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The Basics: Keys to a Healthy SEO Strategy

The Basics: Keys to a Healthy SEO Strategy

At it’s core, a healthy SEO strategy is simply the natural fruit of a healthy company or organization. I could find you 20 articles that explain tips for how to essentially game the Google algorithm, but in the end all of their advice is simply a complicated way of saying, respect your customers, make good content, and share it around. What do I mean? Let me elaborate.

GOOGLE ALGORITHM

The Google algorithm is designed to make the most relevant content show up first. They are trying to match what someone is looking for as best as they can. Google is the business of providing you with the best links possible. If you fail, they lose money. If you win, they win. In short, what this all means for businesses that want to rank high in search is that they need to focus on making sure their product offering is the best fit possible for the audience they would like to reach. If you have to “spin” what it is you sell in order to “game” the algorithm, in order to get people to your website, you’ll only lose them when they see who you really are.

So if SEO isn’t gaming the algorithm then what is it? What is the answer?

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz and general SEO jedi has this to say about SEO,

“SEO is deeply wedded to usability and user experience, social media, public relations, community building, email, and even advertising. All of these channels benefit from working together, and none more so than SEO.”

Essentially what he’s saying here is that SEO is really one piece of a much bigger range of efforts that will help your online visibility. SEO is not a silver bullet. Anyone who thinks so is just looking for a shortcut that isn’t there. Your SEO efforts need to be holistic and part of a overarching strategy with many other facets. So what are you going to do? Did you come here looking for concrete advice for improving your search ranking?

IF YOU WANT A LIST

The advice is likely going to vary from organization to organization, but here are a few simple tips for the average person trying to optimize their search-ability from a holistic perspective.

  1. Build your website in a way that the permalinks include the name of the post in the URL.
  2. Setup a free Mailchimp account to allow folks who visit your site to subscribe to content or to get an occasional newsletter.
  3. Begin writing content that is genuinely helpful and educational for your audience.
  4. If you’re using WordPress, use a tool like WordPress SEO by Yoast to help you add relevant meta tags, descriptions, and keywords to your post.
  5. Add a good relevant featured image to your post both for your website but also to act as a thumbnail on your social media channels.
  6. Reach out to relevant other authors, news outlets, blogs, etc in your space and notify them of your post. Tweet your blog post to them on twitter. Pin your post in Pinterest. Join discussions on message boards within your posts topic and share your post with others.
  7. Use your Mailchimp mailing list to broadcast updates about your latest posts or better yet, automate it so that your visitors can get weekly emails of your latest posts.
  8. Consider paid advertising on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc to drive traffic to particularly important posts.
  9. Consider a related posts plugin so that visitors to your website might stick around after landing on your site and reading the initial blog post.
  10. Review your Google Analytics and explore which posts are performing best. Look for patterns among the top performing posts.
  11. Write more posts
  12. Rinse, repeat

There are more steps you could take but that’s a whole ‘nother post. This post covers the basics of what almost anyone can do with limited time and money. What sort of questions do you have?