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SEO Lessons From Game of Thrones
What have you been doing on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. for the past month and half? If you’ve been watching Game of Thrones, you might be wondering if you read the title of this blog post right. You did! Bet you never thought you’d see “Game of Thrones” and “SEO” in the same sentence, but I’m going to tell you the SEO lessons you can learn from Game of Thrones in this blog post. Nope, I’m not kidding.
First things first—for all you who don’t watch or read Game of Thrones, you need to know just a few things. It’s a fantasy series with an overarching theme of good vs. evil (you probably could have guessed that) where several different families are fighting for the iron throne to be ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. I was having a conversation with my boss the other day about the latest episode and he was saying it’s not impossible to actually compare Game of Thrones to SEO, in a sense. I laughed at first, but the more I thought about it, I realized it’s true! So, hear me out…
Before you do, see if you outrank your competitors and if you could benefit from additional SEO!
The SEO Lessons to Be Learned
For all you guys out there who have inner nerds, this may be enjoyable. And if you don’t watch or read Game of Thrones, ask your kids, siblings, parents (I promise you that someone you know has read or seen Game of Thrones) and read the post anyway because, hey, these are still good things to keep in mind when it comes to SEO!
Ah, yes, sticking with it…seeing things through until the end. Multiple characters in Game of Thrones have been dealing with this. For the past season and a half, Arya Stark has been on a journey to reunite with her mother and brother. Daenerys Targarygen has been patiently waiting for the chance to get back to Westeros and claim her throne—her journey has also been long and it’s not over yet. The list goes on and on.
In the SEO world, perseverance is also something you may need to deal with. Unlike PPC, which provides fast results, SEO is more of a long-term investment. You need to be patient and wait a few weeks, sometimes months, to start seeing results and get where you want to be. But in the end, it’s worth it. Take a look at this screenshot of non-branded organic traffic visits for one of our clients:
That’s an astounding 457 percent increase. Non-branded organic search web leads also significantly increased, from 11 in May 2011 to 20 in May 2012. It took a year to get those awesome results, but look at that growth!
Not only do many of the characters in Game of Thrones use multiple resources, they also adapt. My favorite example is Jon Snow joining the Wildlings (an enemy tribe) to stay alive and get back to the Night’s Watch where he belongs. If he had refused to join, he would have died on the spot (good move, Jon, good move).
SEO, as you may already know or are picking up on, is ever evolving, so in addition to using multiple resources—social media, local SEO, good website design, link building, etc.—being able to adapt is crucial. After all, today “SEO is bigger than just SEO.” Well said, Rand Fishkin. Even SEOmoz changed their brand to Moz! Never jumped on the social media bandwagon? Too bad. It’s part of the new SEO, and there are SO many social media platforms besides Facebook and Twitter you can use to help boost your rankings and increase your authority (I kinda look at them as offsite SEO opportunities since some social media sites actually rank well, particularly Pinterest and YouTube). Always found that paid linking and methods other than creating valuable content was the key to your SEO success? Not anymore, especially not after Penguin 2.0. You gotta learn to adapt.
Acknowledgement of Something Bigger
Acknowledgement of a higher power is pretty significant in Game of Thrones. A lot of the characters acknowledge a god (or multiple gods). Some pray to the Old Gods, some pray to the New Gods, and some look to the Lord of Light—but they are acknowledging a higher power.
I mean, don’t you kinda think of Google—or the search engines in general—as a higher power? It’s not as weird as it sounds. There ain’t no fooling Google. The black hat SEOs (who try again and again to do just that) get punished. Google, or whatever search engine you prefer, determines the rankings and all us content marketers will never know the exact answers. The best we can do is acknowledge the “higher power” and the bigger picture (to rank well and get qualified leads for our clients using white hat SEO tactics) and do the best we can.
Alright, it’s time for me to go read Game of Thrones—er, write content for some clients—before the end of the day. But Blue Corona’s online marketing specialists can help get you the results you want, so contact us if you want to increase your online presence!
About The Author: Alanna is the Quality Assurance Manager in Blue Corona's Maryland office. When she's not triple-checking websites and content for errors and consistency, you can find her at the gym with her twin sister or urban exploring with her husband.
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