With the various algorithm updates that were implemented in the past few years–like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, the focus has been shifting constantly on quality and content. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing to increase your chances in ranking on the first page of SERP.
But this isn’t to say that the disciplines of SEO should be thrown away altogether. Keywords and links are still ranking factors–they just aren’t the only stars of the show. In an effort to become smarter and to deliver more precise and accurate results, search engines such as Google and Bing have been constantly tinkering with their algorithms, incorporating factors such as authority, location, and social rankings among others.
And with mobile entering the fray and making huge splashes, the arena has become more and more crowded.
The best thing marketers and webmasters can do in this rapidly changing environment is to adapt to the latest guidelines that search engines implement. If you haven’t updated your SEO strategy in recent years–you’re grossly outdated and probably in big, big trouble.
But don’t be discouraged because we’re going to share with you 9 tactics that will instantly give your SEO strategy a much-needed face lift. Here it goes.
In the past, link building constituted of one thing only: to spread as many backlinks as possible, no matter the domain or niche. This worked dramatically years ago. But now, you’ll get penalized for this. It’s time to change this for good.
Now, it’s more important to focus on earning links from authority websites in your niche. Quality trumps quantity. Your rankings will surely improve by doing this.
Users have become more intelligent in using search engines to improve their way of life. And the quality of searches have become more complex that keywords alone won’t be enough to deliver satisfactory results. Often times, queries are more conversational in nature, like a dialogue.
In other words, search has become more contextual rather than just matching keywords. Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI). What’s LSI? Basically, it’s Google crawling your pages for the most common words and phrases, indexes them, and matches them with synonyms or related content.
This means that you do not have to place your keywords word-for-word in the content. Instead, write content through the eyes of the user. Know them well, how they talk and think. And once they go looking, they’ll find you.
There are more than a billion active accounts in social networks today, most of them on Facebook. It’s increasingly harder and harder to disregard their impact. And search engines recognize this. SEO used to be all about getting links and creating optimized content. Now, you must be able to build a following.
By cultivating an audience, you will receive a good supply of traffic. The more traffic you have, the greater chance these people will consume your content. This will result to more backlinks, more doors going your way. It’s like your using an automation tool.
Before, making more pages is like buying up real estate in Monopoly: the more you have, the better chances your opponents can land on your tiles. Today, it isn’t the case any longer. It’s not just about grabbing more land. It’s about developing your land, creating amenities that visitors can and will enjoy using.
Search engines are on your case now. Introduced February, 2011, Google’s Panda algorithm updates have been getting better and better at detecting bad content. If you have poor content it is possible you may face a Google penalty, so make sure you are created great content that users want to read. So keep user experience as a top priority.
Yep, you rank high and your click-throughs are awesome. But are you converting this God-given traffic or are you just making your site a glorified stop-over?
If you don’t have the correct keyword strategy in ranking for the keywords that your audiences are relating to, then there’s no reason to feel elated.
If your call-to-actions are not persuasive enough then you’re not appealing to the user. If your site navigation is messed-up, your session and bounce rates will take a serious dive.
Guest blogging now is way different than it was before. The only objective of guest blogging is to plant links. Now it’s important to be relevant to your niche because search engines consider this as a factor. If you’re a burger joint, two guest blog posts on highly authoritative and relevant websites like media and food critic sites trump 100 backlinks from a car parts shop website. Guest posting on a smaller scale can be beneficial if you do it the correct, ethical way.
Search engines like Google are continuously on the hunt to target sites with bad content. They’re always coming out with new algorithm updates, like Panda, just to do this.
Don’t get penalized by stuffing keywords. It just doesn’t work anymore. Maybe for a time, but with the penalties you’re going to face. It’s not worth it.
Images with proper alt text tagging and videos are the new trends for higher rankings in search engines. The Internet is becoming more and more visual. And search engines are taking the lead in recognizing this phenomenon. In one of our previous posts, we already said that sites with videos are experiencing as much as double the number of their conversions.
Furthermore, images and videos gleam off a good signal to search engines because you’re interested with providing high-quality content.
Like what we said earlier, building links on sites not relevant to your niche will get you into trouble. Our tip is to focus on niche-related directories that have strict standards and high authority that will benefit your brand. It might be harder to win their approval but a link on these sites usually last longer because people go to these sites on a regular basis. Why? Because they’re trustworthy. And whatever is approved by users, is approved by search engines. That’s just the way it is now.
So go out there and create high-quality & relevant content, build relationships around your audience and authorities in the niche, and utilize more visual assets in your website. These are what you need to do to make your SEO strategy fit for the new age.