SEO plays a critical role in the growth and success of online businesses. However, search engine algorithms are constantly being updated, and the best practices for SEO change from year to year.
Online businesses need to stay on top of the current guidelines and recommendations in order to keep their rankings high. Let’s take a look at some essential SEO strategies that can keep your website and content optimized for today’s standards.
1. Maintain Your Social Media Presence
Search engines like Google pay attention to “social signals” when determining ranking. Signs of user engagement such as comments, likes and shares can have a powerful effect on your website’s SEO. If you want to improve your performance in the search results, take the time and effort to maintain your social media presence: Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all excellent places to cultivate the engagement you need.
2. Spend Time on Keyword Research
SEO techniques may change and evolve over time, but keywords remain integral to any effective SEO strategy. In the past, most SEO tactics focused primarily on singular keywords; today’s keyword research should involve long-tail keywords and other conversational queries. These longer, more complex search terms can help you rank high for queries that are unique to your business and also keep you from fighting to maintain a ranking for certain competitive keywords.
3. Create Quality Content
There was a time when websites generated reams of meaningless, keyword-stuffed content designed to artificially boost their SEO. Search engines have gotten wise to this game: They know that users are seeking an answer to a question when they perform a search, and they’re committed to making sure that users are presented with informative, valuable content for each and every query. Write your content with human readers in mind, not search engines. Not only will quality content help your SEO efforts, but it will also make users want to return to your website again and again.
4. Build Links the Right Way
In the early days of SEO, backlinks could be bought in huge quantities in order to manipulate rankings for certain keywords. The rules have changed over time, and having an enormous number of low-quality backlinks can actually earn you a Google penalty. Links can still help your SEO, but they need to be collected the old-fashioned way. Reach out to influential blogs and websites in your niche to ask for a link, and create the kind of content that people want to share. These methods may take some time and effort, but the results make the work worthwhile.
5. Use Images Wisely
When you optimize your website’s content, don’t overlook images. You’d be surprised how much traffic your images can generate on search engines like Google Images. To optimize your images, choose their file names carefully: Descriptive file names that contain relevant keywords perform best in search results. Be sure to add alt text to each of your images to help search engines understand them better, and keep your images on the smaller size to ensure that load times are manageable.
It’s clear that multiple factors play a part in a website’s SEO strategy. The rules of the SEO game are always changing: If you want to stay at the top of the search results for your business’s keywords, it’s important to keep your SEO tactics up to date and be sure that all parts of your website have been optimized for the search engines.