4 Constants in The Ever-Shifting World of SEO

by Tyler Hardekopf, Director of Digital Products - 08/28/17

Search Engine Optimization

Is search engine optimization really always changing?

You bang out a killer blog post, chock full of the proper SEO keywords that are sure to catapult your post to the top of Google’s search engine. That night, you sleep easy, knowing your site is about to get blasted with visitors. Heck, there may even be so much traffic in the morning that your server will get shut down.

Then you wake up to a best-practices email that has shown up in your email box. It tells you your worst nightmare: Everything has changed. All the perfection you thought you’d reached with yesterday’s post is now garbage. Your article is never going to have the pop you anticipated. Time to start over.

If you’ve experienced this SEO-chasing, you know the pain. And you may feel like giving up on worrying with SEO at all. But don’t quit it just yet. Instead, keep a couple cold, hard, digital facts in mind.

SEO Is Always Changing

First of all, it’s okay to admit that SEO, just like a teenager’s mood, is always changing. There are experts in the field who like to stir things up, and they do it every single day. One moment, keywords should be crammed in as often as possible. The next, you better just sprinkle them in, and sprinkle them lightly. Otherwise, you’ll end up being dumped off the front page of your favorite search engine.

However, just because the so-called best practices are a moving target doesn’t mean you have to erratically change where you’re aiming. Do this and you’ll likely never hit the bull’s eye. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay up on industry standards. It does mean that, well…

SEO Is Always the Same

Though you can track algorithm changes all you want, it’s a good idea to realize that good content will always be good content. What ensures your content is good enough to wind up in a peak spot on the search engines? You’ll need to be trustworthy, have a solid site structure, maintain the right balance of keywords, and build a site that is easy for search engines to find. Here’s what that means for you.

Trustworthy—The way to build digital respect among search engines is to have various websites link to your articles. You can view each backlink as a thumbs up that validates your site as an authority in whatever topic you’re discussing. Write engaging posts that people care about, spread the word about your content, and watch your site grow in trustworthiness.

Structure—Yes, everything on your site is important. But it’s not all your primary moneymaker. Figure out what provides the best ROI on your site and put that at the top of the web design pyramid. Then arrange everything else to feed into it.

Keywords—When SEO first began, everyone went keyword crazy. Initially, Google considered this a best practice, so if you wanted to be top in the search engine world, all you had to do was write the same word over and over. Those days are long gone. Today, you must artfully include your keywords in a natural manner that gets the search engines’ attention but doesn’t come off as spam.

Accessible—Also known as crawlability, your site’s ability to be found by search engines is of utmost importance. What does it take to have a crawlable website? It has to be accessible and readable by search engines. Not sure how to make your website crawlable? There are plenty of tutorials online, or if you’re strapped for time, turn to digital marketing experts for guidance.

So Now What?

Now that you know that SEO is indeed always changing, while best practices stay pretty stable, you’re probably wondering what to do next. A good first step is to take a deep breath and analyze the content already on your site. Is it useful? Easy to read? Does it have the right keywords in a natural, uncumbersome manner? If so, it’s doing its job well. Otherwise, rework your site’s content in a friendly, easy-to-use manner that will drive search engines and real people to take notice.

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Topics: Digital Marketing

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