For any website that relies on having a strong web presence, SEO will be one of the core activities that will lead the website to further success or failure online. SEO driven traffic tends to be more qualified than other sources, generating better qualified leads and sales for businesses. Additionally, the price for listing the position for your SEO is free on Google compared to Adwords that charges on a pay per click model and can set businesses back thousands or millions over the course of a year. There are fundamental areas in SEO that businesses need to align with their wider business strategy, if they want their SEO business to succeed. Thus, it is important to partner with an SEO agency that not only understands the fundamental components, but can also implement it. Below are some considerations.
When it comes to ranking a website for SEO, Google considers relevance and authority. The relevancy comes from the use of the keywords within the content, however the authority comes from the votes of confidence that the website and web content receives. The objective for every website that wants to succeed with their SEO strategy, is to develop their website’s authority. This can be achieved via the following ways.
Developing relevant and engaging content
Online, you will always hear that ‘content is king’. While it is a bit of an old adage, it still rings true. The stronger the content, the better the perceived value and the more opportunity the website will have to gain engagement and natural referrals. Many people still struggle when it comes to developing winning content both commercially and socially. The key is to give the audience what it wants. Understand the information that the audience wants to receive and present it to them in a format that they will enjoy. This may be in the form of a text blog post, or as an infographic or as a video. The mark-up of the content needs to be SEO friendly. This can be achieved by following the Google Hummingbird content structure that will maximise the keyword exposure for the web page. The content needs to be structured to support the SEO strategy and tactics that the site will be adopting.
Increasing citations via web links
This is the key area that search engine spiders will look for to work out the authority of your site. To enhance the perceived authority, links (in particular – dofollow links) from websites that also have authority will share the authority to the website, essentially telling Google that the site is relevant to rank for certain keywords. There are millions of websites online to gain links from. Partnering with the right sites will generate you the links that will pass the authority to your website and improve your keyword ranking across your desired keywords.
The search engine spiders can successfully access the content throughout the site due to the technical makeup of the site. This means the structure of the URLs, robots txt files, image files, hidden files, HTML, CSS and meta-data.
Take heed with the technical areas of SEO. These should not be forgotten
The technical area of SEO is becoming easier to manage. Previously, it was a technical mystery. Now, the development of modern CMS systems have integrated SEO friendly processes to overcome the common SEO technical errors of yesteryear. Although there have been drastic improvements in technical SEO, businesses must be aware and diligent of the technical SEO health of the site to ensure that there aren’t any major issues that could be impacting the website’s performance. For example, the amount of redirect loops that a site may be having from external links to redirected pages on the site. Additionally, the removal or changes to URLs that lead to broken page errors (404s). Ensure the technical SEO is monitored and that any potential threats are thwarted as soon as possible.
Knowing not to cross the line
There is the ongoing debate about how far someone should push their SEO strategy to get it to work. There is white hat, grey hat and black hat SEO. All of them can work, however the speed of success and the longevity of the tactics differ amongst all three. For businesses that are looking for quick to medium term wins in their SEO strategy, a white hat strategy can seem like a long slog. However, this is the strategy that Google actively encourages webmasters to use to rank their websites. Google continually says that ‘If it is good for the web, it is good for Google.’ This is achieved by allowing Google to serve web users with good and relevant content for their search query. When the line is crossed to the darker side of SEO, there may be some short-term wins. However the longevity of the success of the SEO strategy will be put into jeopardy as Google has voiced its concern and taken action against web spam with a series of Google algorithm updates. It is important for businesses to focus on the long-term goal for white-hat SEO success and to not get deterred by the attraction of quick wins with black hat SEO tactics.
SEO can be a lucrative medium for businesses should the strategy be adopted well. When executed correctly, the website will receive leads and sales guaranteed on autopilot. However, to achieve this level of success, the correct SEO strategy and tactics need to be implemented to ensure long-term success. Build the SEO foundation seeds and watch the SEO tree grow the fruits of your labour.