How to Implement a Sustainable SEO Strategy for Your Business
Search engine optimization (SEO) used to all about stuffing your web pages so full of keywords that the content became almost unreadable. Then Google cracked down. When links became the next big thing, sites began sprouting thousands of backlinks overnight. Again Google cracked down. Which brings us to the latest big thing in SEO, content marketing. Is content marketing just another fad, or will it have a role to play in creating a long-term, sustainable SEO model for effective digital marketing?
The Basic Elements of Sustainable SEO
Google presently considers more than 200 factors in determining how your pages will rank in the search results. While Google is understandably reluctant to share the details of their “secret sauce” with the world, we know that targeted keywords, authoritative backlinks and relevant content will continue to play an important part in ranking your web pages when they are used in a natural and unobtrusive manner. Just remember to keep your SEO efforts as low-key as possible; Google’s official stance is that the best web pages will rise to the top of the rankings on their own merits without any attempts to game the system.
- Targeted keywords should be used that match your web pages with the exact results that searchers are looking for as well as for identifying those searchers most likely to be in a buying mode. Include your keywords once or twice within the body of your content in a manner that blends with, rather than interrupts, the natural flow of your copy.
- Authoritative backlinks from high page-ranked sites provide proof that your web page content is valuable and deserving of better ranking. Focus on backlink quality rather than quantity, and drip-feed the backlinks slowly over time so that they appear to be naturally occurring.
- Relevant content should provide valuable information that searchers can use to solve their problem. Content will always be king when comes to SEO because that is the sole purpose of the search engines: directing searchers to the content that best solves their particular problem or need.
- Social media and online reputation appear to be on the rise as important ranking factors. The way Google sees it, the opinions expressed about your business is a strong indicator of how well you are meeting the expectations of your customers. A lack of social sharing and a poor online reputation may cost you results ranking, especially when Google compares your business to competitors with better social sharing and more positive online reviews.
Four Key Steps to Sustainable SEO
- Think in terms of better website visitor engagement and satisfaction rather than focusing purely on the number of visitors you are getting. Diversify your SEO to include traffic-generating efforts from various social channels.
- Create content that is engaging and truly helpful to your visitors. Use a diverse group of keywords that target searcher needs and problems.
- Build backlinks to your site only if they are from trusted authority sites. Be sure to drip-feed them slowly over time.
- Use content across your social channels to open up lines of two-way communication. Your goal should be to talk with prospective customers not at them.