A Straightforward Guide to What Matters for SEO
SEO really isn’t complicated. Of course, that’s easy for us to say. But it’s true. Even though the search engine algorithms are complex and remain a secret, when you strip all of that away you’re left with the tried and true SEO methods that have been increasing organic search engine traffic to websites of all sizes and across all industries for years and years. Here’s a straightforward, high-level guide to the 3 things that really matter for SEO success:
Good, optimized content
Before even getting into the SEO side of things, the first thing to do is to analyze your existing website content and do a thorough quality audit. How old is the content? Is it stale? Is it still relevant? Does it accurately represent the company/product/brand/mission? If it needs a re-fresh, start there. Once you’re sure the content is good and serves a purpose, the next step is to optimize it by incorporating researched, targeted keywords naturally. Key places to insert keywords include titles, meta descriptions, content on the page, and URLs. Follow this strategy for existing content and whenever new content, such as a blog post, is published.
Quality inbound links
Link building is what has changed the most about SEO over the years. Link building used to be about quantity. The more links you could get to your website, regardless of where they were coming from, the better. Then Google set the industry on fire with the Google Penguin update that penalized websites that had spammy/non-relevant inbound links and things were never the same (for the better!). While many website owners remain fearful of link building, especially if they were hit by Penguin, it still remains a critical part of SEO. Google has even said that inbound links are a top ranking signal. However, the focus has shifted to the quality of links and obtaining them naturally by writing and publishing great content that will be linked to as a resource (or link earning). Of course, some “old school” link building tactics remain relevant, like looking for great industry/local directories.
In addition to what’s going on on the front-end of your website (optimized content, links), the search engines are also looking at the back-end, or the technical health of your website. This is a very important part of SEO that we notice is often overlooked. A website’s pages must be crawlable, free of returned errors, mobile friendly, and quick to load. Everything needs to be “clean.” Google Search Console is an invaluable tool that gives you technical insights and alerts you if anything is amiss.
At a high-level, these 3 things are what matter the most for SEO. It’s advisable to have an SEO team and SEO aware web designers/developers in your corner to keep things running smoothly.
Categorized in: SEO
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