Search engines are changed and updated daily, which makes optimization a constantly evolving process. A typical, inexperienced web surfer might not realize this, but search engines use a variety of algorithms every year that require a tweaked or completely changed approach as part of the SEO strategy.
These algorithms increase the odds of penalties for many websites that simply don’t keep track of the latest SEO changes.
Luckily, by remaining updated on the industry trends, you can thrive as a marketer and boost your ranking in the search engines. Here you will find two lists – one of the dos and one of the don’ts of a good SEO strategy, rules that apply to every website or blog, regardless of the time or the industry.
The Do’s of an SEO Strategy
Optimize for the Target Market
This is the rule of thumb that has existed since the beginning of SEO – know your target audience. It applies to many spheres of your life, especially your business. If you want to attract the most audience for your website and with it rank higher in engines, you need to target your strategies toward a specific user persona.
The user persona wants to get their information on his own, meaning that your best shot at getting their attention is to rank high in the search engines. Think of the people who search for the things you are offering. There must be plenty of them because, in every second of every day, Google receives around 63,000 searches.
Think about it – who is most likely to be interested in what you have to offer? Research the market, use analytics to track your progress, and once you determine this – focus all your strategies toward it. This means choosing the right keywords and creating content that is relevant to the target audience.
Test the Performance on Different Devices
Did you know that over 40% of adult users use multiple devices to access websites, make purchases, and get the information they need? With the usage of mobile devices growing by the minute, it is essential to optimize your blog or website for multiple devices.
To make sure that you are doing it right, test your search performances on different devices. This way, you can be sure that no one is missing out on your excellent SEO content and strategy.
Bring Consistency with Content Quality and Frequency
Link building and high-quality content are known to be the most important things Google looks for when they rank a website. With this in mind, you need to learn how to create great content, and fast.
Quality content is the top of any SEO list. But, you can’t just post any content and expect it to work wonders. If you want it to work and attract more audience, you need consistent and frequent content of high quality. Publish often and publish good content only. This will help you rank higher and attract more audience.
Have an FAQ Page
Whether you have an online business or a personal blog, your goal is to attract more audience. With that in mind, you’d want people to be interested in what you have to say. So, when they are ready to show interest, they need to be able to get the answers to their questions.
There are plenty of reasons why you need a FAQ page. Without it, visitors would have to contact you and wait for a response. Let’s face it – most people don’t have that kind of time.
To cut down on unnecessarily spent time waiting for answers to your customers’ or visitors’ questions, have an updated FAQ page. This will save their and your time and make your website that much efficient.
Link with Social Media
Many brands have reported a strong relation between search ranking rise and increases in social signals. Even though social media isn’t publicly defined as a factor for ranking by Google, the results that arise from it are only positive.
Social media is so widely popular at this point, it would be a great error not using it as part of your SEO strategy. People are constantly online, and part of your brand awareness raising campaign should be focused on social media channels. Ensure that your website is continuously present and reach visitors and customers from a variety of platforms.
Know the SEO Tools
Search engine optimization can be very complicated and very often, you won’t be able to fit it all into your schedule. Thankfully, at this point, there are many SEO tools available for website owners. Knowing your SEO tools is highly important if you want to up your SEO game and rank higher in search engines.
To give you some idea as to which tools are essential, here are some tools that can help any website owner out there.
If you want to present yourself as a leader, the best expert in the field, you need to be unique. Offer fresh perspectives, create unique content, and offer deep understanding of topics your readers might be interested in. Google’s algorithms tend to toss aside everything that continuously repeats itself on different websites, so you might want to spice things up with some originality.
People thrive and search for useful. When they open the web pages, they look for something. They demand some information, help, products or services to purchase, experts to help and communicate with, etc. That being said, your SEO strategy must be useful to the reader. Otherwise, what’s the point in reading it?
The Don’ts of an SEO Strategy
There’s almost no trick you can come up with that hasn’t been tried before. Algorithms have a specific goal – to find these tricks, detect them, and eliminate them. So, it is definitely not smart for you to use tricks, no matter how ‘secretive’ they seem.
Your small tricks might work for a while, but they will be identified in the long run. Google updates algorithms daily, so it is just a matter of time before your website is penalized and there is no way of returning back to the high spots on a search engine.
Some of the common tricks marketers use include invisible texts, stolen or duplicate content, keyword stuffing, article spinning, and doorway pages.
Use Unnatural Links
Many marketers make the mistake of using link schemes, tactics that help them gain unnatural links. They either buy or trade these to inflate their website’s reputation much faster. Yes, this process can be extremely lengthy and frustrating, but link schemes are discovered more often than you can imagine.
Such schemes include hidden links, link farms, expired domain purchases, comment spams, and article directories.
Keywords were and remain important for search engine optimization. In the past decade, their density haven’t been one of the most common metrics, but you still shouldn’t force keywords to rank higher in search engines. Firstly, you will be ruining the quality of your content and with it, the user satisfaction. Secondly, more frequent usage does not necessarily mean that search engines will find your post faster than others.
Don’t stop using target keywords in your content, but try to stick to a realistic keyword goal.
Neglect the Metadata
Start with alt tags and snippets and move to headings and custom URLs – the smallest things make a whole. How you handle them will determine how well you will create this whole, which can greatly impact your search engine performance.
Pay attention to the small things, the metadata. Marketers seem to forget about it and neglect it because they focus too much on the content quality or the website design. But, these are as important as any other part of your website.
Avoid Voice Search
Voice search is taking over written search. Estimates say that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice-based, while 30% of them will be done without use of a screen. Right now, there are 60% of smartphone users who started using voice search in the past year.
People tend to use voice commands more often than anyone expected, so you better keep up with the latest trends. Voice search is no longer a novelty, but it is swiftly becoming a habit of many. Keep this in mind and optimize your website based on what your target market needs. Odds are, they need and use voice search on daily basis.
Target Your Own Choice of Keywords
Sure, there will be keywords that you believe are your best shot at ranking high in search engines. But, these opinions are often unrealistic and incomplete. This is not the time to trust your gut only – the field is extremely competitive, so you should definitely get some assistance.
Use analytics tools to see which keywords are the smartest choice for your company and your field. Once you learn what your target customers look for when they use the search engines, you can know which keywords to use.
Allow for Long Loading Time
People won’t stay on pages that load too slowly, and we all know it. They spend seconds on the website, not minutes. So, if you don’t take care of the slow loading time, chances are you will lose visitors even before they open your pages and you can ‘bedazzle’ them with your amazing design and content.
The user experience depends on many factors, one of them being the loading time. If you want to provide a satisfying experience to your searchers, you cannot allow for long loading time.
Are you ready to optimize your current SEO strategy? These do’s and don’ts will help you get on the right track and avoid penalties from search engines.
The more focused and dedicated you are to your SEO strategy and its implementation, the higher you can rank on search engines. After all, that is the main goal of every successful search engine optimization strategy.
Guest Author: Mark Delarika is a part-time teacher, part-time content writer at EssayWritingLand. Mark also works as a blogger and entrepreneur. Thanks to his wide knowledge and experience in different business- and education-related spheres, Mark helps people improve the entrepreneurial and writing skills. At this point, he has taught in over 10 countries on a worldwide level.