The search engine optimization (SEO) landscape continues to evolve. As a result, many businesses struggle to understand how to implement the right strategies for higher rankings.
Common misconceptions about what makes up a good SEO strategy lead to poor results. By going beyond quality of your content, you can begin to understand the deeper layers of SEO, and begin to strategize the right plan for your business.
Common SEO Ideas
Search engine algorithms continue to improve at distinguishing high-quality content that serves their users. This has led to a need for new tactics for businesses who want to appear at the top of search engine results, but who have relied on limited methods and ideas.
Most businesses think that all they need to do is publish quality content that’s indexed appropriately by search engines. But this is not SEO. It’s just one piece of a larger puzzle.
This is simply the first step in a long series of processes and maneuvers that must adapt over time. Focusing on link building and keywords does not make up a comprehensive SEO plan.
What SEO Really Is
Quality content is indeed important. And links are still a major component to rankings. But SEO also requires a competitive perspective.
Ranking for a large number of keyword terms can be achieved, but it can have little impact on the traffic coming to your site if you’re still not reaching your ideal customers.
More importantly, these are long-term activities that must be monitored and adjusted based on your results. Analyzing your competitors’ rankings for the same, or similar, keyword search terms requires intuition and understanding of what your customers are looking for.
In addition, high-quality content that is interesting and unique, can ultimately fail to compel users to take any action. If it provides little practical value, they’re less likely to share it with others. This prevents you from getting any amplification of your content across social channels.
The Art of SEO
Ultimately, SEO is multi-faceted. It’s a complex process that involves analytics, testing, brand and user experience, and the relationships you develop with current and future customers.
Direct and indirect influence from these factors should be part of your SEO strategy. Competitors are taking these components and using them to their benefit, especially if you aren’t doing it first.
Data, crawling, indexing, and ranking factors play major roles in your SEO performance. But the ways in which users shape these aspects of your content and brand are the real elements of true SEO practices.
Moving beyond quality and rankings moves you into the deeper areas of SEO, and provides you with a perspective of what really needs to be done for increased rankings.
By understanding how your competitors are achieving success with particular key search terms and any other tools and strategies, you can stay one step ahead in the SEO race.
This big picture view will keep you from falling into the trap of just producing content that is easily indexed by search engines. Although keywords and links still play a major role in your overall performance, you’ll need to look below the surface at what really makes SEO work for long-term success.
What have your experiences been with SEO optimization? Do you find this article insightful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.