Future-proofing your SEO is becoming more urgent as search engine algorithms become more intelligent. The measures you take today as an online marketer should protect your own and your clients’ websites from future updates. Make sure not to miss these seven elements when creating your optimization strategy.
What both readers and algorithms want to see is timely, relevant and carefully conceptualized content. Keep the following in mind when creating the materials that will go on your site:
- Write for your audience, not for search engines. You can optimize with keywords as you go. Search engines will notice the quality and relevance of your content first, as Google creates algorithms to mimic human behavior. You can read my previous blog for tips on writing for your audience.
- Practice storytelling through different types of media to keep visitors interested. You can check our 10-point content strategy to learn how to do this properly.
- Add a blog to your website. A blog is a great source of fresh content. It also serves as a free platform for you to share information and insights. With the right content, you can get more people to link to your site, to talk about your brand, and to move on further in the marketing funnel.
- Create a content marketing strategy. Even quality content needs aggressive marketing. Read our guide to becoming a content marketer to know more.
Your HTML code needs to be clean and optimized, and it needs to be checked for errors. Any redirection, tag or display errors can affect your website’s functionality and rankings. Make sure you have keyword-optimized metadata, consistent branding in the page titles, and proper header tags to make content easier to read for crawlers. Run your code for errors more than twice and check with Google Webmaster Tools for redirection errors to ensure your site runs smoothly. Fix any errors immediately to get your site back up and running.
An important HTML tag to check is the ‘noindex, nofollow’ tag. Make sure this is implemented properly on your page. Mistakes with this tag could lead to your pages not being indexed at all on the SERPs.
Having an orderly site structure ensures search engines can crawl your page and makes browsing easier for your visitors. Choose the appropriate site structure according to your unique requirements. Silo linking works best for static websites with multiple pages divided into categories. Dynamic site structure, on the other hand, suits ecommerce websites and other pages whose URLs change because of session IDs and other consumer-tracking devices.
You also need to optimize your URLs to reflect the organization of your site. Your main categories should be folders in your server. The individual pages should go inside their appropriate folders. An orderly URL looks like this:
Check your keyword research for the main keyword to use on the URL.
Cleaning up your link profile and building quality links helps your site to maintain rankings through different algorithmic updates. Algorithms want to see trusted, high-authority websites linking back to your page in order to rank you higher on the SERPs.
Link building has changed in that it’s no longer as simple as placing a link back to your site on someone else’s page – context is important. Make sure all links back to your site are relevant. Check that all links to your site are from pages that follow Google’s guidelines to avoid being penalized. Read our guide on link building for more detailed tips.
Placing different trust signals on your website lets visitors and search engines know that you are a reliable source of information. Link to your affiliations, guest posts, and feature articles, and indicate your partnerships with different online industry influencers and respected figures. Put social media widgets, like, share and +1 buttons on your website to encourage ratings and increase your social trust signals as well.
Rich snippets are also good social signals to have. Make your listings more attractive and get the trust of online search users by adding authorship mark-ups, NAP and business listing mark-ups, and review snippets. Finally, verification of your accounts is a great trust signal to have on your accounts. Verify your accounts on Twitter and Google as an added measure.
Social is becoming an important ranking factor as the updates keep coming. It’s important to build your community and establish your brand through social media. Sustained social presence sends a strong signal to search engines and serves as a great, cost-effective way of funneling your target audience.
- Optimize your social media profiles to be consistent with your website. Banners/cover photos, profile pictures, and information shared on these profiles should match the contents of your site.
- Create a social media publishing calendar, and update your audience regularly. You can alternate sharing your own materials and linking to relevant industry news.
- Engage your audience in conversations by participating in forums, answering comments and offering useful information whenever there’s a chance. Create promotions as well that allow them to be part of your process.
- As with the trust signals, add social media widgets to your site to encourage social sharing and promotion.
Search engines are moving towards delivering more personalized search results to people. This means your SEO strategy should be targeted carefully, with keywords, content and marketing carefully selected and developed. You should research your market’s interest and analyze trends regularly, and apply necessary changes to your site and your marketing strategy.
One such way of aiding in personalized search is through local SEO. This strategy allows you to reach your relevant market by optimizing your site for search results in your area. Establish and nurture relationships with local influencers, claim your local business listings, and segment your local market according to their interests to get you ranking on these personalized search results. You can read this guide for more information.
We’re more than happy to help future-proof your current SEO campaigns. Talk to your account manager today or log into your reseller dashboard to get started. If you’re not yet our partner, sign up for free today and become an SEO reseller. Tune in for more updates and tips!