Today’s business owners and marketers understand that they need to embark on an Internet marketing campaign, as the worldwide web is the venue for modern word-of-mouth advertising. They also understand that search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of an effective Internet marketing campaign.
The problem, especially for those who are new to the SEO game, is that it can be a bit difficult to keep up with the constant changes the SEO landscape goes through. These changes have even led some to believe SEO is dead, but if you were to succeed in online marketing, you have to understand that SEO will never die; it will simply continue to evolve.
Search engines, particularly Google, are constantly implementing changes meant to encourage website owners to keep the quality of their site high, improve the quality of their content, and avoid using black-hat SEO tactics. To remain on top of the SEO game, you have to be able to keep up with these changes and swim with the tide, rather than against it. Implement the necessary changes in your website, content, and tactics so you can keep moving up those search engine results pages (SERPs).
Key Areas for Coping with SEO Changes
You’ll be glad to know that most of the adjustments you need to make and strategies you need to implement for effective SEO are easy enough to accomplish. What’s important is for you to take the following factors into consideration:
Just like anything worth investing in, SEO requires time to effectively implement. You need to devote at least a couple of hours each day to work on at least one aspect of your SEO campaign. Remember that SEO is an on-going process; you can’t just stop working on it as soon as you have your website and social media pages set up. The work continues for as long as the Internet is present, so you have to be willing to devote enough time to the campaign. Better yet, hire someone whose time will be devoted to SEO.
As a business owner, it is okay for you to have just some basic knowledge about SEO; that ensures you’ll be able to keep up with the trends. If you plan to handle the entire SEO campaign, however (whether on your own or with a team), then you’ll need a lot more than basic knowledge; you’ll have to be an expert in the field. You need to understand the intricacies of web development and content management, among other things. You also need to know what metrics you should monitor in order to keep track with your progress in SEO.
Expertise is also important considering the fact that SEO requires you to focus on several things simultaneously. I know that sounds conflicting, but it is the nature of SEO. You have to work on web design, keyword analysis, content creation, link-building, social media marketing, analytics, etc. all at the same time. You can’t just focus on a single aspect and expect optimum results. This is why it is advisable to hire a team of SEO specialists, with an expert leading it. You or someone else could be that expert.
You may have built a team of experts, but if they’re not managed well, you still cannot expect them to deliver the best results. The problem with hiring a bunch of experts to handle each aspect of your SEO campaign is that every single one of them may think he/she can do whatever he/she wants without regard to the other members of the team. After all, he/she is an expert in his/her field. The web designer, for example, could implement a change in the website that the content creator and programmer aren’t aware of. This could cause discord in the entire campaign. Make sure all members of your SEO team are in sync at all times.
Remember what I said earlier? SEO is an on-going process. It isn’t a project that has a specific beginning and end. You have to work on it every single day for as long as the Internet exists. And whenever the search engines implement another change, you have to strive to keep up. This is why you need to have perseverance. If you lose patience, or if you give up too easily, then you’ll never know the sweetness of SEO success.
Now you know how to cope with the ever-changing landscape of SEO. What now? What particular changes do you need to implement from your end? Read on to find out.
A Fresh Approach to Link-Building
In the past, you can build as many links as you want without any thought to the quality of those links and you can still expect to get good results in terms of search rankings. That is no longer the case. Unless you want to get penalized, you’ll have to take a different approach to link-building. Among the best ways to build links these days is to focus first on building your brand. Create a strong online presence for your brand and establish yourself as an industry authority. This will effectively lead to a good number of natural, high-quality links to your site.
Key Phrases Instead of Words
Keywords have become a thing of the past, as key phrases now rule the game. One of the results of Google’s algorithm changes is that the search engine is now better able to decipher the intent behind search terms. This means Google now draws up search results based on the context of the phrase used in the search, rather than the individual words used. When you optimize your content, therefore, it’s best to use key phrases instead of keywords. And be mindful not to use them excessively to avoid getting penalized; in today’s SEO, moderation is key.
More and more people now choose to access the Internet on mobile devices. As a result, Google and other search engines have also begun to prefer mobile-friendly websites. It would therefore be a smart move to make your website more responsive. Users should find it easy enough to access and navigate your site on both desktop and mobile devices. Your content should also be easy enough to read regardless of the screen size. Not only will this help you with optimization, but also in building a good online following and earning customer loyalty.
Content Marketing: From Trend to Necessity
About two years ago, content marketing became the latest trend in the world of digital marketing. Everyone was talking about it. There were even some who claimed content marketing has replaced SEO as the ultimate online marketing strategy. These were the same people who said (some of them are actually still saying) SEO is dead. Well, there may be at least a little bit of truth to what they said. Although SEO is most definitely NOT dead, content marketing has moved on from being a mere trend to being an essential part of any online marketing campaign.
Rather than becoming the “new SEO,” however, content marketing has become a necessary partner to SEO. If you want to achieve optimum SEO results, you need to work on always improving your site content. You can’t just string some words together and then post it on your website or blog. Well, technically you could, but you can’t expect to achieve SEO success in that manner. In fact, posting content of poor quality on a regular basis could only hurt.
Aside from always improving quality, you also need to constantly work on promoting your content. After all, even the best pieces of content won’t do you much good unless people actually get to see it and make use of it. Connect with your target audience and make them aware that you have a lot of good content made especially for them. Once people see your content, and if you’ve ensured its quality, you can rely on your audience to spread the word.
Social networking sites are among the best venues for connecting with your target audience these days. Almost everyone is one Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social sites. It would therefore be a good idea to set up accounts on the major social sites and interact regularly with your followers there. Post teasers and links to your content on your social pages. Respond to comments and answer questions from your audience.
You can even use some of their questions as the basis for the next piece of content you put out. Remember that the best pieces of content are those that people will find relevant, useful, and entertaining. What can be more relevant and useful than a piece of content that directly addresses a question posed by one or more of your followers? Even Google appreciates websites that directly answers user questions.
If you seriously want to bring your business to a higher level, then you need to commit to improving your Internet marketing strategy. Since SEO is an integral part of a successful Internet marketing campaign, you’ll have to seriously work on achieving SEO success. By taking heed of the tips provided herein, you should be well on your way to the success you crave.