SEO is by nature a game that changes almost everyday. This is part of the reason it has become such a personal passion of mine. I love learning about new tactics that work for specific situations and seeing the results. It is so rewarding to be able to send a report to a client outlining exactly how and why their site’s rank has improved.
Some things that I have implemented for SEO have worked and others haven’t. This can be concerning when everyone wants to be on the first page of Google for their target keywords. If it were easy to be there, everyone would be (and you can see the problem there). While page rank can skyrocket and plummet suddenly and the specific parameters change frequently, these three golden rules of SEO have weathered the storms of Google algorithm updates and will continue to do so:
1. Don’t put your eggs all in one basket.
Whether we are business owners or SEO consultants, we need to remember to diversify! If you have 1,000,000 high quality backlinks and terrible on-page optimization, Google will not be ranking you for your keywords. If you diligently post on your blog everyday and don’t promote your content on social media, you will not be building traffic. We must remember to balance our efforts and investments in multiple areas so that we can cover the basics in content development, social media exposure, on-page optimization, and off-page stats. For example, at a Nursing Home in Lebanon, PA, a combination of content marketing, on and off-site SEO efforts, as well as social media promotion have worked together to improve the site from a page 3 rank to a page 1 rank.
2. Know what works and keep detailed records.
One thing we can count on is the fact that effective tactics will change. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an up-to-date spreadsheet (see this post for instructions on how to do this) for each project outlining what steps you took and what impact they had. What industry hashtags are leading to more social media engagement this week? Which forums and directories resulted in follow links? How did your new site-map impact your page rank? Learn your lessons and keep high quality data so that you can carry your successes to your next project.
3. Find a timeline that works for your industry.
Depending on what your competitors are doing and the scope of your potential audience, you will have different SEO needs in terms of amount and frequency of work that is needed to help your website compete. Some local businesses really just need a month or two of more intense SEO work followed by biweekly or monthly checkups on page speed, spam score, sitemap errors, and other issues that may need to be resolved. I have seen my own website’s page rank score continue to climb with the application of bursts of SEO activity once every month or two, along with regular monitoring.
Do you think these principles are timeless? What would you add? Let us know in the comments.