SEO is constantly evolving and the only way to prepare your best content for changes in the search engine algorithms is by staying up to date with all things SEO.
Reading blog posts, watching YouTube videos, and monitoring any big news from Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc is how you can stay ahead.
1. Effective Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the first things taught to beginners learning SEO and is still effective to this day. Traditionally, you try to find keywords with high search volume and low competition when doing your research.
Once you’ve found your winner, you build a page targeting that keyword and try to use the keyword throughout the article to make sure Google recognizes your efforts.
2. Re‐Optimizing Existing Content
If you are a consistent content-creating machine, you are probably sitting on a pile of gold: you’re old content. After publishing an article, many people forget about it and move on to the next one. Not realizing all the extra content they can create off of that one article.
You should periodically run a content audit on your website to see what you can improve on, what can be merged, or even remove dead, unrelated content. How often you do it all depends on how actively you produce more material. I choose to do a mini content audit every week and a full audit once per month.
In my mini audit, I see how much recently published content I can reuse across other platforms.
There may be hundreds of opportunities for you to re‐optimize, so run those content audits!
3. Create Linkable Assets (& Promote Them)
What is a link asset?
It is a piece of content purposely crafted with the intention of attracting links—usually from other websites in your niche.
People rarely link to commercial content, therefore, product pages or content that is driving people to make a sale isn’t considered a linkable asset.
A successful LA should be created with the reader in mind. Write up a post that delivers a little bit more than a normal post – something so good it has to be shared with others.
Finally, share the new post with everyone! Hit the social platforms and reach out to those in your niche with a bit of authority via email or direct message. Offer an exchange of value or consider paying to have your link in their next post.
4. Handle Redirects & 404 Reclamations
As your website continues to grow and progress, you may start to consider a complete makeover with theme testing and a URL switch.
Shifting your permalink structure or changing the URL can break certain pieces of your website and send users to 404 and/or 301 pages.
Regardless of why the URLs are being changed, redirect management is crucial. A 301 redirect is able to pass the link equity of an old page on a site to a new page. Without redirect management when you are going through a website revamp, you will likely lose your rankings and organic traffic.
Let’s say you do forget to put a redirect in place when going through a site makeover…
The old URL of the page will give visitors a 404 error because they aren’t being redirected. If you find this situation, you definitely want to redirect the URL to a page that is relevant or if none are, the home page. You can use a website like Ahrefs or find free plugins on WordPress to find 404 pages.
5. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
The world is becoming mobile very fast, and accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is an open-source framework for creating lightning-fast mobile pages when people stumble upon your page in the search results. AMP is advancing fast and is now expanding into pages other than articles like forms and eCommerce.
There are a variety of reasons website owners are adopting AMP, but the three big ones for marketers are:
- Improves the mobile experience which improves on‐site metrics like bounce rate.
- Google likes sites that load fast and tends to rank faster loading sites higher.
- Enhances the overall usability of banners and images, which can lead to a higher ad viewability rate.
6. Link To Relevant Content/Websites
Forget about the link juice for a second and think about growth. Linking out to relevant and authoritative content is not bad.
Link building is a fundamental part of smart search engine optimization. Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz, states, “Linking out sends trackable traffic, it makes your site a more valuable and scalable resource.”
Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. Therefore, if you want to receive links from other bloggers, you might have to do some linking yourself. Willingness to link out to others is the best and easiest way to receive inbound links from them.
You can always reach out to them after you link up to them to see if they want to link back to you, share the post, or blast their email list with the information.
7. Humanizing Your Content
What humans do on your website is a major SEO ranking factor once your content reaches the first page of Google. Always put the reader first, so they don’t leave the page angry and confused.
Forget about the search engines while you write and piece together content that can help someone or change a life. Then, run through the SEO checks and see what you can improve on.
Manipulating the search engines with black hat methods is the wrong approach for long-term success. User experience is far more important than scamming the search engines. Plus, as they continually improve, the real, original content will find its’ time to shine.
The best part is, when you put your users first, you’ll be rewarded with traffic and social shares. And with more traffic, comes better search results.