The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, written by Al Ries and Jack Trout, is just as the name describes: 22 marketing rules that have withstood the test of time and still hold true today. For example, one of the laws in the book refers to ‘The Law of Line Extension’. Line extension is defined as adding more products, features, flavors, colors, packages, or ingredients – pretty much adding adding anything on to your existing product base.
Companies that continually line extend themselves have a history of failure. For example, when Xerox tried to move from selling copiers to computers, it squandered millions of dollars because no one wanted to buy their new product. In essence, this book is a guide to laws you must follow if you are a marketer.
This blog post will go through 10 immutable laws of search engine optimization. These are timeless laws in the world of SEO that every search marketer should adhere to.
1. The Law of On-site SEO
Getting on-site SEO right in the beginning will save lots of headache in the future. If on-site isn’t optimized properly, this could lead to lost traffic in the future. It’s much easier to get it right in the beginning than to dig for errors in the future. You can start by getting your minimum viable SEO right.
2. The Law of Fresh, Valuable Content
Don’t just produce content for search engines, produce value added content that actually helps your audience out. Great content also has to be produced on a consistent basis not only to help with long tail search traffic, but to help with branding and authority as well. One general rule of thumb to gauge your content is to ask yourself ‘Would I retweet this?’ – if the answer is no, you’ve got some work to do. And if you can’t think of topics to write about, here are 8 ways to generate blog post topics .
The Articulate Community – This blog does a great job of producing how to content for people interest in e-teaching. Many blogs spend so much time shouting about themselves that people eventually tune them out.
CustomInk – CustomInk is a well known t-shirt printing site. Their blog mostly outlines contest winners from each week. They could use some improvement with their content marketing strategy by starting off with useful how-to’s, lists, or Q&A’s.
3. The Law of Relationship Building
Producing great content alone won’t be enough. Sites need to be building relationships on a continual basis. Talk to your customers. Talk to your partners. Talk to potential customers and partners. Listen to and address their questions/concerns to show them that you care.
21 Ways To Increase Blog Traffic – The title specifically refers to blog traffic, but it really can apply to traffic to your whole site.
4. The Law of Link Building
As of today, link building still stands as one of the most important off-page SEO factors. Gathering high quality, authoritative links to your site tells search engines that your site is an authority in its niche. Links serve as a vote of confidence and can help you rank higher for certain keywords and distribute link juice throughout your site. Link building should be an ongoing process – not a one off deal.
5. The Law of Anchor Text Over Optimization
Anchor text over optimization is when too many links with the same anchor text are built. When this happens, an algorithmic penalty is triggered and Google penalizes phrases related to the specific anchor text you were targeting.
Here’s an example of what not to do:
Build 10,000 forum links with the same keyword ‘online jewelry shop‘
Here’s how you can mix it up:
Look for links from higher quality sites – it might take more time and effort to acquire these links, but it’s worth it in the long run. Quality > Quantity. Building on the previous example, you might want to mix up the keywords with http://www.yoursite.com, los angeles online jewelry shop, top online jewelry shop, los angeles online jewelers, online jewelers, shop jewelry online, buy jewelry online, etc.
6. The Law Of Keyword Research
Keyword research is an important foundation block for any website. Thorough keyword research helps you figure out what people are looking for, site structure, blog post topics, keywords to link build for, and more. Building a site without doing keyword research is essentially shooting in the dark. Make use of the data available on the internet to make better decisions about your site or risk losing out on valuable opportunities.
7. The Law of Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis means gathering data on your competitor’s and deciding appropriate actions to take. What are your competitors doing that you aren’t? What are you doing that they aren’t? What other opportunities do you see from their strategy? Paying attention to your surroundings protects yourself and makes it easier for you to adapt quickly.
8. The Law of Usability and Design
Having great usability and design makes it easier for users to complete goals on your website. The less friction your site creates, the higher the chance of increasing conversion rates. Dropbox is a great example of this.
9. The Law of Measurement
ABM. Always be measuring. Analytics provides a goldmine of actionable data to help improve your site as a whole. What keywords are people using to enter your site? What content is the most engaging? What is your biggest traffic source? What are your highest converting pages or keywords? What does the conversion funnel look like? You can answer these questions and so much more with analytics. Not taking advantage of this means you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
If you need a primer on Analytics, look no further than Avinash Kaushik. He calls himself the ‘Web Analytics Evanglist’. We call him ‘The King of Analytics’. Here’s a video on successful web analytics approaches:
10. The Law of Learning
An internet year is equivalent to 7 human years – things move quickly in the industry. If you take your foot off the pedal and stop learning, you’ll put your site at a significant disadvantage.
The following 5 links are great search marketing resources that will help keep you up to date:
By following the laws above, you’ll ensure that your site is optimized for both users and search engines. A lot of sites (even enterprise companies) fail to follow these laws and are costing themselves valuable traffic – don’t be like them.
What other immutable laws of SEO did we miss?