It’s no secret that the world of search engine optimization (SEO) is evolving all the time. We often learn about new optimization techniques and the ones that are no longer relevant or useful for increasing website rankings. It is important to always consider future proof your SEO.
The thing about SEO is that it’s something you have to carry out on a regular basis. Or, in the least, frequently check that your site is ranking well for your desired keywords on each of your landing pages.
Some people believe that search engine optimization is a “set it and forget it” process. But, as with most things in life, regular maintenance will ensure that your site is both fresh and relevant to your target audience.
With that in mind, are there any strategies to follow that you can carry out on a long-term basis? The good news is that there are a plethora of ways to keep your site optimized both now and in the future.
The following are six tried and tested strategies that I, as an SEO Consultant follow.
Check them out:
1. Think beyond the keywords
Anyone with even a small knowledge of SEO will tell you that keywords are the primary way people will find your site online via a search engine.
As you know, web users type in keywords into a search engine like Google, and they get presented a list of links relevant to their query.
Whether you like to admit it or not, search engines have evolved over the years, and SEO isn’t just about using “good” keywords in your content.
Google, for instance, is now a semantic search engine. That means it connects users with the content they intend to find, not just a literal list of results based on their typed-in keywords.
For example, if you type the word “laptop” in the search box followed by a space, it will try to determine what you want. So, underneath the word you typed in, you’ll find some semantic search suggestions like:
The point of thinking beyond the keywords is that you have to optimize your site for what people actually search for. Let’s assume you are a computer retailer and have a “Portable Computers” section on your website.
Using the previous example, you should revise your page content to incorporate the phrase “laptop computers” as that’s one of the top search queries. I discuss this more in my post on SEO copywriting tips.
2. Optimize your content for voice searches
These days, more people are performing voice searches on devices like smartphones, tablets, and even in their cars! According to figures revealed by Google, over 41% of adults in the U.S. are performing voice searches from their devices.
As you can appreciate, voice searches using digital assistants like Siri and Google Now make it easy to find online content while people are on the go.
You may not realize it. But, you can improve the ranking of your website in a search engine by optimizing content for voice searches. So, just how is that possible, you might be wondering? The answer is quite simple: use sentences that offer the full meaning of what you’re talking about.
For instance, question and answer format content that stands out on its own is something that search engines like Google extract from sites and use in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Content optimized for voice searches will carry a lot of weight in the SERPs and make it more prominent to users. In a Google search, for example, an “answer box” will often appear at the top of the SERPs with a link to the full Q & A content.
You don’t need to make every page on your website like that, for example. It’s a neat trick you can apply to content such as product description pages.
3. Create a network of content creators
It’s a well-known fact that external links to your website will increase its standing in search engines. Your target audience won’t know about your site unless you promote it online and have others telling their readers about it too.
One of the most effective ways of building links to your site is by setting up a network of content creators. In a nutshell, this is where you invite bloggers and webmasters to talk about what you do and link to relevant content on your site.
There are many ways that you can build up a network of content writers that are happy to link to your site. Some examples include:
Asking bloggers to provide an honest review of your products and services;
Running a joint marketing campaign with someone else in your industry;
Interviewing industry experts and asking them to share links to the interview with their followers on social media;
Collaborating with manufacturers to launch contests and competitions from your websites.
In fact, there is a whole host of methods you could utilize to build up a list of contacts that might wish to link to your site.
Of course, it’s important to only forge working relationships with established websites rather than new ones. Doing so will help to effectively increase your rank in search engines.
4. Keep track of how your users interact with your website
Part of the mission is to get people visiting your site on a regular basis. Once you’ve overcome that challenge, you then need to keep them “hooked” and stop them from going elsewhere due to boredom or frustration.
Let’s face it; we only visit websites that are relevant to our needs. If we were feeling hungry and lazy, and we wanted to order a pizza online, we might go on the Domino’s website. What we don’t want to do is look at a recipe site that tells us how to make a pizza!
With that in mind, you must ensure that your content is relevant to the keywords and phrases used on your landing pages. Focus on creating quality content that answers search queries.
Assuming that you’ve made sure you have relevant content, you need to track how each user interacts with it. For example, do they click on a “Buy Now” button on your homepage? Or do most people read reviews and further information about your products first before getting their card details out?
It’s quite easy to track the browsing habits of visitors to your pages. For a start, Google Analytics can give you in-depth information about referral links, dates and times of visits.
It can also tell you about things like the paths people take once they visit your homepage or other landing pages.
You can also find out what people click or tap on the most on each page using website “heat map” analysis tools like Crazy Egg.
5. Optimize your content for long-tail keywords
Have you ever noticed that most of the visitors who find your site via a search engine use “long-tail” keywords in their searches? These days, most Internet users search for specific terms like “laptop repair New York” rather than “laptop repair.”
That being said, you must also make sure that you don’t spam your content with those exact phrases! Search engines like Google want website owners to make their content relevant to their target audiences.
It’s useful for searchers because they don’t waste their time clicking through to spammy sites. Plus, it’s a positive point for webmasters as their sites will end up ranking higher due to the keyword relevancy.
Using an analytics tool like Google Analytics can tell you a lot about the types of long-tail keywords that your users are searching for. You can also get an insight into the most searched-for phrases with PPC (pay-per-click) advertising keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner.
To make sure your content doesn’t look spammy to both human visitors and search engines, be sure to add long-tail keywords naturally into your content. Also, maintain the same philosophy with your anchor text diversity. A tool like Linkio can help automate anchor text planning and will keep your link building campaigns organized.
So, instead of just adding in “HVAC marketing in Dallas” randomly to the end of your sentences, adapt the phrase to make it more natural. For example, you could say “highest rated HVAC repair company in Dallas with great Yelp reviews”
6. Optimize your content for local searches
Last, but not least, it’s vital that you don’t forget about people local to your business or organization! It doesn’t matter whether you run a retail store or an online B2B company, you should always make your site locally relevant.
Did you know that when you search for something on a mobile device, search engines like Google use GPS to find the nearest businesses and organizations to your location?
As you can imagine, if you have a retail business, you want to get more local people to visit your establishment and buy stuff from you!