SEO is the lifeblood of digital marketing; it goes so far beyond simple inbound tactics that it’s hard to express. SEO should be woven into every word and drop of content on your website or posted under your brand name. Even content hosted on third-party websites needs to be optimized. Search engine page ranking is one of the major points of digital marketing success because it is the gateway to drawing in more leads and conveniently providing exactly the content, products, and services they need when they need them. This is the key to leads, conversions, and brand recognition. It is also constantly changing; thus, you need to keep your SEO fresh.
SEO is not a static set of techniques or a few simple keywords you can stuff into your content to “make it work”, it is a living algorithm that runs on organic human activity. The searches people type, the results they choose, and the decisions they make from that point are as much a part of SEO as what the search engines themselves decide matters for SEO. Likewise, the abuses of the system, the keyword stuffing and link buying that cause bans and changes to the algorithm are also a part of the online business ecosystem we all share. So how do you keep your SEO fresh??
How is a modern marketing team supposed to maintain the SEO quality of their entire website and online presence when the rules, trends, and best practices are constantly changing? It’s not easy, but we’re here to help with 10 ways to keep your SEO fresh and up to date.
First and foremost, know what the current algorithms want. Search engines, primarily Google but others included, are constantly updating what causes a website to gain the highest page ranking. Sometimes these changes are in response to consumer trends. Usually they’re corrections of abusive ‘best practices’ which have developed to exploit some loophole allowed by the previous configuration. Arrange to get updates when the algorithm changes and prepare a strategy to accommodate those changes.
The next step is to have a complete sitemap of your website plus an additional map of all the social media and third-party locations where your brand presence is maintained. Every single page on which your brand hosts or posts content is part of your SEO suite and will need to be updated when the rules change or when your brand enacts a new strategy. There’s no bigger rookie mistake than getting penalized for a legacy SEO tactic that has since been banned
SEO takes a while to get the hang of and almost all SEO learning curves start with keyword stuffing. Unintentional stuffing is a simple matter of clumsiness, of not being used to working keywords organically into your content. But keeping your SEO fresh is all about constantly updating your content to the best tactics you know today. The first use of your update map should be to check all older content and smooth out clumsy examples of keyword stuffing into better organic phrases and uses.
Once you get the hang of writing content organically, never go back to the keyword stuffing style. Rather than simply finding places where your target keywords can “fit” into the content you were already going to write, challenge yourself to write organic content that accommodates the keywords instead. Keywords are lead magnets for a reason; your target audience wants to read about content that revolves around them. By writing organically, you will find yourself producing more content that your audience really wants to read.
SEO now relates to a lot more than just the text on your pages. It also reads the dynamic design of your pages and multiple forms of media have become increasingly popular. Integrating podcast audio content and social video content is a great way to revitalize the material you already have. Consider ways to make videos and audio content for what you have already written.
Another thing that many businesses and organizations forget about SEO is that your target keywords can and will change. While some things like your location and product names will remain consistent, the trends and current interests of your target audience are not in stasis. People change, society changes, the seasons change, and the keywords you should be targeting will morph with these changes. Keep track and do regular keyword research if you really want to keep your SEO fresh.
One of the keyword changes that occur on a predictable cycle are the seasons. Every season comes with new interests and concerns for your target audience. The temperature and weather, home maintenance and holidays, work and vacations happen in cycles and your content should cater to the issues that are at the top of your audience’s minds.
When content you write or record is popular and gets a lot of traffic, you know you’ve hit a chord with your target audience but old SEO rewards new content over old content with the assumption that old content is outdated. If you have content that has done very well in the past, don’t be shy about re-writing it in a new fresh way with the current SEO best practices in mind. This will bring back the draw of your original content and boost today’s SEO value.
Many businesses keep the majority of their audience engagement and activity on social media and this has some value, but it doesn’t actually help your web pages appear at the top of search results. Use social media and other semi-outbound tactics to draw activity to your website and build your website content in a way that promotes interactivity. Bring more browsing, page changing, reading, and discussions to your website and you will gain SEO ‘points’ for activity and web page popularity.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of trends. There are two ways to follow trends with content and social media activity; only some brands get the technique right. Rather than ignoring the trend or jumping on the bandwagon with the same ‘me too’ responses of the overall internet community, add your own twist. If you’re a dentist, write content about the dental impact of the latest fad diet. If you’re a home decorator, write about how to decorate with the latest sustainability trends. Turn the trends to your own industry, give them a new perspective, and you will get all the benefit of both the hot keywords and generate interest in the relevant expertise you have to offer.
For more great inbound marketing tips, tricks, and trends — or if you’d like us to help keep your SEO fresh — contact us today!