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How A News SEO Conference Shaped A Community

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How A News SEO Conference Shaped A Community

This post was sponsored by NESS. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

“This has been a dream of mine for so many years, to do an SEO conference focused solely on publishers.”

– NESS & NewzDash.com Founder John Shehata, Global VP of Audience Development at Condé Nast

Working in SEO is a constant learning experience – there’s always something new to discover, and when Shehata and Barry Adams founded the News and Editorial SEO Summit (NESS), they did with that principle in mind.

“People who say they’ve really mastered SEO are probably lying, or massively overestimating how good they really are.”

– Barry Adams, NESS Co-Founder & SEO Consultant, Polemic Digital

“No matter how long you’re doing it and how experienced you think you may be, you will always have those moments where you’re totally and utterly stumped, and just have no idea what’s happening.

“We always continue to learn. There’s never a dull moment in SEO. It’s a very fast-moving industry with search engines constantly evolving, user behavior constantly evolving, websites constantly evolving – so no one knows everything.”

– Adams

With NESS, Shehata and Adams are carving out a special community within the world of SEO for continued growth and discovery.

NESS Is A First-Of-Its-Kind SEO Conference

NESS is exclusively dedicated to news publishers looking to unite and share SEO knowledge.

Attendees of this online conference have the opportunity to learn from top experts in the news industry.

Whether you’re a journalist or editor involved with the day-to-day publishing of news content, or an SEO professional looking to upgrade your knowledge in the field, NESS is a valuable online conference you simply can’t miss!

NESS Is Creating A Community

When NESS officially launched in 2021, it was a longtime dream realized.

Seeing how underserved the news SEO community was, Shehata sprung into action.

“I went to many event organizers and asked them to do this conference, but I was turned down… And about two years ago, I decided that I’m going to do it, and I’m going to fund it myself, and I’m just going to go with it. And if it’s a win, it’s a win – if it’s a loss, it’s a loss. But I thought there would be a good community out there that may attend this conference.”

The goal for the inaugural event was to sell 100 tickets; they ended up with over 600 attendees from all over the world – more than 50% of whom were from outside the U.S.  

People from massive global publishing organizations down to micro news websites focused on small regional areas dialed in from various timezones to share their experiences, leave comments, give feedback, and exchange information.

“I think that’s something that sets our conference apart,” said Adams. “It’s a niche within a niche conference.”

Shehata and Adams quickly realized that news SEO was a niche worth servicing and specializing in.

“What struck me the most,” Adams continued, “is the generosity of the speakers and the attendees in sharing their knowledge and sharing their learnings with other people who are conceivably their direct competitors. There seems to be a genuine sense of community that ‘we’re all in this together, we’re all doing the same things, we’re not each other’s enemies, we’re each other’s allies, we’re trying to do the same thing, which is generate great journalism and make sure that the biggest possible audience gets a chance to read it.’ And I hope we can continue that over the next few years and continue to service that community as best we can.”

NESS Is Serving The Community

NESS is presented specifically as a virtual conference so it can have a low cost to attend. Shehata’s top priorities when creating NESS were knowledge sharing and giving back.

“A publisher can send 30 people to attend, this would never happen with a traditional conference where they charge $2,000 [per ticket]… The other thing is, I truly believe in giving back. Last year was the pandemic and it was a tough time for a lot of people, so we said, ‘How can we help?’ And last year, we gave about 30 free tickets for any SEO who got laid off or made redundant,” Shehata said.

“We also give free tickets to SEOs from developing countries who cannot afford the conference. So we’re trying every year to do good, and I think this is the ultimate goal. Regardless if you’re an SEO or not, you have to give back to the community and do good.”

This year, NESS also led a fundraising campaign for the Red Cross’s Ukraine relief efforts, encouraging attendees to donate and matching their donations up to $5,000.

NESS Pioneers Online Conference Community Engagement

Instead of a one-way stream with speakers simply talking at the audience, NESS promotes two-way engagement, allowing attendees to participate in the conversation.

The live chat feed allows guests to comment, ask questions, and vote during a presentation.

NESS also allows engagement through virtual tables of around eight people who can talk to the speaker, ask questions, network, and more.

NESS 2022 News SEO Conference Highlights

According to Adams:

“John and I, when we started planning this, we wanted talks that we ourselves would like to see delivered by experts in the field. So we selected topics and speakers based on: ‘What would we like to see? What could we learn from, in terms of SEO specifically for news publishers?’”

Here are some highlights from the NESS 2022 lineup, along with key takeaways from each segment.

How To Successfully Implement Paywalls Without Affecting SEO

Leonie Roderick, The Times, and Ben Dilks, Sunday Times, tackled the dilemma in which readers expect to read news content for free, but publishers still have to make money.

Top tips for implementing a successful paywall strategy include:

  • Have a great understanding of your target market and readers.
  • Offer a unique selling proposition that sets you apart from your competition, whether it’s better quality, analysis, or insight.
  • Don’t be a commodity publisher; have something that makes you stand out. If you don’t, readers will simply switch to another news site with a similar product.

Get all the tips in the recorded session.

Using Automated Articles Successfully: Is It Possible?

This segment of the conference was presented by Carolyn Shelby, VP of Growth at Dawn Patrol LLC.

Matt Southern, Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal and NESS 2022 attendee, noted his key takeaways from this talk:

“As much as SEO can assist with the distribution and visibility of news stories, it shouldn’t guide the direction of news coverage. Shelby spoke at length about using SEO to help machines understand your stories better. She cautioned attendees not to allow SEO to change their journalistic standards. Covering a story because it presents an opportunity to rank for a popular keyword versus covering a story because it’s the most newsworthy is an example of writing news for SEO. As a reporter, your top priority is to cover the most relevant stories for your audience, while SEO is a tool to help your audience find those stories.”

Top Stories: State Of The Union

This detailed presentation by Shehata featured data from NewzDash, a Google news monitoring system and rank tracker specifically for news publishers.

“With all the tools that John has innovated,” said Adams, “he has this wealth of data about what works in top stories, what is showing in top stories at any given time, and how things have changed.”

Career Growth Panel: What Is Your Next Move?

One of the highest-rated sessions within the conference, this panel included various types of SEO professionals who spoke about their experiences in the industry, how they got to their positions, skills that are needed, etc.

“The importance of committing yourself to a particular practice within SEO was a key takeaway,” said Southern. “SEO is such a diverse field that aspiring to become an expert in every facet of the trade isn’t as realistic as in the early days of search marketing. Moreover, the roles companies are hiring for are getting more specialized. If you’re an SEO who is passionate about news, becoming an expert in News SEO is a viable career option.”

Get access to the full session, now!

Search Engine Journal’s NESS Experience

Our own team members attended the conference; here’s what they had to say:

“As a reporter covering industry news in SEO and digital marketing, NESS was an intersection of my career disciplines. It opened my eyes to the fact that there’s a growing segment of SEO professionals focused solely on optimizing news articles for search engines.”

– Matt Southern, Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal and NESS 2022 attendee

“It was a blast! NESS is one of the most valuable SEO conferences where experts share their practical experience in publishing, which one can quickly turn into a practice and apply. If you are running a publication or a blog, it is a must-attend.”

– Vahan Petrosyan, Director of IT and Infrastructure at Search Engine Journal and NESS 2022 attendee

Missed this year’s NESS event? You can access video recordings and presentations on their website.



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Top 3 Ways To Build Authority By Going Beyond Just Link Building

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Top 3 Ways To Build Authority By Going Beyond Just Link Building

You want your online business to thrive. One of the best ways to do this is to establish website authority – and the key to successful authority building is to increase trust with your audience.

With the rise of AI tools, you must publish high-quality content that stands out from your competition, who may be using tools like ChatGPT.

On March 15, I moderated a webinar with Sabrina Hipps, VP of Partner Development, and Jeremy Rivera, Director of Content Analysis at CopyPress.

Hipps and Rivera demonstrated how content promotion, link building, and authentic subject matter expertise could help you rank higher on SERPs and elevate your online authority.

Here’s a summary of the webinar. To access the entire presentation, complete the form.

1. Create Unique Content With First-Hand Experience – Avoid AI, The “Fancy Parrot”

In the world of content creation, where good content creators are showing their expertise, there are certain key things AI can’t do.

  • AI can’t have first-person experience. They can’t think for themselves the same way humans can.
  • If the AI follows a generative model, and it can’t yet distinguish the truth. If you fact-check some of the information, you’ll find it doesn’t exist.

The counter to AI content is unique content that shows this truth, expertise, and first-hand experience.

[Learn how this helps build your authority] Instantly access the webinar →

2. Highlight Quality Authorship

High-quality content encompasses everything from accuracy and mistake-free writing to clearly displaying expertise.

Ensure Your Content Is Error-Free

In many cases, low-quality content, or posts with false information and repetitive issues, can lead to being devalued on SERPs or accidentally containing duplicate content.

Image created by CopyPress, March 2023

Add More “E” To EAT – Experience

The Issue: To combat low-quality SERPs, Google seeks first-hand experience.

The Solution: Invite a subject matter expert to review the content, check for factual inaccuracies, and add that extra layer of expertise to the content.

Bridge The Write ≠ Expertise Gap

The Issue: It’s important to recognize that the ability to write is not synonymous with expertise; just because someone can write doesn’t mean they are accurate or a subject matter expert.

The Solution: Try pairing a subject matter expert with a strong writer who can interview and interject quotes helps build better content.

Ask Questions

The Issue: Sometimes, you may not have the in-house subject matter experts you need for a piece of content.

The Solution: Conduct outreach to gather expertise to boost your content quality. First, consider what your audience wants to know. Then, generate three to ten questions to ask a professional.

[Learn a tactic that works] Instantly access the webinar →

Tap Social Media

The Issue: Where do you find the professionals you need to interview for your next piece of high-expertise content?

The Solution: With so many experts creating on social media, it’s a great platform to leverage. Here are essential outreach steps you can do:

  • Observe.
  • Participate.
  • Engage.
  • Network.

Doing this can also be considered link-building in another sense. Because link building is marketing, and marketing is about building relationships.

Find Allies Who Are Also Targeting Your Audience

Combining outreach efforts with the Nexus approach helps you create relationships and connections beyond just the link.

[Learn what the Nexus approach is] Instantly access the webinar →

3. Use Other Authority Builders, In Addition To Links

One way to increase brand queries is through influencers, knowledge panel (which becomes part of a brand’s search results), and mentions.

To increase mentions:

  • Use HARO & Terkel.
  • Publish unique industry data.
  • Do something distinctive that stands out.
  • Connect with publishers with significant traffic, not for links but for visibility & mentions.
  • Leverage influencers and industry experts.

[BONUS: Get a step-by-step branded keyword strategy] Instantly access the webinar →

At the end of the day, when you publish unique, relevant, and authoritative content, it gets referenced and cited by others.

[Slides] Discover The Top 3 Ways To Build Authority By Going Beyond Just Link Building

Here’s the presentation:

Join Us For Our Next Webinar!

Google Shopping: 5 Ways AI Can Increase Ecommerce Sales and Profit

Join Malin Blomberg, CEO of Bidbrain and Google Shopping expert, as she shares the best hacks for digital marketers and ecommerce business owners to maximize conversion value.


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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal



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Microsoft Introduces Category-Based Targeting For Search Ads

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Microsoft Introduces Category-Based Targeting For Search Ads

Microsoft has unveiled a new approach to search advertising that aims to help businesses more effectively reach their target audiences in the retail media space.

This innovative category-based targeting solution aims to address the limitations of traditional keyword targeting while leveraging the power of keywords to optimize campaign performance.

Moving Beyond Keyword Targeting

Although keyword targeting has been a cornerstone of search advertising for years, it has limitations.

By focusing solely on keyword targeting, advertisers may miss out on valuable opportunities to promote their products, which can negatively impact a campaign’s performance and limit revenue potential.

Retailers and advertisers are beginning to realize that shoppers browse digital aisles on retailer websites rather than solely searching for specific products using keywords.

As a result, strategies limited to keyword targeting don’t adequately address their needs.

Unlocking The Power Of Category-Based Targeting

Microsoft’s new solution targets shoppers based on their browsing categories, utilizing keywords to boost campaign bids.

This approach allows advertisers to capitalize on both audience behaviors, resulting in a stronger performance.

By boosting bids with keywords, advertisers can increase their chances of converting purchase intent into sales.

Retailers can optimize the site experience for shoppers through product taxonomy, making it easier for customers to find what they want.

Microsoft PromoteIQ’s AI-driven algorithms can then deliver more relevant ads by layering keywords as a booster in addition to categories.

This new approach simplifies campaign management for advertisers, as they only need to test and retain a few high-performing keywords.

For retailers, this efficiency translates into increased demand.

Proven Results: Higher CTR & RPM

Tests have shown that this unique solution delivers impressive results.

Campaigns that utilize category-based targeting and boost bids by keywords have a 320% higher click-through rate (CTR) than campaigns without keyword bid boosting.

Retailers also benefit from this approach, achieving 8x higher revenue per thousand impressions (RPM).

The Future Of Search Advertising?

Microsoft PromoteIQ’s new category-based targeting solution is a significant shift in search advertising.

By addressing the limitations of traditional keyword targeting and maximizing the value of both audience behaviors, this innovative approach can potentially improve performance for advertisers and retailers alike.

As the advertising landscape continues to evolve, embracing solutions like this is crucial for staying ahead and delivering an exceptional shopping experience for customers.


Featured Image: sockagphoto/Shutterstock

Source: Microsoft



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10 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice For 2023 And Beyond

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10 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice For 2023 And Beyond

I’ve written about search engine optimization (SEO) for over 20 years.

So, I wasn’t shocked when the editors asked me to refresh an article I wrote on October 21, 2020, titled “3 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice for 2021.”

But looking back at what I’d written two-and-a-half years ago, I realized that my actionable insights now need to be thoroughly updated in this era of constant change.

The advent of OpenAI’s ChatGPT on Nov. 30, 2022, has triggered a “code red” at Google, which rushed out a new experimental conversational AI service called Bard in response to Microsoft’s AI-enhanced Bing.

UBS estimates that ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users in January, 2 months after its launch. According to the Swiss bank’s analysts, it would be the fastest-growing online application in history.

So, what strategic SEO insights and tactical advice could I share with you today that will still be relevant a year from now?

What critical data or search trends would encourage you to display a motivational poster on your wall that advises everyone to “Keep Calm and Carry On”?

By the way, that last piece of advice is not half bad.

Google was launched on Sept. 4, 1998, and didn’t pass AltaVista to become the leading search engine until the second half of 2002 – about 4 years later.

And even the Panda Update, which shocked the SEO industry and effectively ended the “content farm” business model, only impacted 12% of queries, according to the History of Google Algorithm Updates.

The Penguin Update, which downranked websites that engaged in aggressive webspam, only impacted 3.1% of English queries.

And it’s worth recalling that the first iteration of the Panda Update started on Feb. 23, 2011, but was followed by 27 more adjustments until the final update on July 17, 2015. And the Penguin Update, which began on April 24, 2012, didn’t end until Sept. 23, 2016.

It may take more than four years to know the full impact of Google’s Bard AI or the new AI-powered Bing search engine.

So, SEO professionals would be well advised to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

That means I can confidently share 10 strategic insights, bits of critical data, pieces of tactical advice, or search trends that will impact SEO in 2023 and beyond without losing too much sleep over the fact that 30% of them may not be relevant a year from now.

(After telling you why “the fundamental things apply as time goes by,” I’ll circle back to explain why a 70% success rate is the right benchmark.)

SEO remains an essential element of any digital marketing strategy.

And even though the search industry is constantly changing, Google is still the leading search engine.

According to Similarweb, Google.com got 3.2 billion unique visitors in January 2023, making it the most visited website globally. The search giant also got 88.3 billion visits in January 2023.

Screenshot from Similarweb, February 2023

So, don’t bet the farm on Google going away anytime soon.

And if you need to keep other people within your company, or at one of your clients, from rushing off to panic stations, then show them the chart below from Google Trends, which displays worldwide web search interest over the past 90 days for the search terms Google, ChatGPT, and Bing.

You can calmly explain that the dips in interest for Google occur on weekends.

10 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice For 2023 And BeyondScreenshot from Google Trends, February 2023

If Google remains the dominant search engine for the foreseeable future, then SEO pros don’t need to be retrained or replaced.

Why? Because they’re already familiar with Google Search Essentials (formerly Webmaster Guidelines).

And they’ve successfully navigated through the 22 Google Search ranking updates.

This is why I’m confident that more than 70% of SEO pros will continue successfully navigating the uncharted areas of keyword maps that bear the phrase: “Here be dragons.”

1. Focus On User Intent

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding user intent.

Google’s algorithms have become more sophisticated, and they’re now better able to understand the intent behind a query.

So, SEO pros should focus on creating content that satisfies user intent rather than just targeting specific keywords. This means creating content that is not only relevant to the user’s search query, but also provides helpful information or a satisfying experience.

Now, I realize this strategic insight isn’t breaking news.

But you still might benefit from re-reading my article, The Future of SEO Lies in the ‘Messy Middle’ of the Purchase Journey.

According to research by Google’s Market Insights team in the U.K., the “messy middle” is where people decide what to buy.

Among other things, this research found:

“People look for information about a category’s products and brands, and then weigh all the options. This equates to two different mental modes in the messy middle: exploration, an expansive activity, and evaluation, a reductive activity. Whatever a person is doing, across a huge array of online sources, such as search engines, social media, aggregators, and review websites, can be classified into one of these two mental modes.”

Let me translate this “big idea” into counter-intuitive tactical advice: SEO pros must create and optimize at least two pieces of content to address the user’s different intents in the “messy middle” of the purchase journey.

And, if your company or client is targeting half a dozen different segments, then you need to create and optimize at least a dozen pieces of content.

Creating and optimizing one page for each target segment is so 2019.

2. Create High-Quality Content

Content is still king, but if SEO managers want to become prime ministers (or presidents) someday, then they need to create more original, helpful content written by people, for people.

How can you ensure you’re creating high-quality content? By following Google’s long-standing advice and guidance for core updates to create content for people, not for search engines.

So, let me suggest you re-read my article, What Is A Content Marketing Matrix & Do We Need One?

It shows you how to use a content marketing planning tool to generate ideas for enchanting content that changes hearts, minds, and actions. That’s how you become the VP of SEO.

3. Prioritize E-E-A-T

On Dec. 15, 2022, Google updated its search rater guidelines – adding an extra E for Experience to the concept of E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Although these guidelines don’t directly influence ranking, they are useful for anyone who works in SEO because they give us an idea of where Google wants its algorithms to go. 

To improve your content’s E-E-A-T, someone with first-hand life experience on the topic should produce it.

If you can’t convince someone with experience to produce this content in-house, you need to find a freelance writer – or content creator – who has used your product or service, visited a place, or influenced brand purchases.

Unfortunately, many SEO pros still don’t think this is their job – even though the first mention of E-A-T occurred in 2014 when Google added the concept to its Search Quality Guidelines.

Even Google said:

“These are not fundamentally new ideas. And we’re by no means abandoning the fundamental principle that Search seeks to surface reliable information, especially on topics where information quality is critically important.”

If you’d like some practical advice, read How To Find Talented Writers To Fuel Top Quality Content Creation, which includes my interviews with a couple of thought leaders in this field.

4. Optimize YouTube Content

According to the Video & Visual Storytelling Survey by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) published on Oct. 27, 2022, 73% of marketers said videos have become more important to their business in the last year; 27% said they are about the same in importance; and, no one said videos have decreased in importance.

Why should SEO pros lose sleep over this critical data?

Because the content marketing department, not the SEO department, is jumping on this trend.

And that means many of the videos cranked out in 2023 and beyond won’t be optimized for search – let alone integrated into an overall SEO strategy.

So, here’s some tactical advice: first, read Sam Hollingsworth’s guide, YouTube SEO: How To Optimize Videos & Rank Higher.

Next, invite the content marketing department to a brown bag lunch to discuss ways to create great content together.

5. Earn High-Quality Links

Links continue to be one of Google’s most important ranking factors. And at least 70% of SEO pros have already read articles like:

Unfortunately, the lion’s share of chief communications officers (CCOs) and public relations officers (PROs) haven’t read articles like these.

So, only a handful of organizations use one of the most effective techniques to earn links to help your website rank higher on search engines.

Ironically, the biggest barrier is not journalists. Pogo once observed,We have met the enemy and (they are) us.”

This means you might need to invite your CCO or PRO to a swanky restaurant to discuss link building instead of hosting another brown bag lunch.

But this is a better use of your time and money than trying to figure out a clever way around Google’s December 2022 link spam update, which can now detect both sites buying links and those used to pass outgoing links.

6. Optimize For Local Search

Brick-and-mortar businesses serving specific towns, cities, regions, and states know local search is important.

When done correctly, local SEO enables people to find information about their business, putting them one step closer to making the cash register ring.

And SEO pros specializing in local search know a consistent Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP), local links, local reviews, and star ratings, as well as optimized Google Business Profiles, are important parts of Google’s local search and Local Pack algorithms.

But, to learn the latest trends and tips to help your local business grow using local search optimization, local marketing, and local advertising, read Search Engine Journal’s A Guide to Local SEO, which tackles what you need to know about optimizing for local search.

7. Keep An Eye On Multisearch

In April 2022, Google introduced an entirely new way to search using text and images simultaneously.

With multisearch in Lens, users can go beyond the search box and ask questions about an object or refine their search by color, brand, or visual attribute.

To learn more about this, read Matt G. Southern’s article, Google Multisearch: A New Way To Search With Text & Images.

Then, read Roger Montti’s article, How Does Google Multisearch Affect SEO?

So, keep an eye on multisearch in 2023 and beyond.

8. Keep Your Ear To The Ground For Voice Search

According to Roger Montti’s article, Google: Voice Search Is Not The Future, Google’s Martin Splitt shared his opinion that voice search is not the future and that there will be no need to optimize for it.

Even though I’ve written about Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader twice in the past year, I haven’t paid much attention to voice search until I was prompted to read a couple of recent articles on this topic, including:

And while writing this article, I re-read Kristopher Jones’ How Can Voice Search Benefit Your SEO? He wrote:

  • 40.2% of Americans use voice search.
  • 71% of people prefer using voice search to physically typing out a search online.
  • 27% of the online population worldwide uses voice search on mobile.
  • 58% of people have used voice search to find information about local businesses.

In other words, four out of five people with a veritable ton of E-E-A-T think that voice search represents a phenomenal SEO opportunity.

So, keep your ear to the ground for new voice search developments in 2023 and beyond.

9. Migrate To Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

I’ll bet Google sent you an email with the subject line: “We’ll soon configure Google Analytics 4 for you.”

It said:

“For any customer who does not set up a GA4 property with basic settings, starting in March, we will configure one with a few basic settings consistent with the existing Universal Analytics property; this includes certain conversion events, Google Ads links, and existing website tags.”

This means the chaos expected on July 1, 2023, when standard Universal Analytics properties will stop working, has arrived ahead of schedule.

And, as Sun Tzu once observed, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”

In my article, Google Analytics 4 Should Trigger Reorganizations & Agency Reviews, I said the advent of GA4 would cause the marketing department to start “freaking out” if the web analytics team – which still sits in the IT department in far too many organizations – doesn’t respond to urgent requests for “help” within a week, a day, or even an hour.

So, this is the perfect time for you to make the business case for moving the analytics team out of the IT department and into the SEO department.

If there’s any pushback, remind decision-makers that 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search, according to BrightEdge Research.

10. Build A War Room

If you’re a chief marketing officer (CMO) or vice president of Marketing and you move the analytics team into the SEO department, your team may ask to build a dashboard. Build a war room instead.

Why? Because “most dashboards tend to stink when it comes to helping the Executive make any decisions,” according to Avinash Kaushik, the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google.

This is because the interpretation of the “easy-to-understand visuals” in most dashboards is left to the executive.

But most war rooms feature not only maps of the global market and charts of the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs), but also an analytics and insights manager with the experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to interpret the trends and add context.

This “Analysis Ninja” can explain to executives why some key trends are up or down (in plain English).

And over time, executives will begin to ask their analytics and insights manager to recommend which actions or steps should be taken to move the dial.

And an Analysis Ninja can answer the question, “As a result of this trend (up or down) what was the impact on the company and its customers?”

Why Should SEO Pros Adopt The 70% Solution?

Now that I’ve shared 10 strategic SEO insights and some counter-intuitive tactical advice for 2023 and beyond, I’ll circle back to explain why a 70% success rate is the right benchmark.

Ty Kiisel’s article, 70% Solution: The Marine Corps Framework for Making Battlefield Decisions, should be required reading for every SEO manager who wants to become the VP of SEO someday.

The Marines teach their young officers what they call the 70% solution.

And it could be a good strategy to adopt for making decisions in situations where you don’t have all the information or resources you’d like.

In a perfect world, you’d have all the critical data you need to make informed decisions. But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Nevertheless, if you have 70% of the information you’d like to have, then you can still make good decisions – provided you accept the notion that you may need to adjust and compensate for the critical data you lack as you move forward.

And like battlefield commanders, most SEO managers never have all the resources they need to meet their objectives.

But it can sometimes be enough if you have good people and 70% of what you need. And finding creative solutions to challenges is a hallmark of successful SEO professionals.

Finally, are you 70% confident that your plan will succeed?

In other words, do you feel good about your plan’s success with the information and resources you have?

The Marines believe a well-conceived plan, along with taking the initiative, is more likely to succeed than doing nothing.

This is why I can confidently share 10 strategic insights, bits of critical data, pieces of tactical advice, or search trends that will impact SEO in 2023 and beyond without losing too much sleep over the fact that 30% of them may not be relevant a year from now.

The Marines have given us a framework for making decisions in less-than-ideal circumstances.

That is why you should “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

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Featured Image: Monster Ztudio/Shutterstock



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