Every year, someone comes along to claim “SEO is dead.”
And every year, it comes roaring right back – as good as new.
New is the point: SEO changes monthly, but ensuring your efforts stay consistent is the guiding principle behind success. That means it’s important to understand what’s changing and integrate new information quickly.
Luckily, there are elements of SEO so fundamental, they’ve changed very little.
At a time when Google’s algorithms are evolving faster than ever, a lot of fundamental SEO wisdom is sound – valid enough to provide a North Star for your ongoing efforts. Years of accumulated knowledge show these are the keystones of success.
Let’s shine a spotlight on three core components your SEO needs.
With all the talk about how good Google is getting at “reading” Web content, it’s easy to forget Google doesn’t really read anything. Latent Semantic Indexing is very impressive, but you have to use the right terminology to make sure search engines know what you’re talking about.
Hence, keywords: The very first “product” that comes out of your research about your prospects.
Keywords need to represent what your ideal customer thinks, wants, and is curious about: That is, the questions they want answered and problems they want solved. Unless your keywords address the right pain points, your SEO won’t attract the right audience.
So, if Google isn’t reading your website, who is? Your customers!
Once you understand what keywords are for, it’s easy to see how content fits in: Content is the helpful, informative material you provide to Web visitors – prospects and customers alike – to help them reach their goals (resolving those questions and problems.)
The more useful and engaging your content is, the more trust it builds. That helps you establish a relationship that will be there when prospects are finally ready to buy.
Time and time again, study after study after study has shown the “post-link Internet” is a myth. Links are the currency Google began with, and links are still driving the lion’s share of ranking changes. For the latest on this, just see Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors.
There’s good reason to believe that, as long the Web uses links, so will Google. Authoritative inbound links represent a core element baked into the way the Web is structured and interpreted: Social media, with its dozens of platforms, just isn’t the same kind of animal.
The more (quality) links you have, the better for SEO perspective. Period.
SEO has hundreds of tactics, but only a few interrelated strategies are needed to bring them all together. Stay focused on these components and you can find an approach that’s successful for your enterprise.