Someone asked me the other day, “If you could sum up SEO in one word, what would it be?” I thought about it for a while and then, finally, it hit me — “unpredictable.”
It seems like every other day there is another change and another update to Google’s search engine algorithms.
From Panda to Penguin.
The recent HTTPS updates to the removal of Google Authorship.
Google and their search engineers are constantly striving to improve upon the quality of results they provide their users by giving them more timely, accurate and relevant information in relation to their queries.
But as the updates continue to pile up, is your website and business being left in the dark?
As we know, what works for SEO one day can be obsolete or even harmful the next. Some of the major algorithm updates resulted in a seriously negative impact for many businesses and their visibility on SERP’s.
And, let’s face it. There is only going to be more and more updates as search engines and their users become more demanding about the type of information and content that they are shown.
Because of this, it is important for business owners and SEO’s alike to have a plan of action so that when updates do happen, you are ready to take them on with a full head of steam. Below are some suggestions for making your SEO strategy update proof.
First and foremost, stick to what works!
Despite the many updates that Google has made to their search engine in the last few years, some elements of SEO have managed to withstand the test of time. The most obvious one being the content that you have on your site.
Make sure you don’t have thin or keyword-stuffed content that provides little to no value for your website’s viewers. Improve upon your user experience by providing unique content that interests and engages your customers. If you give your customers something of value and something that is worthy of their time, both your websites users and the search engines will reward you for it.
In addition to content, the technical aspects of on-page SEO have managed to remain both important and mostly unaffected by algorithm updates. Elements such as robot.txt files, site maps, eliminating broken links, mobile accessibility and overall page speed can greatly influence your rankings on SERP’s.
Sometimes, you have to know where you have been to get to where you’re going. Go back to the basics and make sure your content and on-page SEO are perfectly dialed in.
Keep track of the analytics.
So you check one day and you are ranking first for your desired keywords. Check again a week later and you aren’t even on the first page.
While there could be any number of reasons that your site dropped in the rankings, the fact of the matter is that it could have been prevented or at the very least detected earlier if you had diligently monitored your analytics.
Checking your webmaster tools or other analytics software to monitor key metrics has to become a daily practice if you want your SEO to remain a success. It makes it so much easier to identify and then correct any issues with your strategy if you can detect the problems as soon as they occur. Plus, it provides key insight into what is working and what isn’t in terms of your SEO strategy.
Failing to monitor your key SEO analytics can lead you down a slippery slope that you may not be able to recover from.
If you aren’t doing your due diligence by staying informed and furthering your knowledge of the SEO landscape, you certainly aren’t doing yourself any favors.
The Internet is completely saturated with information about SEO, search engine algorithms and latest trends and fads therein. There is really no reason why you shouldn’t know what is going on in the world of SEO because the amount of content out there is absolutely mind-boggling.
Bookmark and frequent websites or industry-related blogs. Subscribe to a popular SEO newsletter. Whatever you have to do to stay on top of your game, do it. Just because you are no longer sitting at a desk in school doesn't mean the learning has to stop.
Fill yourself up on SEO content and become an expert by staying informed on the latest trends and best practices. It will greatly benefit you to find out about an algorithm update the day it happens, as opposed to a few weeks later when it is too little too late.
By practicing these few steps, you will be able to combat the constant updates to algorithms and ranking factors, making the effectiveness and longevity of your SEO strategy that much greater.