Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a constantly evolving blend of art and science. Every week, Bing or Google or others modify their algorithms to improve their search product. And each time they change the algorithms, site owners and publishers quickly adjust to improve their search results playing by the new parameters. How do they keep up with this craziness? It’s all about the fundamentals.
Although specific SEO tactics have changed throughout the past decade, the three basic structures of search have remained the same; Technical SEO, On-Site SEO and Off-Site SEO. Sure, the tactics within each area have changed, some drastically, but not to worry. Ensuring your SEO strategy is fundamentally sound in these areas will put you and your clients in a position to quickly adjust as the landscape continues to change.
Technical SEO: This one is simple; well, at least, in theory it is. Fundamental here is that you eliminate any barriers that would cause the search engines trouble accessing your site. Technologies change—think Flash to JQuery—but, regardless of what technology is used, search engines still need to access it. Just make sure you site is optimized in a way that is easily crawled and indexed.
On-Site SEO: On-site SEO has evolved over time, but the fundamental here is content. Content has consistently remained an important aspect within search engine algorithms. So, ask yourself these questions: Is your content relevant? Is it valuable to your customers and/or potential customers? Is your content optimized? Is there sufficient amount of content on your pages? Are you refreshing your content on a regular basis? Of course, you still want to make sure you are following best practices for page titles, descriptions, header and alt tags but if your content isn’t of high quality, all the tags in the world aren’t going to help.
Off-Site SEO: Often overlooked, but nonetheless very important to SEO, Off-Site techniques are necessary to convince Google that your site is an authority on its subject. So, how do you do that? In the past, you built as many links as possible to your site and paid little attention to what the site(s) linking to you was about or if it was even a quality site. Then you started paying more attention to where those links were coming from, looking for quality over quantity. Today, we still want quality links from trusted sites but there are also many more indicators of authority than just links. Social signals are a big indicator of how relevant and authoritative a site is. Are people liking and/or sharing your content on social sites? These days, you have to give people a reason to link to, share, and like your website and its content. Ask yourself if your website and its content is worthy of a link? If the answer is no, then you will most likely have a hard time convincing anyone your site is an authority on its subject. Particularly search engines.
Although the tactics, trends, algorithms and SEO best practices have and will continue to change, adherence to best practices within the three key structures will ensure that your clients will get the most of their web and social presence.