Sustainable SEO: How to focus on a lasting SEO strategy
The word ‘sustainable’ has become a ubiquitous buzzword in today’s society and it’s now being applied to the world of SEO too.
But what is ‘sustainable SEO’ exactly?
Well, sustainable SEO is actually nothing new, but it does reinforce that achieving – and then maintaining – a top Google ranking ahead of your competitors, requires time and work over the long-term. Just as carefully considered practices and action are required to ensure our planet’s long-term health, smart practices like sustainable SEO increase long-term business success.
In the past, it was possible to outsmart the search engines by doing things like stuffing copy with keywords and adding links everywhere and anywhere. Not anymore. Nowadays, tricks and shortcuts to get high page rankings are a definite no-no and are likely to have a negative effect with Google penalising offending websites.
The fact is, SEO is not a short-term strategy and sustainable success is only possible with sustained effort.
To understand sustainable SEO and what you can do to establish a lasting SEO strategy, you need to go back to basics. Ask yourself: what does Google want? Then work out a plan to meet those needs so that your website outranks the competition in the search engine rankings and stays ahead over the long haul!
In Google’s own words, its mission is ‘to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’ That’s why it’s constantly tweaking its algorithm to improve the user experience and mimic human behaviour. In other words, Google wants your website to be user-centric. If you’re just starting out with SEO, you can learn more in my free SEO Starter Kit.
Of course, you also want to optimise the searchability of your website and make your pages as ‘findable’ as possible. And that’s where sustainable SEO – the art (and science) of a long-lasting strategy that meets Google’s expectations and your business objectives – comes in.
Here are my four top tips for focusing on a long-lasting SEO strategy:
Tip 1: Create awesome cornerstone content
Google rewards content that is original, well-written, engaging, relevant, helpful and appealing to real people, not search engines. It has become really clever about the way that it reads text and so you need to have outstanding articles or blogs on your website. Your aim here is to make them better than anything else on the internet (on that particular subject), optimise them appropriately and update them regularly to keep the content relevant. Length is strength, so aim for 1200-plus words.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a viable option for content production and although the language generated is natural and the content is readable and findable, AI can’t come up with any original ideas. It can only use what’s out there already. Because you know your business and your industry best, you’re in the ideal position to create or at least, influence, unique content. My advice to business owners is always have personal input in your content to make sure it’s the best it can be.
Tip 2. Do ongoing keyword research
You would have done extensive keyword research when you set up your SEO strategy, but for sustainable success, you need to do this on an ongoing basis. Ask yourself: what questions are my audience asking? What are the topics they want to read about? How are they searching for my business or for goods and services that you offer? What words or phrases are they using to find my content? Are there any trends or changes in search behaviour?
Keeping your content relevant to your target audience’s needs is critical. Things may change over time, so you need to continually evaluate your keywords and phrases to match the searchers’ intent.
Tip 3. Build a strong network of internal links
Help Google work out the hierarchy of your site by prioritising important pages. You can show the search engine where your priority pages are on your website through your internal link structure.
Tip 4. Always be link building
Getting links from other websites that are niche and highly relevant to your business, on a consistent basis will help the website to increase it’s domain authority over time (which is what a website would normally do anyway without SEO).
A final word on sustainable SEO
Sustainable SEO won’t happen by accident. Nor will your SEO look after itself. For sustainable SEO success, you need to commit to regular analysis and action to make sure your website is found by Google and most importantly, found by your target audience.
In today’s busy world where your time and energy are pulled in a hundred different directions, it’s not always easy to find the time to focus on your SEO. But if you’re serious about your online visibility, why not consider The SEO School? It’s a hand-on self-managed online course which takes you through all the important SEO tools and techniques which you implement on your own website as you progress through the modules. Find out more or book your course here at The SEO School.
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