Ah, the age old “is SEO dead” post…it seems to rear its head once a year with a back and forth battle about Google algorithms.
Most of the time this question is brought up, the real question is “Are the tactics and strategies to play the search engine optimization game dead?”
That’s the problem, when you focus on shortcuts and gaming the system it means efforts are spent on finding a workaround rather than sticking to the core strategies that have lasted over time.
Here are some strategies that may surprise you when it comes to keeping your SEO focus alive.
1. Do your keyword research first
If you’re looking to optimize your website content for keywords, it makes sense to find out what people are typing in during searches.
Rather than guess what they are typing in, there are tools that will actually tell you. Imagine that!
Google is one option, but since they would love for you to give up on search engine optimization and just pay for ads, their tool may not be the best.
There is a tool called Keyword Researcher that can take the Google auto-suggestions and create a clean list of keywords for you. You start with some base suggestions and let the tool do the rest of the work for you.
Once you have your list, group them together in logical smaller lists and focus you website SEO on these for maximum impact.
2. Treat each page as unique
Most website developers do an awesome job of adding SEO content to the homepage, but then abandon the rest of the pages.
Take you list you created based on your research, then look at each page of your site and apply the search engine strategy to each page separately.
Yes, it takes some work but you will be rewarded by Google and other search engines for adding unique search elements into each page rather than lumping them together.
Another shortcut to avoid is repeating the same SEO content on each page of your site simply because it’s easy to copy/paste/repeat.
This is your time to get creative and differ yourself from competitors. Remember, with SEO its not your website versus Google, its your website versus the competition.
3. Page titles and descriptions
When someone searches in Google, they see a brief description in the results. This is known as the “snippet”.
The snippet is comprised of your website page title and the page description.
Think of it as a calling card or mini advertisement on what visitors should expect when clicking on your page.
As mentioned earlier, these page titles and descriptions should relate to the page’s content and be unique on a page by page basis.
4. Interlinking pages is good
You already know that the top menu and footer menu are useful for helping visitors navigate your website.
Don’t forget to interlink pages internally to each other using text and buttons to help drive visitors deeper into your content.
Search engines see this as a plus when you “deep link” your pages to each other. They want visitors to be on your site as long as possible, not just taking a quick look and leaving.
5. External links are awesome
Although you don’t want to send visitors off of your site completely, showing Google you like to share by adding some external links is a very good idea.
If you have industry associations, clients or content from outside sources, add these external links as a good habit.
Remember, you can always have these external links open in a new tab by setting up the link in that manner…you have a choice when it comes to where the link opens.
In fact, here is an external link showing you how!
Although there is a lot more to search engine optimization, these tips should get you well on your way with the core principles.
Focus on these as the first layer and you will avoid any issues with Goggle changing the SEO rules down the road.