Even if you are new to search engine optimization, you should develop a long term plan for your website. These days, search engines update their algorithms often and competitors are using a mixture of creativity and analytics and stay ahead. To make your website more visible to targeted leads, you need to be applying organic SEO strategies to remain competitive (and therefore, relevant).
Firstly, SEO is never stagnant. Technology for search engines is changing all the time; Google is already using voice search to help search engine users retrieve content. It is dangerous to stick to the tried and tested because the ranking factors are changing along with search engine user behaviors. The SEO things you do must be assessed and tracked for effectiveness.
The SEO Things You Cannot Ignore
The most challenging things in SEO is simply to stay visible despite overwhelming competition. How do you do that year after year? Keep informed about the latest SEO updates, define your SEO marketing KPIs and goals, measure your SEO efforts and keep track. Pay special attention to the following:
Organizing keywords and creating content around them
Selecting the right keywords for your website is important because you need to plan your content, URL, alt image texts, landing page and site architecture around it. Many SEOs know about choosing keywords but organizing it to optimize content for search queries is a different, more challenging matter. Every website owner should know what keywords are optimal for their audience, effectiveness of the keywords, onsite optimization for their selected keywords and priority of keywords.
A high quality tool to use to organize keywords is Wordstream Keyword Grouper. This will help you take target keywords and group them to optimize your site structure, URL, content and landing pages.
A symptom of good SEO is improved rankings and website owners should keep their eye on page rankings for desired keywords. When pages disappear in SERP or your website is harder to find for a profitable keyword, you need to take action. Have you been making changes to your website before this drop in ranking? Have search engine algorithms changed? Are your SEO consultants working in silo from website content creators?
With the help of link auditing tools such as Moz Open Site Explorer and SEMRush, website owners can see what back link profile their website has. They can even see what links and anchor texts their competitors have. Since linking with authoritative/diverse domain sites is a ranking factor for SEO, it is vital to keep track of the links and remove any that harms the site ranking.
One of the most damaging practices in SEO is negative SEO; website owners have to be wary of low quality links from spam websites and disavow them in time before Google penalizes them. To identify bad link building or negative SEO, simple open up the backlinks profile page and highlight any links from low quality websites or irrelevant niche websites.
Competitors SEO efforts
Some of the best tools in the trade of competitors research are SEMRush, Spyfu and Ahrefs. It is important to know how your competitors are moving ahead (reactive strategy) and formulate some proactive strategies of your own. In SEO, any tactic is fair game as long as it does not get penalized. What are your competitors doing to generate hot leads?
Local SEO for local businesses
If you run a local business which is accessible by consumers in your target geographical area, then you need to be optimizing for local SEO. These days, more people search for local businesses on their smartphones than ever. Studies suggest than a third of mobile searches result in a store visit on the same day-it is vital to tap into this opportunity for local customers.
Mobile optimized SEO
Instead of focusing entirely on desk top search, website owners should look at mobile devices and how the future mobile first index by Google will impact their SEO. Mobile rankings is a priority for 2017 and beyond. With the help of Google Search Console, you can check your mobile rankings and compare this to desktop rankings too. You will gain a better insight into your click throughs, impressions and other stats. Are your mobile rankings poor compared to desktop ones?
Research lower funnel keyword phrases
Whilst some generic keywords have the highest search volume, the real question to ask yourself in keywords research is how likely the keywords are to convert. Long tail, niche specific keywords do better simply because they target search engine users with specific queries. This translates into better conversions because those searchers are at the low end of the funnel. These days, it is easier to look at natural search queries and decide what phrases search engine users are likely to type in before finding your content. Some specific search queries are commonly asked questions.