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5 Ways to Create Lasting SEO Value

kokou adzo

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seo

It wasn’t even 6 months ago when Google rolled out its last core update, and SEOs are already trying to predict what’s down the pike for 2024. If you’re a business owner, you can feel like a hamster in a wheel when it comes to updating your website.

But while plenty has changed in SEO, there’s also a lot that hasn’t. By focusing on what stays the same, you can build SEO that’s built to last, no matter what search engines have in store.

1. Write for Humans, Not Robots

If you take away only one thing from this piece, let it be this. It’s easy to get caught up in the particular changes an algorithmic update brings or focus on optimizing certain metrics, but at the end of the day, your website needs to be useful to potential customers.

Google makes its money by providing customers with top-notch search results. The algorithm dings things like keyword spamming or poor-quality links because those things make customers unhappy and cut into Google’s bottom line.

Should your content seek to maximize SERPs? Of course, but it also needs to be well-written and useful. It should answer a customer’s questions and leave them better informed.

Customers know when the content on your website is an afterthought, and they’ll most likely click away. And they’ll click away even faster if they suspect you had AI write it for you.

Whether you write the content yourself or work with a marketing company, ask yourself one question – would you recommend a piece to a friend or family member seeking information on the topic?

2. Strengthen Your Internal Links

Search engines value websites that are easy to navigate. A big part of that is having internal links on your site. While you can overdo it, of course, many websites could actually do with a few more.

Imagine you’re a contractor, and you have a piece on your website about high-end siding options. Your goal is to get the customer to contact you about this high-end product.

However, it still makes sense to include an internal link to a page where you discuss more budget-friendly options – you want to keep the customer on your site, even if the product on that page isn’t quite right for them.

Going through and strengthening your internal links is easy and quick to do, but it can improve your SEO fundamentals and bring you more traffic (as can external links)

3. Focus on Website Basics

Building SEO value for the long term means focusing on fundamentals, including basic website maintenance. That means making sure your website is mobile-friendly, cleaning out dead links, and making it easy to navigate.

Website maintenance also includes vital things like downloading security patches to protect your site from hackers and maximizing uptime for your site. While these tasks tend to be small and each individual one is probably not time-consuming, they can build up and be difficult if you don’t have internet expertise.

At the minimum, website maintenance should be done once a month. And while it may be tempting to do it yourself to cut costs, going with an expert developer to do it for you can give you peace of mind.

If you need further incentive to prioritize website maintenance, remember that Google will whack you with penalties for broken links (even internal ones), missing sitemap data, slow load times, and other website errors. SEO bells and whistles can be useful, but only on a site that gets the basics right.

4. Play the Long Game with Evergreen Content

Blog posts can be great for responding to industry news, highlighting limited-time promotions, and showcasing new products. But you should also think about content that isn’t quite as up-to-the-minute.

“Evergreen” is how SEOs refer to content written to be relevant far past its publishing date. This type of content can even see its traffic grow steadily over time.

Evergreen content can be things like:

  • How-tos and user tips
  • Buyer’s guides and product reviews
  • Reference and educational material.

Great evergreen content often involves crowd-pleasing general interest topics. Think of things like:

  • Healthy eating and exercise
  • Budgeting, banking, and finance
  • Home decor and organization
  • Parenting and pet care.

Of course, you should choose topics and formats that make sense for your business. If you’re a wedding planner, you can write tips on how to save money for a wedding. If you’re a contractor, talk about how homeowners can tell if they need their roofs replaced.

5. Be Patient

This final tip on the list may be the hardest. We all want SEO changes and strategies to yield big results immediately. Indeed, with constant talk about algorithm updates and marketing agencies promising big results fast, it’s easy to think of SEO as a relentlessly fast-paced industry.

But while change is a big part of SEO, the end goal is the same as it was way back in the 90s – providing potential customers with the high-quality, relevant information they need to choose a product or service. The exact metrics Google and other search engines use to determine high-quality content change, but the goal of high-quality content won’t.

So where does that leave business owners? First, you should be suspicious of SEOs promising super-quick results. Organic growth in SERP happens over time – if SEOs can get you fast growth, it’s often due to sketchy tactics that could get you penalized.

Second, growth in SERP is often the result of small, incremental changes. Over time, it’s easy to see how a marketing strategy improved your company’s SEO. But in the thick of it, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.

Working with a good marketing firm can help you take a step back from the day-to-day grind of SEO, which in turn can make it easier to be patient as you build long-term improvement.

Final Thoughts

While it’s important to stay on top of Google algorithm updates and plan for the future of search, it’s also worthwhile to keep some perspective. High-quality sites offering solid content with well-selected keywords get good SERP- it’s as simple as that.

 

 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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