they're asked how they were found. Google continues to lead the way.
I continue to warn companies who hire search consultants who never research the audience, the competition, or their behavior on the site. Backlinking without the production of relevant, valuable, and highly-optimized digital media is going to get you in trouble. We continue to drive our clients' organic results via earned authority rather than authority that's manipulated or paid for.
Deep learning and artificial intelligence continue to drive Google's Rankbrain algorithm. Larry Kim noted:
Google will continue auditioning your page for relevant queries… for a time. But if it fails to attract engagement, it will continue to die a slow death. It could lose 3 percent of traffic per month — so small you don’t even notice it until it’s too late. Eventually, your page will simply fall out of ranking contention.
Until it's too late.
Today's organic search strategies don't require yesterday's search consultants. Today's organic search strategies require great brand and content marketers who understand how to research and tailor your digital efforts to your audience then provide them optimized paths to conversion.
If your organic search consultant isn't constantly researching, providing input on your content strategies, and optimizing your site, it's time to look for a new organic search partner. In fact, we'd love to assist – especially if you're a very large publisher. Our experience there is unmatched in the industry.