If you’re researching SEO strategies — which you probably are since you’re reading this — you’ll likely find many different articles offering varying advice. That’s because SEO is always changing and evolving. Why? In great part because of Google.
Google regularly creates and recreates its algorithm to better determine what users want, zeroing in on relevant results for specific keywords. Your competitors know this and are regularly optimizing their pages to rank better. You need to update your SEO strategies frequently as well in order to stay in the game.
Knowing how to develop and maintain an adaptable strategy is essential for your page ranking success. Here are six SEO strategies to implement today in order to compete.
1. Utilize Content Pillars As the Foundation of Your Strategy
Content categories, or content buckets, are the three to five topics that you want your company to be known for. Creating content pillars — longer-form overviews of each topic that shorter, supporting posts link to — helps to establish your visibility and authority on those topics. Your strategy should focus on these content pillars and expand on, discuss, and create content around them.
Supporting content should point back to the related pillar page. This signals the pillar’s authority to search engines, which in turn will increasingly serve it up to interested audience members. By creating a web of supporting, interlinking content around your pillars, you’ll build a strong foundation for your brand.
2. Know What Your Customers Are Searching For and Align Your Supporting Content to Match
You should already have some idea of who your customers are, but do you know what they’re searching for? It’s time to delve into what your target audience wants to know and how they search for it. Take advantage of helpful tools available to you, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other keyword research tools. They’ll enable you to better understand your audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and search intent.
Once you’ve analyzed this data and developed a buyer persona, you can create a keyword list that aligns with your audience’s search habits. Brainstorm articles and other content based on these searches and add them to your content calendar for upcoming posts. Since your content is based on your audience’s actual searches, it will be more likely to appear in their results.
3. Make Sure Your Title and Meta Description Are Optimized While Remaining Compelling
Make sure to optimize your title and meta description, as well as in any photo descriptions. However, you are writing to the reader, so keep these text snippets interesting. Your title, in particular, should pique the interest of your audience. You want to encourage target audience members to click the link and read the article.
Be wary about over-optimizing your title and meta description, however. Both are too short to handle more than one keyword variation without sounding like spam. Trying to over-optimize a title may be detrimental to your chances of a click-through.
4. Write for Your Readers, Not Search Engines
Google is said to make minor changes to its algorithm 500 to 600 times a year, with core updates occurring several times per year. Since Google’s algorithm changes daily, it’s nearly impossible to outsmart it. Keyword stuffing is an immediate red flag to readers. So is forcing in keywords so they sound obvious and unnatural. Rather than focusing on what the search engine wants, focus on natural, human-focused writing.
Your readers want engaging, compelling content, and if you give them that, you’ll see increased traffic and conversions. Provide your audience with what they are looking for first, and then consider what search engines need. You’ll end up with informative, helpful content that will attract your target customers and boost your page ranking.
5. Use Keywords Without Being Spammy
As noted, it’s important to include keywords in your content organically. Choose your keywords carefully, based on what your audience is searching for and in relation to your content pillars. Choose a single theme for each article, and aim to include keywords in that cluster. You won’t be able to fit more than one main cluster of keywords in an article without sounding spammy.
When incorporating keywords, limit them to one to four instances of the keyword or phrase per article on that single topic. Readers will notice if the same term is repeated time and time again. Aim to use the keywords and their variations throughout your articles only where readers would naturally expect to see them.
6. Include Credible Links and Aim to Get Backlinks
When considering SEO ranking, links are an important factor. Web crawlers will follow links on pages to judge how relevant the landing page is to the search query. Internal linking is also helpful, so link to your own pages if the links are relevant. Just be careful not to force a link where it doesn’t sound organic.
You also want to try to get backlinks, which is when another website links to your content. You’ll receive a couple of benefits from acquiring backlinks on other sites. For one, you’ll boost your authority by appearing on reputable sites. In a 2022 study, 49% of respondents reported positive results from link building in one to three months, so it’s definitely worth the effort.
Winning SEO Strategies
The only constant with SEO is change. Adapting your SEO marketing strategies is essential to maintaining a competitive edge and achieving success. Utilizing strategies like content pillars, keywords, and link-building will help you see results.
Remember, your SEO strategy is an ongoing effort. Keep up-to-date on industry trends and evolving algorithms to stay ahead of the game.