SEO in 2016

It’s about that time of year again (spring is here) and I’ve already seen a dozen or so SEO 2016 best practices posts! I realize I haven’t been practicing what I preach with the regular content updates here at Matrix. So I figured I’d dive into a few very cool things we’ve been doing, and a few not so well thought out products that are a waste of time/money.

Content is King!

Yeah, I know… everyone is tired of hearing it. You can barely visit an SEO post in /r/SEO or /r/BigSEO without seeing the proverbial “create a bunch of great content” posts in replies to the hoards of noobs asking “I just launch site 2 weeks ago, why no 1st place rank in Google?” – The simple answer is, it doesn’t work that way. When Google employees constantly preach that Content is king it’s because that’s what people are searching for. Plain and simple. So provide it for them. We’ve been in the SEO space for 17yrs now and watched all of the tricks (black hat / grey hat / etc…). At the end of the day there’s still something to be said for putting your head down and getting the work done.

Content development:

In an ideal world you (or your company / client’s site) would be publishing on a regular basis. We prefer noon PST every Tuesday and Thursday (we have our reasons). And a dozen or so off-site articles per month  as well (on different C class IP blocks) *not on some shitty PBN! Also 350-500 words – although we also do Evergreen pieces that are in the 4k-5k word range. And if you’re using WordPress as your favorite flavor of CMS there’s a handy dandy cron job AKA schedule a post which is great for training Googlebot a bit like Pavlov’s dog. If you get some quality content out on a regular schedule at say noon twice per week, after a while… Googlebot starts to expect it!

How Google is being used more and more like a Magic 8-ball:

Photo Credit: Greeblie
Photo Credit: Greeblie

We constantly hear things like – “I want to rank for Tool / Tools or Home value / Home Values.” While we’ve achieved those in the past, to varying degrees of conversion success… that’s not what it’s all about now. Let me introduce you to a VERY COOL TOOL Answer the Public! Now lets say that I was practicing what I preach and I was posting on a regular basis here on my own blog… and I wanted to improve my ranking for ‘Content Marketing.’  First take a look at the below image, I used Content Marketing as my Seed term and I used the US location.


Who What When Where Why How Which Are?

Now there’s a bunch of questions that actual users (*see possible conversions) are actually asking search engines. Also important, people are constantly looking for topics to write about. Here’s your list. Let’s also make the assumption that a searcher doesn’t find what they’re looking for on the first few searches and then refines their search with a few different questions. Then, lets assume that you put together a great piece of content answering a few questions from each of the who, what, when, where, why’s, etc… I don’t know something like a few sub headings and a tweet or two’s worth of content under each sub-heading. Like:

What Does Content Marketing D0?

A quick Google search on my DC shows About 48,200,000 results for “What does content marketing do” and provides a Onebox result from Forbes (screencap below)


Now if I was using this post to try and outrank Forbes (which I do in some competitive searches). I would take a look at that post and make sure that I could answer much better, the question, than an old 2014 post! But that’s not what I’m trying to accomplish here… this is just for your own take away! Hopefully something in this post will be share worthy or pique your interest in an SEO test for yourself!

What Does Content Marketing Mean?

Again, I’m not going to go into as much detail as I would if this was an actual exercise / test for a client’s site. But I would go and find some pertinent digital assets for each of these questions to keep it interesting. For example: I’d probably add this Infographic under this heading and talk briefly about it. And continue to find YouTube videos, expert quotes, wikipedia references, and the like under each of the other (blank) sub-headings.

When To Use Content Marketing?

When Content Marketing Goes Wrong.

Why Content Marketing Is The New “Branding”

How To Start Content Marketing

The above was left intentionally blank as an example. Now that you have some content, some organic searches, and no doubt some FB & Twitter traffic coming to check out your super-awesome Magic 8-ball content… Let’s talk about conversions! 2016 is the year of exit-intent pop-ups. I know you’ve seen them on most of the big sites! And there’s a reason for that. They work. And they work well. My current favorite is OptiMonk ($29.99/mo for 10k Uniques – and full disclosure I get paid a little if you sign up and use that link… or you can just Google it and cut me out, same price to you either way).

Moral Of The Story:

I haven’t blogged in a while, felt it was time. As with anything in life… whether it’s going to the Gym, or any other good habit. Set a schedule for your (client / project / site / etc…) and stick to it. It’s not going to be an overnight success! Go into it with that knowledge. Patience and persistence or slow and steady wins the race. Choose your own analogy, just do the work and let me know how it pans out. Some of our great content from 2yrs ago is now producing over 10k uniques a month now. Month 1 it produced barely JACK SQUAT! So I’ll leave you with my favorite Chinese Proverb. And if you’re so inclined, share this, or send me a tweet to @neoblog and tell me you love it / or hate it… I don’t care (as you’ll notice… not a single call to action here). 😉


P.S. I know I forgot to mention the waste of money software… I’ve already blathered well over my intended word count and think I’ll just do a full post about products to avoid, a little later.