What you learned about SEO years ago prob­a­bly won’t help you much today.

Google and oth­er search engines are con­stant­ly mak­ing adjust­ments to their rank­ing algo­rithms in an effort to improve the qual­i­ty of the results they serve to their users.

Because traf­fic is the key to growth for any online busi­ness, rank­ing on the first page is crit­i­cal to suc­cess… and that num­ber one spot has long been the Holy Grail of SEO.

No mat­ter whether your web­site has been up for months or years, there’s always room for some kind of improve­ment to your SEO approach.

Before you can iden­ti­fy areas for improve­ment, you must first eval­u­ate your cur­rent sta­tus.

Evaluating Your SEO Strategy

Start with a Link Audit

Where are the links to your site com­ing from?

Are they all good qual­i­ty? If not, it could be hurt­ing your rank­ing.

You can dis­avow links with Google, so they no longer count against you.

Look at the Technical Side

After you fin­ish the link audit, look at the tech­ni­cal aspects of the web­site.

  • Can the search engines crawl your web­site?
  • Does it load quick­ly?
  • Is the con­tent well orga­nized?
  • Are you pre­pared for the mobile-first index? Mak­ing mis­takes in prepar­ing your site for mobile-first can harm your rank­ing.
  • Are crawl errors show­ing in the Google Search Con­sole?
  • Do you have title tags and meta descrip­tions on all of your pages?
  • Do all images have appro­pri­ate alt tags?

Dive Deep into Your Content & Social Media Strategies

Revamp­ing your con­tent strat­e­gy is about more than writ­ing a bunch of new con­tent and sched­ul­ing it for pub­lish­ing.

While adding new con­tent can cer­tain­ly be help­ful, it’s impor­tant to go back and look at your exist­ing con­tent.

Make sure that:

  • Every­thing is writ­ten with prop­er spelling and gram­mar.
  • It pro­vides val­ue to the intend­ed audi­ence – and if it doesn’t, edit it to include more val­ue.
  • The con­tent is strate­gi­cal­ly seg­ment­ed and includes appro­pri­ate inter­nal link­ing.

Next, look at your social media strat­e­gy, and how you can inte­grate that into your over­all approach.

Your social media activ­i­ty should work along­side your con­tent strat­e­gy to help you build author­i­ty, trust, inbound links, more web­site traf­fic, and brand aware­ness.

Make Sure You Can Answer Questions

To have a decent idea as to how well your cur­rent strat­e­gy is work­ing, answer the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

  • How much traf­fic comes from organ­ic search?
  • How much traf­fic comes from refer­rals?
  • Are there any pages that aren’t get­ting traf­fic?
  • How have rank­ings changed over time?
  • How many new links has the site earned since the last audit?
  • What is my best per­form­ing con­tent? Least per­form­ing?
  • How many vis­i­tors are con­vert­ing?
  • How has the site grown and changed since launch?

Hav­ing the answers to these ques­tions ensures you’re focus­ing on mak­ing improve­ments where they are most need­ed.

Improving Your SEO Strategy

Aim for Better Quality Content

Long gone are the days when you could write a 500-word blog post and con­sid­er it qual­i­ty.

The longer your con­tent is, the deep­er you can dive into a top­ic to pro­vide more val­ue to your read­ers.

Remem­ber, Google’s cus­tomer is the searcher – and if you pro­vide the searcher with what they are look­ing for, then Google will love you.

Research shows long-form con­tent ranks high­er on Google, with the aver­age word count of a first-page result com­ing in at 1,890 words.

Long-form con­tent also gives you the chance to pro­vide more relat­ed key­words, through key­word and top­ic mod­el­ing. This way, you’re not key­word stuff­ing, but you’re still able to increase the chances of improv­ing your rank­ing on those core key­words.

Beyond mak­ing your con­tent longer, you can improve over­all qual­i­ty by offer­ing var­i­ous kinds of con­tent, includ­ing:

  • Polls.
  • Quizzes.
  • Info­graph­ics.
  • Sur­veys.
  • Assess­ments.
  • Videos.

These inter­ac­tive ele­ments help keep peo­ple on your page longer, which also plays a role in your rank­ing, and keep things inter­est­ing for your con­tent team, too.

Craft a Plan for Link Building Efforts

When sol­id con­tent is the back­bone of your strat­e­gy, link build­ing becomes a bit eas­i­er.

Great con­tent will typ­i­cal­ly earn more links on its own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the momen­tum going your­self.

Remem­ber, you need high-qual­i­ty links from a vari­ety of domains.

You also want links to deep­er pages on your site – not just your home­page.

You’ll also want to aim for links that con­tain your brand or com­pa­ny name, as well as links that con­tain your tar­get key­words.

With this in mind, you first need to look at the type of links your com­pe­ti­tion has, and make sure you get those links and more if you want to have a shot at com­pet­ing against them in the search engines.

Then, you want to make sure you have the con­tent that those web­sites would be inter­est­ed in link­ing to it. Make peo­ple care enough about the con­tent to link to it when you’re cre­at­ing it by focus­ing on the hook dur­ing the cre­ation process.

Then, cre­ate a spread­sheet to track your link build­ing progress.

Optimize Headlines to Improve Click-Through Rate

Your head­line is what gives peo­ple the first impres­sion of your con­tent, and as such, plays a major role in whether peo­ple will click.

Spend­ing time cre­at­ing a com­pelling head­line is cru­cial to get­ting engage­ment with your con­tent.

Using a tool like CoSchedule’s Head­line Ana­lyz­er can help. The free tool will grade your head­line based on fac­tors such as the num­ber of words it has, the type of words it uses, and the type of head­line it is. It gives you advice about how to improve it, such as adding or delet­ing words.

Encourage Engagement

Includ­ing a call to action that asks your read­ers to com­ment and inter­act on your posts can help improve your rank­ings.

Google’s Gary Illyes has men­tioned that fos­ter­ing com­mu­ni­ty can help boost your rank­ings because it shows that peo­ple aren’t just read­ing your con­tent, but they’ve tak­en it fur­ther to inter­act it.

It keeps peo­ple on your web­site longer, which is a sig­nal that your con­tent is what peo­ple are look­ing for.

Beyond that call to action, take the time to ask open-end­ed ques­tions, or give peo­ple the chance to ask you ques­tions to start the con­ver­sa­tion.

Conclusion

Sched­ule reg­u­lar reviews of your SEO strat­e­gy. It’ll help you keep things fresh, stay ahead of any algo­rithm updates (and help you pre­pare for any that may be com­ing), and steer you toward con­sis­tent growth.

SOURCE