Ah, the elusive world of SEO.
For a profession and skill set that fits snugly (and beautifully, I should add) between data science and content marketing, many brands just aren’t sure how to approach SEO effectively, much less make it an integral part of their business and promotional strategies.
Yet without fail, brands have been fighting for the top position in search results for as long as SEO has been around. And why shouldn’t they? As marketing trends have come and gone, SEO has maintained its position as a battle-tested promotional juggernaut.
As much as we know that holding the top position on a quality keyword is effective for securing brand trust, delivering quality traffic and converting customers, capturing these top positions is still an enormous challenge (I sometimes miss how easy my job was back in 2009).
A lot has changed in the world of SEO since its beginnings. What hasn’t changed, however, is that many of its most fundamental concepts remain the same. By sticking to these basic SEO truths, you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
The basics matter.
On-site optimization, a process that’s still absolutely vital for getting found in search engines, has unfortunately taken a backseat to the shiny things of present-day marketing. Influencer marketing and new paid media technologies have borrowed (and, in some cases, stolen altogether) precious resources from in-house marketing teams due to the speed, scalability and impact of these programs.
Having said that, I’ve run across numerous websites over the past year that offer incredible user experiences supported by brilliantly creative advertising, but that are still in appalling technical condition.
Let’s face it, pivoting from one shiny thing to the next should come second to implementing a strong SEO strategy. As media budgets run dry and social engagement begins to slump, organic search becomes one of your greatest passive marketing assets. It’s the gift that keeps on giving once other strategies go through their natural ebb and flow.
So, the next time website revisions and redesigns are being scoped, give attention to the elements that allow a site to be crawled, indexed and rewarded by search engines. At a bare minimum, your SEO plans should include optimized title tags, meta descriptions, proper URLs and page headers.
For further optimization, explore Schema.org’s structured data library to uncover additional opportunities for providing advanced instructions to search engines. And lastly, be sure you don’t ignore site speed on mobile and desktop in your planning and execution in order to continue laying a solid foundation. Otherwise, it’s all a pointless exercise.