Ahhh SEO…the ultimate moving target. How do you keep up with trends and algorithms that are constantly evolving? Search engines are continually updating their algorithms to deliver the most relevant results, and publishers who adhere to these updates are rewarded. The lines between SEO and high-quality, sought-after content are blurring. While a solid technical foundation is crucial, ongoing SEO success depends on determining what your audience wants to know, zeroing in on how they’re searching for it, and providing answers in the most helpful, comprehensive way possible.
Whether you are designing your own site using a CMS platform like WordPress, or you are a part of an agency team designing a site for a client—here are some general tips for staying ahead of the SEO curve (even when you aren’t a bunch of SEO geniuses like our digital team):
- Use website traffic reports to inform future content. Check on the content that is driving the most organic traffic to your site. Can the topics of your most popular content be rehashed or versioned?
- If you’re one of our clients, use quarterly keyword recommendations from LoSasso to jumpstart idea generation.
- Ask yourself, “How would my user search for this topic?” Armed with a general keyword list that outlines search volume and competition, begin to think outside the box. Modern content SEO isn’t about using the same keyword every 100 words—it’s about using the keywords in a context that will be valuable to the user, leveraging a good mix of topics and phrases that are closely related to your focus keyword/phrase. Craft titles/headlines that might mimic—or match—the original search query.
- Use a mix of exact and broad match keywords. Incorporating target keywords/phrases verbatim has value, but so does using the individual words from a targeted phrase/query in close proximity to each other (broad match). This is especially true if the exact keyword/phrase feels awkward or forced.
- Technical SEO is important, but user experience should precede everything else. Remember, you are not writing for a machine—you are writing to engage people who may find your products, services or insights valuable. The job of search engines is to provide relevant and useful information. Make decisions based on comprehension and usability.
This is first in a series of posts – next up: How to optimize URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, headlines, body copy, categories and tags for SEO success
Special thanks to Dimo and Jada for helping develop this list!