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How to add value now by focusing on long-term SEO strategies

SEO has changed dramatically in the past several years and with an increasing emphasis by Google on search quality, these changes are only likely to accelerate. What this means for SEO professionals is that they need to focus their strategies on where Google is going, not ‘what works for now’.

As a result, a big focus for search in 2018 will be on long-term SEO, also known as sustainable SEO. While SEO trends and tactics have come a gone, fundamental concepts have also gotten stronger and stronger over time. It’s these concepts that will withstand Google’s rigorous updates as opposed to flavour-of-the-month strategies that only provide a short-term solution.

So while sustainable SEO is a slow process, the results are worth it. Instead of focusing on cutting corners for immediate results, think long-term and sustainability. By implementing these best practices, you’ll be able to avoid algorithmic shifts and penalties. Here’s some of the ways to make SEO work for your website.

Focus on brand reputation

An authoritative and credible brand will always last the test of time. So focus on building your brand and enhancing your earned media to set your website up for long-term success. Spend time creating valuable and well-optimised content onsite and building your online communities offsite. And always remember that links might go away but reputation never will. Some ways to add to the reputation of your brand through SEO includes:

  • Link swapping and link networks
  • Web and niche directories
  • Link buying
  • Press releases
  • Article directories
  • Infographics
  • Social media
  • Content marketing

When implemented properly, these techniques are a legitimate and trustworthy way of getting search engine traffic and establishing credibility.

Focus on your target audience

Part of building your brand’s reputation is resonating with your target audience. This means understanding that audience, their needs, how they think and how they might engage with your website. Remember, Google is very focused on the user, so you need to be too. Beyond the granular and tactical techniques, SEO professionals need to figure out what users want, because that’s where Google is going.

In fact, Google is constantly getting better at identifying manipulative strategies and devaluing them with algorithm updates. So avoid penalties by thinking of your target audience first, not the search engines. Chase users, not algorithms for the best shot at long-term influence in the search engine rankings. From design to content, have your audience in mind and ask yourself:

  • Is my website easy to navigate?
  • Does my content make sense?
  • Am I providing value in my pages?

If you create a credible site that users find valuable or interesting, they’ll be more likely to stay on longer. Not only does this help build your website’s authority and connect with your audience, but also helps you avoid penalties.

Focus on quality

While some sites invest in quality, others seek shortcuts to avoid the hard work. One of these strategies will work in the long run and the other won’t. Make you site as high quality and useful as possible by paying attention to your target audience and giving them a good user experience. Because let’s face it: it’s really hard to have a website that ranks well for a long period of time if it doesn’t give your users a good experience.

Google is now making a push to where a site’s quality is more important than the number of links pointing to it. You can improve the rank of your site by creating high quality sites that users will want to use and share. But this is still largely subjective – how exactly do you define a ‘high quality site’?

Start by incorporating the user experience into your SEO strategy. This includes:

  • User research
  • User testing
  • Split testing
  • Conversion rate optimisation

Here are some of our other top tips for on-page SEO best practices:

  • Information Architecture – Ensuring content is quickly accessible via a clear and intuitive structure remains an important factors in SEO that endures. Important pages on the site should always reside within a few clicks from the homepage. Question the value and necessity of anything that’s buried deeper than few clicks away.
  • Titles Tags – Generally, this is what Google displays as the first line in the search results, as that is the text which hyperlinks to the destination website. The title tag should include approximately 85 characters of text that describes the contents of the page.
  • URLS – In SEO, the URL is where all the value is. So make sure to optimise URLs and even preserve old ones as these will rank the best.

Are you looking to invest in a sustainable SEO strategy to ensure your site’s long-term success. Have a chat to the passionate and experienced Search team at Bang Digital today.