SEO is a difficult animal to tame, both because of its complexity and its ever-changing nature. When you think you have it all figured out and you’ve finally managed to master the art of SEO, a new algorithm update comes along, changing the rules of the game and forcing you to reassess your entire strategy. SEO has always been at the mercy of Google’s whims and under the influence of tech trends, and these two forces will continue to drive important changes in the field.
That can be incredibly frustrating and discouraging as the learning process never ends. This is also one of the main reasons why many business owners feel intimidated and overwhelmed by SEO and often give up on their SEO campaigns. Needless to say, leaving SEO out of the picture is not the way to go. Having some sort of SEO strategy in place is always better than having none at all, so even if you feel like your efforts are in vain, you should still continue on this path.
Even though SEO continues to evolve and develop, and tactics need to be adapted to remain effective, what stays the same is the end goal. All SEO practices work towards the same objective – to help you improve your website’s ranking and boost your online presence. And while algorithm updates are to be expected, there are certain strategies that have stood the test of time and will never fail to provide results. These are the tactics that you should focus on and use as the foundation for your SEO strategy if you want to circumvent the effects of Google’s updates and keep your website at the top of search results.
Find the right target keywords
Keywords represent the stepping stone for any successful SEO strategy. These are words and phrases that inform search engines about the content of your pages and make it easier for users to find relevant search results. In other words, they serve as the link between users’ search intent and the content your site provides.
Therefore, keyword research should be at the top of your list when developing an SEO strategy. This will help you identify the terms that your target audience is searching for and centre your content around them so you can improve your website’s visibility. While its generally recommended to conduct keyword research once a year, some experts advise performing this task at least twice a year or a few months before launching a marketing campaign so you can stay on top of current trends.
Checking out Google’s search suggestions, making use of social media to find out what your potential customers are interested in, running online surveys or employing specific tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, WordStream or Wordtracker are all great ways to identify the best keywords for your business. Once you’ve found the right target keywords, you can proceed to incorporate them in key areas of your site, such as copy, headers, URL structure, title tags, meta descriptions, or alt text.
Link building is king
Ever since Bill Gates wrote the essay titled Content is King, this has become one of the most commonly used phrases in the digital marketing environment. But while content might be touted as the most powerful force in the world of online marketing, in SEO, it’s link-building that wears the crown.
Backlinks have always been and remain to this day a major ranking factor for Google. Even if your content strategy is on point, your pages won’t get much traffic if you don’t have links pointing to them. However, it’s not the quantity of the links that matters the most, but the quality. This is why many businesses choose to work with a link building agency in order to build high-quality backlinks instead of trying to attract questionable backlinks on their own.
Don’t forget about internal links
Getting top-ranking sites to link to your pages is a lot easier said than done, but one area where you won’t face as many challenges is internal linking. Internal links are links that lead from one page to another on the same website, making navigation easier for users and creating an internal network that spreads equity from page to page.
While you may need to outsource link building services to an experienced agency, you can optimize internal links yourself since you have full control over what happens on your website. However, this doesn’t mean you should create internal links randomly. As a rule of thumb, you should direct links to poor-performing pages in order to give them a boost and help them get on par with other pages on your site.
Keep your content updated
Sprinkling keywords all over your website’s pages can definitely help, but it takes more than a few terms here and there to draw people in. Integrating keywords naturally into your content is the most effective way to leverage their power. Keep in mind that not all content is good content. If you want to attract more visitors to your site and give them a reason to come back in the future, you need to publish high-quality original content that is relevant to your audience’s needs.
And since you have to put in a constant effort to maintain your rankings high, you’ll have to revise and update old content regularly to keep users interested and establish yourself as an authority in your field. There are various tools that can help you find pages that might use a bit of refresh so that you’ll know exactly where to focus your efforts.
Improving your site’s ranking can be a tricky business, given the fast-paced SEO environment. The key is to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff and focus on the practices that have proven their efficiency over time.