Before I start talking about the details behind SEO, let’s get one very important thing out of the way: SEO is not dead.
As you start to tightrope walk across each shimmering string of the world-wide web, you’re going to be presented with a number of differing opinions, on a number of alternative concepts. One of the most common questions I see in relation to SEO is whether or not it continues to be relevant, now that Google has begun to shake down websites for quality.
The truth is that the answer depends on your definition of what SEO actually is. If, to you, SEO means using sneaky and underhanded tactics to manipulate search engines into favouring undeserving websites – then yes, consider it six feet under.
On the other hand, if you recognize SEO for what it actually is – search engine optimization, you’ll know that it remains just as important as ever, so long as you know how to use it correctly. SEO, at its very centre, is the process of developing various aspects of your website to make them more accessible, relevant, and easy-to-understand. It involves finding out what search engines want and giving it to them; in that way – it is immortal.
The History of SEO
Once upon a time, search engines such as Google were slaves at the mercy of black-hat SEO tactics. If you knew how to input the data, and could utilize the right selection of keywords, then you could exploit the system all the way to the top of the search engine ranks. This might have been ideal for some websites, but for most, it was simply a fast-track method of filling user results with irrelevant spam-filled websites.
The resounding ethos of “quality over quantity”, championed by google, manifests its way across various avenues of online marketing. You’ve probably seen a few blog posts in the past with keywords that don’t simply lead the content – they drown it, until there’s nothing left but a few desperate adjectives gasping for breath. Now, cramming your copy full of keywords just doesn’t cut it.
If “SEO” in this manner had been allowed to continue, whenever you searched for help, advice, or information, you would be presented with click-bait and repetitive ramblings, instead of useful, engaging copy. Fortunately, the introduction of the latest and greatest google updates have forced websites to focus once again on creating content that is valuable to their audience.
Applying Useful SEO to your Website
Following are some of the ways that you can utilize SEO to achieve a higher position in search engine results specific to your audience.
- Fresh, engaging content marketing. It’s been mentioned before, but quality content is everything. Keep your website nourished and healthy by feeding it healthy doses of valuable content. The more copy you have on your website, the more information Google will have to index – therefore increasing your ranking opportunities. What’s more, the more interesting your content is, the more your audience will be tempted to come back for another helping.
- Look after your Website. How do you know whether your website is doing well? Give it regular checkups. There are numerous ways that you can go about checking your website health in regards to SEO, including Google Webmaster Central, which helps you to track down issues such as potential hacks or crawling errors.
- Use the Right Keywords, Naturally. SEO isn’t all about keywords, but finding the right ones for your website is an important part of your marketing process. Focus on finding and utilizing the specific sematic phrases that are used by your target audience in describing your service or product. Once you know those words and phrases, weave them into your website naturally. They should be able to fall into your web copy without any extra force. Remember, specific keywords are important, but they need to be used sparingly, in the right place, if you want to achieve the best results.
The Future for Search Engines
The creators of search engines such as Google have no interest in developing a static, indefinite set of rules regarding optimization. Making it so that it is easier for you to hit the top of the charts isn’t something that Google cares about. Search engines want to make sure that they constantly deliver improved, enhanced, and more reliable ways for their users to get their ideal results. This means that the law of SEO is prone to fluctuation, but the fundamental spirit of that law will remain the same.
Search engines are always going to deliver privilege and power to those who offer content which is reliable, engaging, and useful.