It’s no secret that the process of search engine optimization is constantly changing and evolving. And as it does, it is important to note that there are key SEO tactics to focus on and other SEO tactics to avoid in your marketing efforts.
Keeping track of these factors and any changes will help you to stay ahead of the competition, and will make your SEO marketing efforts as effective as possible.
SEO Strategy – What to Do
Although there are many important aspects to incorporate into your search engine optimization strategy, below are those that are likely to always have an impact no matter what change may be brought on.
1. Optimize Your Content
Optimizing your content is the most vital aspect in all of the search engine optimization processes. Without optimized content, your site will be lacking, and your company’s overall performance will be at risk.
A few key points to consider:
- Doing keyword research is crucial. With keyword research, you are able to see what consumers in your target market are searching for and how they find you and your competitors. With this knowledge, you can make strategic decisions for your site.
- As you incorporate new keywords into the copy of your content, your rankings should significantly improve on search engines. Be sure to craft strong copy around your keywords that is natural so the words themselves won’t stick out oddly or look like overtly obvious sales pitches.
- Including photos and videos on your pages relating to the topics you are discussing are further opportunities for optimization, and will increase your perceived reliability. Often times, consumers will turn to those audiovisual aids to help them better understand the message you are trying to convey.
2. Utilize SEO Tools
There are a variety of SEO services that offer worthwhile tools, most of which are free. These free tools can help you track leads, page views, traffic, click-through rates, unique visitors, and more.
Aside from Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools, there are other great tools to have at your disposal during the SEO process, such as:
- Answer the Public, an idea generator site
- Link Assistant, a keyword assistance website
- Grammarly, a website editor that fixes grammar mistakes and word usage
Other useful “tools” include the number of free social media platforms that give you opportunities for branding, customer outreach, and more. If you don’t have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram, be sure to create them!
And since you can put buttons for your social accounts on your site, you can easily increase the size of your social audience and therefore your reach.
3. Link Building
Having a website with a strong backlink profile goes a long way in the SEO world. The more external sites that link to your site, especially those with significant domain authority (think The New York Times, Time Magazine, Nike, etc.), the more trusted your site will be viewed by search engines such as Google.
Some of these links will come naturally, but many will need to be worked for. Ways to get links on other sites include:
- Writing an article in your area of expertise for another site
- Including a site on a list post that touts their quality or authority, making it likely for them to want to share it
- Conducting an interview with a site’s representatives for your site, making it likely for them to want to share it
- Doing something newsworthy, such as sponsoring a local event or creating a charity, and contacting media outlets
- Producing posts of value on your site covering tips, interviewing insights, scholarship possibilities, or anything else relevant, and sharing with companies and organizations
- Adding your company to a list of relevant directories
- Creating profiles on select websites and industry forums that are “follow” links
SEO Strategy – What Not to Do
While the suggestions above are certainly things you want to incorporate into your SEO strategy, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid. Read below for the top three SEO don’ts!
1. Neglect Your Metadata
Metadata is one of the factors of search engine optimization that probably goes unnoticed the most by consumers, but it makes a world of difference to your company and its rankings on search engines.
Be sure to optimize titles, descriptions, and pictures. The more that your metadata is optimized appropriately, the better your rankings will be. Failure to optimize and include appropriate metadata will result in a decrease in rankings.
2. Keyword Stuffing and Hidden Keywords
The early days of SEO featured a lot of tactics that are now no longer considered beneficial to companies.
- One of these SEO tactics to avoid is keyword stuffing, which is putting an excessive number of keywords on a single page, and/or putting a wide variety of keywords on a single page.
- The end result of this is a page that is messy and scattered, or one that reads like a constant sales pitch, both of which hurt user experience. Google wants its searchers to have positive user experiences, however, so it devalues this practice.
- Hidden keywords through the use of white text on a white background (or any other color match), is another banned practice that will negatively affect your rankings as it’s seen as an attempt to deceive and “game the system.”
3. Forget to Include Aspects for Voice Search
With voice search’s capabilities and importance on the rise, it is imperative that you include aspects of search engine marketing that are compatible for voice search technologies.
Having pages centered around questions like “where are the best bars in Cleveland?” and “what do I need to know before buying a house?” can lead to users finding your site over others, since voice searches often incorporate questions and phrases more than traditional keywords.
To learn more about voice search and how you can prepare your site, visit our voice search post!