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Navigating SEO is a syndicated blog series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. In this series, Tim breaks down ways car dealers and other local businesses can improve their SEO, offering insight into how it will benefit business. This week's column was written by Wikimotive's Mark Frost.
Whether or not you like fantasy football, there's no denying its hold on American football fans. According to American Express, nearly 75 million Americans plan to play fantasy football in 2015. This is up from the reported 57 million U.S. and Canadian players that participated in 2014.
With numbers that high, I'm willing to bet good money that a few of you reading this column are in a fantasy football league. And if you've managed to land on this page, that means you're also interested in SEO. Whether that means you're just learning to build new skills, better market your business online, or have taken a more expansive marketing role within your company, SEO can help.
The only problem is, SEO is a complicated practice. Breaking it down isn't simple either. To help with this, I'll use something that millions of people are familiar with (fantasy football) in order to help you better understand the advice you'll read and actually learn to apply it to your own work.
Here's what fantasy football can teach you about SEO:
For a lot of people in SEO, rankings are everything. But rankings don't always translate into huge traffic increases and are not reliable as a metric for success.
One of the biggest reasons is because unique, longtail searches are becoming more important. These searches make up more than 70 percent of total queries on Google and will only increase as the search engine becomes more capable of properly handling complex searches.
In fantasy football, rankings play a similar role. It's a great metric in deciding who's the best play based on overall performance, but it's not the only metric to take into account.
For instance, matchups play a huge role in deciding who to play week-to-week. You can start your best players all of the time, but it's likely you'll lose a lot of the time simply because your opponent decided to play the matchup and work their bench.
The idea here is simple: don't just use one metric when determining whether or not your SEO has succeeded (or failed). Take a look at the whole picture and you'll be able to tell where there's opportunity to grow.
You can draft an amazing team at the beginning of the season, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be looking for ways to improve your lineup. Because as the season progresses, certain players value goes down and others go up. Could be from injury or it could be due to performance. So you always have to be on the lookout for low-hanging fruit: players who are on their way up.
Bringing this same mindset to SEO can pay off big time. For example, Wikimotive's car dealer clients receive new models each year. Every few years, most of those models are redesigned to stay competitive. During the redesigned model year, vehicles receive an uptick in searches and general inquiries from buyers. To us, this is a huge opportunity to get results for our clients.
Instead of waiting for the model to be officially released to publish content, we jump on the chance as soon as details are available, updating pages with new details as time goes on. Because of these efforts, our clients see an increase in targeted traffic from interested buyers in the area, many of whom submit leads right on the page itself.
These opportunities provide fast, quality results that help our clients do what they do best: sell cars.
While season-long fantasy leagues are the most popular form of Fantasy Football, DFS (daily fantasy sports) is growing in popularity in the U.S. Unlike league format, DFS provides a set budget, allowing users to create lineups from all available players during a particular week. From there, users enter lineups into individual contests (typically for cash) and the player with the most points wins.
The catch with DFS is that not all players are priced equally. This means that you can't just draft the top-ranked players, as everyone would come in with the exact same strategy. Instead, you have to analyze matchups and decide how to create the best lineup of the week with your allotted budget.
But it's not a simple thing to do, which is why the point gap between the top 1 percent of lineups and the average lineup is so high. The best DFS players diversify their lineups, accounting for the risk, in order to better their chances of scoring big and winning a ton of cash.
In the same regard, diversification of efforts allows for better results in SEO. You should be consistently creating content, building links, and working to perfect your local SEO. On top of this, there are the little in-between tasks, such as technical SEO and metadata optimization.
Your strategy won't provide the best boost if you're not looking at each part of SEO as small pieces that work together to create the big picture.
No one wins in fantasy football on draft day. Yes, you can make some amazing picks that look great on paper. But no one knows what's going to happen until the players hit the field on game day.
Injuries happen each and every game, so you really can't predict that your best players on week 1 are going to still be your best players during the last week of the regular season. On top of injuries, there are plenty of round 1 picks that just fail to perform once the season gets going.
So what wins fantasy football championships? Patience, learning, and a willingness to change. You need to know when to be patient with certain players, learn who's up and coming, and be willing to make great picks on the waiver wire and drop your hopeless players.
The same principle applies to SEO. Long-lasting results don't happen overnight, so you have to confident in your strategy and practice patience in order to see results.
But how do you know you're applying the best strategy?
This is where learning comes into play. Just as you need to keep up with up-and-coming players, you need to stay up to date with changes in the SEO world. That means knowing when Google makes updates to its algorithm, listening to advice from experts, and noticing fluctuations in your own results.
Using this information, you can change your strategy effectively to stay on top of your game and receive the best possible results from SEO.
While fantasy football has absolutely nothing to do with SEO, I hope these parallels have helped gain a bit more perspective on the practice. To learn even more about SEO and how it relates to car dealers, follow the Navigating SEO blog series on Wikimotive.