Saturday, May 31, 2014

Breaking the SEO Rules: When Not to Follow Best Practices - Whiteboard Friday

Best practices are set in place to guide us toward success in most situations. Not all situations. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus shows us several instances in which it's actually best to break the rules and throw those best practices out the window.


Video Transcription

Howdy Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I'm Cyrus Shepard. Today we're going to be talking about one of my favorite subjects -- breaking the SEO rules, and when not to follow best practices.
Now, best practices are something we talk a lot about here at Moz, and people are very adamant about following them oftentimes. So before we get started, I want to talk about what exactly we mean when we say "best practices."
For example, a best practice would be that your meta description length is only so long, or that your title tag length is 512 pixels or something like that. So when we talk about best practices, we're talking about a set of rules that are consistently showing superior results. It doesn't mean they're the only way you can do things, but in general, over time, they deliver the best results over other techniques.
Best practices are also used as a benchmark so that when you compare two different techniques, such as title tag length is this long or title tag length is that long, one set of those results you can use as a benchmark to measure your results.
Finally, best practices are meant to evolve and improve. Best practices get better over time. If you're running a business or you're doing SEO, your best practices are going to change the better you get at what you're doing and the more you learn. This is one thing that people often forget -- that best practices do change.
But sometimes you want to ignore best practices, and that's what we want to talk about today. One of the first reasons that you sometimes want to forget about best practices is when you want to deliver the highest ROI for your activities. When you're working on a client's site, when you're doing in-house SEO, time and resources are limited. So you want to make sure that you're doing the activity that leads to the highest return on investment for what you're doing.
This is a really common example when people start. When they're new to SEO, they start on a campaign, and they start optimizing their on-page elements and crawlability and engine accessibility. At the beginning of your campaign, that's a really high-ROI activity.

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