As we enter the new year, we’re all looking for ways to do something new and become better. If you’re still working on your SEO resolutions, here are three ideas on how to improve your SEO tactics to make your strategy more up-to-date and effective this year:
1. Don’t Create Content Just Because It Is “the Best SEO Practice”
This is one of the most unfortunate things that search engine optimization (or at least people misunderstanding it) did to the web: The abundance of “search optimized” content that has no other purpose but helping a page to rank for a particular search query.
As a result, the Internet got flooded with poorly written and insufficiently researched content that lured people into clicking a search result.
From Panda to core updates, Google has been doing its best to surface truly useful content and truly helpful web pages that proved to satisfy each of their user’s intent.
And the result is pretty impressive: Google’s SERPs address people’s questions and challenges really effectively.
So if your company has been updating your official blog, just because your CEO heard somewhere that “publishing fresh content” was one of the key SEO tactics, it is high time that you stop.
Instead of investing into publishing content because “your competitors do” or because “this is how you optimize your website”, try the following:
- Create content with purpose: What is it you want that content to do? Usually, it is driving conversions to your site, so plan your content accordingly. For your content to bring in sales, create content that solves your target customers’ problems by positioning your products or services as solutions
- Create content that will position your brand as a knowledge hub and attract high-quality links: Publish a unique research based on your survey results or create an in-depth study or other lead magnets based on your company’s data. Don’t do these often as that will impact quality. One or two well-researched pieces a year supported by high-quality outreach will do
On top of that, through content repurposing, you can create up to 20 unique content pieces out of one research. For instance, it’s an excellent idea to launch a series of social media posts sharing the key insights of your study.
Besides, why not create engaging videos based on your survey insights which you can upload to YouTube? Such videos can even be used to run ad campaigns on Facebook to improve your brand awareness and grow your community. However, don’t forget to add subtitles – most people watch videos in a silent mode, especially on social media.
Creating relevant content is still important but only when it is done with purpose.
2. Don’t Stress Over Keywords in Your Domain Name
Domain market has never been under a higher stress than after the global pandemic when lots of companies were pushed to go through digital transformation.
It has become next to impossible to find a meaningful .com domain…
But maybe we shouldn’t be trying?
- .com domains no longer have any SEO value. Google has dropped all domain-only signals they ever used. Domain age or TLD (top-level domain) don’t really matter any more. What counts is the page authority and the brand’s trustworthiness.
- Keywords in domains also lost power. A few years ago you could have bought a spammy domain that had nothing but keywords in it and seen the site ranking for those keywords within a few weeks. It is no longer the case.
Meaningful domains still matter because they can create strong associations with what you are selling and increase your click-through. But investing thousands in a .com domain hardly makes sense these days.
Strong players are entering the domain markets to help business owners navigate it. This business name generator, for example, finds cool domain names and checks the name availability on social media:
Finding a cool domain is doable if you put aside old SEO misconceptions.
3. Stop Faking Signals
Finally, this is a broader topic that includes lots of SEO tactics like these more widespread ones:
- Create a copy with a certain percentage of keywords (i.e. keyword density)
- Build links with a certain percentage of keyword-driven anchor text
- Only build links from domains with a certain domain authority (DA)
Stressing over those numbers is probably natural. After all, we have been optimizing for a machine which obviously understands numbers better than vague concepts like quality and relevancy.
But Google has gone far beyond using numbers and matching keywords.
Google uses thousands of signals to understand complicated concepts and surface results that will truly turn useful.
It is impossible to reverse-engineer these signals, and there’s no faking them any more.
Instead, try to approach your digital marketing as if Google didn’t exist. That means:
- Create content for your target user, not for a machine
- Accept any links coming to your site with gratitude: Build relationships with bloggers and media publications that choose to link to you, no matter how big or small
- Optimize for customers’ journeys, not for clicks. Involve your sales team into your SEO strategy to ensure your SEO strategy is driving sales. Integrate CTAs within your content and use content marketing to build educational context around your value proposition.
SEO is still about optimizing your site for a machine – and this is where technical aspects of it as well as many tactics that are still legit, including keyword research and competitive intelligence.
SEO can deliver fast results but the key is about not making your priority. Quick wins are important for motivation but never forget about the bigger picture.
To always keep that big picture in mind, use SharpSpring’s marketing automation system that consolidates a lot of data points into a single dashboard.
SEO has evolved far beyond matching keywords to content and links. It is all about optimizing for intent and giving your target customers what they need.
There’s no faking quality signals anymore. You need to contribute real quality to the web in order to rank well. Happy New Year!
Originally published on the SharpSpring blog
My Left Foot is a Gold Certified SharpSpring partner.