In the world of SEO the (right) tactics that were being used years ago are still the things that work. Good on-site SEO combined with good quality, relevant content distributed across your online channels will bring good organic search results – eventually. Remember, achieving rankings through organic SEO is not something that will happen overnight; it takes time and effort. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and is something you have to keep doing. If you want quick and immediate rankings, then you need to consider paid search advertising.
Along the way there have been some people who have discovered loopholes that may have allowed them to claw their way up the organic search engine rankings quickly in the short term. But the truth is, as the search engines improved and got better at identifying those loopholes, those short term gains turned into very long term penalties for those that adopted the practices.
Put simply, the search engines want to deliver trustworthy, relevant results when people search for information. That’s great for consumers and if you’re employing the right SEO tactics, then it’s great for businesses too.
The following 7 SEO strategies really haven’t changed, and are still highly effective.
1. Keyword Research
Choosing and evaluating the right keywords is still a critical part of any SEO strategy – as it puts the right foundation in place to build upon. Take into consideration, trends and activity on the keywords you research and consider long tail phrases in addition to short keywords. You may well be surprised. Often the keywords and phrases that you think will be popular are not the ones people are using. You may well be used to your own industry terms, but is that the word or phrase people will use in a search?
2. Competitor Analysis
Learn from your competitors. Looking at those competitors who are ahead of you in search results can give a clearer picture of the effort required to match or overtake them. What key words are they using? What sort of content are they producing and from that, what is most popular? Have they got sites that link to them, and are they good quality links? Finally, are they using social media? You may find you have audiences in places you thought unlikely.
3. Website Optimisation
The main aim of onsite optimisation techniques is to help the search engines easily understand what your website is about, so they can categorise it correctly and serve it in the right search results. In this world of less is more, it’s tempting to just put images and video, but the search engines need some text to help determine relevance. You page content needs to reflect any keywords used for the page. Images need alt text behind them so the search engines know what they are and if they’re relevant
4. Domain Authority
A major SEO factor is the strength of your domain – meaning the number and quality of websites, blogs, social media portals and directories that link back to your site. You need to keep a check on those links and ensure that any incoming links (from other sites) are from good quality sites – or at least definitely not from poor quality sites.
5. Content Strategy
Consistently creating high-quality content is still by far the best way to rank well in search engines results, with the emphasis being on quality over quantity. Consistency and quality are the key things to consider here. You may not have the resources to create fresh content each week. For your business regular may be fortnightly or monthly, but it does need to be of good quality and relevant to your audience. More frequent content that is poor quality or not relevant can do more harm than good. Finally, use your social media channels to distribute that content widely.
6. Social Media Strategy
The amount of social signals associated with your content is an indicator of how valuable your content is to your users, and a reflection of your industry authority. A social media strategy is essential and a little research will be needed to help you define that strategy. Which social media channels do your clients and prospects use? Knowing which ones are most popular among your target audience will help you focus your social media efforts in the right place.
7. Measure, Report, Improve
Measuring progress is also critical to a successful search strategy, as detailed reporting allows you to make informed decisions before making improvements. Know your KPIs (key performance indicators) so you can view the data objectively but don’t get overly obsessed by every small change in the shorter term. Focus more on longer term trends where you can see things develop. It’s very easy to assume that something is wrong if you see a dip in traffic, but that may not be the case. Sometimes, a short term dip or improvement can be completely outside of your control and due to a seasonal change, short term economic impact or in the case of a dip, simply a general slowdown in your industry overall.
An adaptable approach to Search Engine Optimization – what we call AdaptiveSEO™ – will mean you can apply the appropriate search marketing strategies to reach more customers and increase sales.
If you want to discover how AdaptiveSEO™ can work for your business, get in touch.
You might find the following posts useful reading:
- Key Components of a Digital Marketing Competitor Analysis
- 10 Tips for Social Media Marketing Success