Google is constantly improving its algorithms to provide better search results for its users. However, that means businesses that want to rank their websites have a constant battle on their hands to stay in the top results. But actually, by sticking to smart SEO strategies and avoiding gaming the system, you can ensure you have nothing to worry about when Google updates its algorithms.
Here are some ways that you can help improve your organic search rankings no matter what changes Google makes over the coming months and years.
Publish Cornerstone Content
Longer content is seen as more authoritative online. It allows you to cover more information, and it is exactly this kind of page that people like to link to. If you have lots of smaller pages focusing on the same keywords, join them into one longer, more authoritative page. This will become your cornerstone content for these keywords. This will then be long, detailed content that is full of the best information on a particular topic.
You can then link to this page yourself from your blog posts on similar topics, and it can help to keep people on your site for longer.
Optimize Titles, Descriptions, Alt Tags, and URLs
Optimizing the meta title and meta description is basic SEO practice for any content you publish. These should be short descriptions of the page that include the main keyword, but avoid cramming in all of your keywords. These will show up in the search engines, and you want to tempt searchers to click on them so they should be compelling.
Also, use your keywords in your alt tags for images. The search spiders cannot read images but they can read the tags. Again, use one keyword in each description and don’t just list them.
Try to get a keyword into your URLs for each page as well. The URL should provide a basic description of the content rather than just listing a string or random letters and numbers.
Ensure You Have a Social Strategy in Place
More than ever, smart SEO is linked with your social media behavior. One of the best ways to improve your smart SEO is to show Google that your content is popular and engaging, and you can do that by increasing the amount of shares it gets.
When you publish a new blog, tweet it, G+ the article and post about it to Facebook (we’ve found the 1st two to be most effective!) If people like what they see, they will share it, and you will grow your community so that more people will get to see your content—and that means more people will link back to your content. Backlinks are also a great way to demonstrate your authority, so being social can be very valuable for your SEO.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
Google algorithms to ensure that people searching using mobile devices now see the most relevant results—and that means sites that can be viewed on mobiles. If you do not have a mobile friendly site, you may see your rank dropping in the search engines for mobile search.
You may not think that this is so important at the moment if most of your visitors still come from desktop devices, but more people will access the web on mobile devices in coming years, and you should prepare for them.
Develop a Solid Link-Building Strategy
We’ve already touched on link building through creating cornerstone content and becoming active on social media, and these should form part of your overall link strategy. Links are still very important for SEO. When you outsource your SEO this is one of the areas they will focus on. Links show the search engines that you have content that is worth linking to, and that is all good for your rankings.
Some tactics could include: guest posting, where you post to blogs and websites and include a link back to your site; creating downloadable content like white papers; creating and sharing infographics; uploading videos; creating blog round-ups and letting bloggers know that you have featured their content so that the bloggers may then link back to your post.
Give Your Search Rankings a Boost
These are just a few of the tactics that you can focus on to improve your organic search rankings. Even though Google is constantly updating its algorithms, as long as you stick to tried-and-tested SEO strategies, and you are consistent in your application of them, you will not have to worry about future updates. Go over your SEO strategy now and see if there are any areas where you could improve it to ensure your rankings remain high.
Alex Miller is a co-founder of PosiRank.com. He likes to share his insights with an online audience and his thoughts can be found on a number of relevant websites.