SEO is changing. With each Google update, the dynamics of organic search evolves as the company works to keep itself relevant to the way people are searching. As these changes occur, you may think that you must revamp your whole strategy for SEO, but that idea is not the case. The foundation of SEO hasn’t changed. If you follow these principles, your site will be well positioned to survive the changes with only a few tweaks.
Focus on the User
If you make sure that your website is designed for the user experience, then you can be confident that the search engines will crawl it easily. Extra design features may make your site stand out, but they don’t always make it easy to use. Here are a few ideas to focus on the user:
- Use a simple navigation method. Make sure the menu is easy to follow.
- Keep it simple. Not all browsers can view the latest scripts.
- Keep text out of images.
- Have a mobile friendly website.
Focus on Relevant Content
Having relevant, useful content has always been a good rule to follow. Now, it is more important than ever, that you need your content to answer the questions that your audience is seeking. If you can’t help them, they will move on. Use the helpful hints to help you develop good content.
- Have simple, readable text.
- Use headlines and bullets.
- Use one topic per page – ideally one that answers a search question.
- Avoid content that is not relevant to your services.
Don’t Neglect Metadata
One of the most significant mistakes people make with SEO is to neglect the metadata. However, this area is the most important outside of the on-page content, especially for the search engines. Today, the engines “understand” the content better than in the past, but specific areas of the metadata still inform the crawlers what to expect on the page. Similarly, it tells your visitors what to expect on the page when your search result show. These steps will help you develop useful metadata.
- Create unique meta titles for each page that give readers an idea of what is on the page. Many people use the same one – the business name – on each page, which doesn’t provide much information for people looking at a search result page.
- Use alt text for images. Not only is a great place to put keywords, but it also helps those who are visually impaired to know what kind of image has been placed on the page.
- Use the meta description to hook the reader. While this section doesn’t hold much SEO value anymore, the search engines still use it to search results quote often.
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While these steps may not be the strategy that makes you the number one search result, they do create a strong foundation that will survive any changes that Google or Bing make to their algorithms. The best strategy can only take you so far.