I’m reminded daily that Search Engine Optimization is still a bit of a mystery to most — me included. Here it is 2017 and you still can’t enroll in a University and claim a SEM major with an SEO minor. How, in this uber-tech-centric age can something so critical to a website’s organic success not be a field of study at the university level? Would professors’ curriculums be able to keep up with the warp speed evolution of SEO? Either way, the stakes are high and the ante continues to rise when it comes to the value of SEO.
Everyone wants their site to rank number one on page one in organic search, right? But what does it take to get there? Here are three way to keep up with SEO trends and improve your search ranking.
Focus on the Right Content, Not Just Keywords
Here you are trying to run your business and attract customers to your website while your beautifully curated and seemingly well-written website floats around the abyss of the internet. After all, your website is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal, and if you want people to find it when they’re searching for the hottest new widget you’re selling, you better have the right content. Instead of creating refreshed keyword-stuffed content that will cause your organic ranking to plummet (i.e. Google’s Panda update), focus on high-quality content that is valuable to the reader and goes beyond just keywords.
Keep Up with the SEO Changes
Did you know that Google makes over 500 changes to its algorithm in a year, and most of them are unannounced? How are you supposed to keep up with so many changes and updates that will likely affect your website while trying to run a successful business? Although we recommend you stay alerted to SEO changes by joining online groups and forums, because of the sheer magnitude of change happening on a daily basis it is easy to understand how some marketers fall behind. Which brings me to my next point...
Admit You Need Help
Listen, I thought I knew SEO. Over the years I’ve been handed dozens of keywords lists for various websites with the direction of, “Go and write us some killer content for our website and make sure you use all of the words on this list.” While many still think they can do SEO work themselves with a pretty website stuffed full of keywords and a few backend hacks, it takes more than that. Much, much more.
Admitting you need help is the first step. I’m serious. I’ve come across plenty of clients who think they can sidestep the rules and rise to the top in organic search through unsavory practices such as; cloaking or using link farms but come on; you know Google is smarter than that, right? They’ll catch you and they’ll penalize you. And the penalty can be quite painful...and back into the abyss you will go. Luckily, there are experts who can get your site to the top of the page in organic search.
Ponder this, you can fill your website with all sorts of content, but without proper optimization, it’ll never be a cost-effective investment worthy of first-page ranking.