Too often we hear the myth that SEO is dead. And it could not be further from the truth. The truth is that SEO evolves. It changes over time, and you have to keep yourself educated to make the most of your SEO strategy. But, despite how it grows, certain vital elements hold the same no matter what. And, to understand why “SEO is dead” is a myth, you must first understand how the SEO strategy template, a blueprint of sorts, works. What stays and what changes, what is the flexibility rate and how do new updates search engines introduce from time to time affect the SEO strategy you already have or want to develop.
When you think about it, search engine optimization aka: “Las Vegas SEO” is pretty simple to implement. If, and only if, you have the right knowledge and tools to make it work for you and understand why it is essential that you do. The mistake lots of people make is thinking, since there’s money involved, paid search will take care of the traffic.
This is the approach you would take if you were to do a TV advertisement. And even then, you have to consider lots of things such as selecting the right channel and time slot for your ad. The fact is that paid search is only approximately 5% of online clicks. Almost 95% of website visits and click-throughs are a result of organic search. You must, therefore, have a strong SEO strategy if you want to rank well online.
With all that said, let’s now take a look at some effective ways you can develop your SEO strategy. Including, the tools you will need and how everything works together to get the best out of your SEO marketing.
This key pillar relates to the technical aspects of your website. The design of your website directly affects your website’s organic visibility and performance. It’s about how well your site is structured and designed to be crawled or indexed by search engines. Your website architecture is your foundation for a robust, optimized online presence.
What is a website architecture? Think about your own experience visiting any website. A site is created to distribute some information to the desired audience or, in other words to make it easier for them to find what they need in one place. Entailing, they should be built in a way that makes the process of accessing the provided information fast, convenient and comfortable. For that to work, you are going to need a solid framework that seamlessly links different content with the right technical factors. The latter is the most important aspect for a search engine, but both are equally important for the users that visit your website. And this is how we move onto another vital point of any SEO strategy, UX or the User Experience.
User Experience – Responsive Website Design
Google is all about the user experience (UX) of visitors. UX is a part of the reason why Google keeps cracking down on sites that fail to provide a quality experience for website visitors. And this is most evident in the push towards mobile responsiveness. Since 2015, mobile searches have outranked desktops, and the divergence continues to increase each year.
Currently, mobile traffic stands at almost 60% of the overall click-through rate for websites. In this respect, user experience and page load speed are significant factors in optimizing your site for mobile conversions. There are no two ways about it. You need a fast and mobile-optimized website as part of a strategic SEO plan.
Mobile traffic aside, desktop experience should be just as good.
If you don’t know where to start, here’s a tip: imagine yourself as your website visitor. What would you like to see? What kind of experience would be satisfactory? As a website user yourself, think about the sites that you frequently visit or the popular ones within your niche. Why are they popular? Is it only the content or are there other factors.
Aesthetics are important. Simpler, better. Especially for the beginners. It’s also easier and less expensive to build a minimalistic website with just the right technical considerations to sufficiently cater to the content you put out. Second most important factor is the speed. Nobody’s willing to wait for a website to load. If it takes more than 15 seconds, there’s a chance most visitors will close the tab. Especially now, when the competition is fierce and there are several other sites that offer similar content at a better speed.
You don’t have to sit down and learn everything from code writing to color theory and marketing tricks that go into creating a great UX. There are professionals who will take care of those things for you. What you need to do is – invest; and understand why is it important to spend money here.
That said, great speed and pleasant looking landing page will not suffice without the thing visitors click on websites in the first place – useful content. You will simply not get the traffic if the information on your website is old, lacking or terribly written and presented. Let’s now move onto what goes into creating the right content.
Content marketing, when done right is a scalable resource to grow your business. Putting out relevant, useful content regularly is necessary. Plus, your website’s static pages must offer your website visitors a reason to stay and engage with you. This does not only cover blog posts. It includes the information about the services you offer, testimonials, reviews, case studies, notices about changes or updates, whether you are hosting an event or having a big discount and so much more.
Since we are focusing on SEO here let’s keep this short. The point is, the content you put on your website should be well researched, informative, useful and fulfil the needs of your target audience. offer something unique and well presented. Update the information regularly to keep up with the constant changes and trends. Hire good content writers and creators so that your investment doesn’t go to waste.
For content to work, it needs to be correctly optimized for a search engine. And this is where on-site optimization comes in – another critical pillar for a workable SEO strategy.
On-Site SEO Optimization
With a well-designed and structured website, onsite SEO optimization should naturally be a part of your SEO strategy template. In optimizing your on-site content, make sure not to keyword stuff. Or, in reverse, attempt to hide keywords on the page or not use enough for the content to rank. Google’s algorithms are designed to catch keywords. If you do any of these, you will be penalized. Meaning, your content will be taken down. And not just a particular post, it endangers your entire website. Keywords are how you get the rankings which brings in the traffic.
Learn what are the optimal number of keywords for different types of articles and what tools you can use in order to get them right. It’s a necessary math but fortunately, you don’t have to do the calculations.
Other areas that you can focus on for optimization include your URLs, page titles, and meta descriptions for each page. They should be unique, target relevant keywords, and written in a manner to drive clicks. The keywords potential visitors type into search engines should deliver them to your website through titles.
The titles should respond to the keywords, so put them at the beginning of your titles.
As for the meta descriptions, these are what the visitors will see before they decide to click on your content. Therefore, they must be as informative as possible and reflective of what you are talking about in a particular post. Keep them short though as they should be fully visible on search engines. Otherwise potential visitors may not understand what you are offering them.
So, all of the above considered, on an individual page level as well as your site as a whole, you need a well-developed system that is optimized for search. this way you will definitely increase the rankings of your site and bring in the desired traffic. That is a part of building the website authority.
Building your website authority relies on off-site factors. This is based on link-building. But, unlike the practices of old, optimized link building, it is not a numbers game. It’s more so quality over quantity. And this ties back to your content strategy. When you put out relevant and useful content, you will naturally generate organic linking to your site. There’s an interesting relationship here that goes two ways.
We have established that link building is the key to growing your website authority. You can link the content or be linked. As a beginner you obviously have to link back to authoritative websites that have the relevant information about the content you are putting on your website. This, in turn, will increase the chances of your site ranking high enough that other sites start linking your content. You just have to be one of the sites on the first page of a search engine when the users type in specific keywords.
Understand this concept is easy. Think about which websites you visit when you, for instance, Google something. Chances are, you choose the first few ones. That’s where you want your website to be. Those are the authoritative ones. And they have achieved it through content, link building, great UX and well-developed website architecture. So basically everything we have discussed above.
Suppose, you did everything mentioned above. What is the next step? We have pointed out that the competition is fierce. No matter how niche you think your field is, there still will be numerous websites talking about the same thing. And you need to be aware of what is going on within your circle. So in few words, what are your competitors up to. This cannot be taken care of just by visiting their websites and overseeing what and how they put out. You need a strategic competitive analysis.
A good SEO strategy is nothing without knowing what is working, where, and how your competitors are doing. This not to say that you will be copying your competitors of course. Quite the opposite actually. What this entails is identifying what they are doing, see why it’s working for them, and then doing something better. Something that suits your business and your customers.
Great thing about competitive analysis is that it does not literally mean analyzing your competitors. You can analyze anyone successful, even in different niche. Use their experiences and methods to cater to yours and see if it works. Two things here. You will probably have to hire a team of professionals to be able to do this or use online tools. And, this is not a one time thing, you will have to do this regularly because things are changing, trends keep coming and going and you need to stay updated.
One last thing that should be pointed out here…
The understanding of the modern competitive analysis has, as everything else, changed overtime. Nowadays, it’s more about getting new ideas and inspirations that you can use to cater to the needs of your niche and your customers or visitors. The straight cut compare and contrast process is not as important, especially now when penalizing is somewhat necessary given the amount of information on the internet. Without filtering things out, nobody would be able to access the content they actually need. Only the useful and innovative remains. And you should be the part of that. Competitive analysis will help.
Strategy without analysis will leave your SEO floundering in a sea of online content and countless sites. The study, therefore, helps you make the necessary changes that will make your website stand out to sit alongside authoritative ones.
Keeping Your Updates Regular
Speaking of which, doing things on the regular basis is one of the keys to keeping your website, hence your business, up and running. If you look at the example you will instantly understand the importance of regularity without having to trust a general statement. Think about popular social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Whether it’s the app version of the site or it’s the desktop one they get updates every other month (Facebook gets updated less regularly though).
Imagine if you had to sit through the same Twitter or Instagram from 2014. Nobody would like that. The same applies to your website. Although business website doesn’t have to have as frequent updates as popular social media sites, it’s still a requirement to update and adjust.
Maximizing Your Use of SEO
Let’s go back to the first point: understand why SEO is important, why you should maximize using SEO strategies and what it means to invest into it. To stand out in a sea of web content and sites, you need to understand the value of SEO and how to use it. Far from being dead, SEO is the lifeblood of the equation to being seen. Search engines still exist and there won’t be any replacements for them in the foreseeable future so SEO cannot be dead.
SEO strategies however, that were popular and delivered great results even five years ago are certainly dead. The constant technical development and trend changing in the digital sphere are the reasons to why it happened. And it will happen again. The only way out is to stay informed, updated and adapt to those changes. And as a holistic process, you need to incorporate your SEO into your general framework to achieve success online.
Incorporating these key elements which are website architecture, onsite optimization, user experience, content, and authority building in optimizing your site does seem a lot to take in at first. Especially for a newbie. But you have probably noticed the logical chain that connects one thing to another which in entirety gives you the SEO strategy, the blueprint you need to start action.
Now let’s talk a bit about why is it necessary to invest into your SEO strategy.
You would be surprised to know how many websites have been penalized or failed to rank highly in search engines because of simple issues that their owners cannot fix. Implementing correct SEO strategy is the only way to protect the investment that goes into building a website and starting your own business. This does not only include money, but your precious time and energy as well. This is precisely why, if you are going to invest into something, you should invest in SEO.
Before SEO, there was advertisement marketing that basically did the same thing just outside of the digital world. Business owners wouldn’t bat an eyelash when it came to paying for and putting some energy into advertising their businesses in various ways. Now, that entire process can be done more easily and can get you much better results in less amount of time. You don’t have to be aware on an expert level, you can simply invest in trusted team of professionals or online tools and they will take care of everything on your behalf.
Plus, it could be that with the limited time owners have to focus on their business, it leaves little time to manage a strong SEO strategy. This puts them in a position where they cannot capitalize on all the good they are doing elsewhere in the business. One person cannot successfully operate a business. Especially, if they plan on expanding it, which should be the case if you want your business to remain in the sea of competitors. No company runs on a single executive, you need the help of a team be it the staff or the experts that ensure the marketing aspects of running a business are going smoothly.
Looking back to everything we have discussed so far, nobody can start any type of business without establishing strong digital presence. Which can only be achieved by appearing on search engines. This is precisely what a SEO is. And there are some key elements that construct the framework you need for the right SEO strategy. Everything from the aesthetics of your website, to technical considerations and user experience should be running well. Great content is the key and there are specific rules and ways to improve the already existing content or to create a new one.
When you are done with the construction of your website you should definitely look into what everybody else is doing. Competitive analysis will help you analyze not just your direct competitors within your niche, but those who do similar business or a completely different but a successful one. Competitive analysis, in the modern understanding of it, doesn’t mean literal compare and contrast process with the others. It can be a source of new ideas and inspirations behind something innovative you can come up with.
Not to forget, regularly doing all of the above is also one of the pillars that create great SEO strategy. Regular updates of the content, improvements on your website architecture from time to time, constantly staying updated on trends and changes within your niche and doing competitive analysis on an annual basis at the very least. These will help you keep your website and your business healthy.
There is no magic formula or online silver bullet. It’s dedication and hard work to put together a website that is truly optimized for the best and ongoing optimization to stay amongst the best. But, no matter the issues you face, you can develop a killer search engine optimization strategy that improves your business reach through organic traffic. Only when you understand (or hire someone that understands) the basic tenets of good SEO for your online presence.