3 Steps to Ensure Long-Term SEO Success

Depending on your strategy, search engine optimization can be the cause for either frustration or celebration. It’s tricky, as there are so many traps that you can fall into, and it’s easy to get swayed by the near-endless amount of tactics and tips that float around the internet. But it’s like trying to drive cross-country with a faulty engine—you’ll make it a few miles, but you won’t travel the distance that you need to. You can only make that trip if your car is well-maintained. The same goes for SEO.

Google’s numerous updates have understandably been the cause for concern for years now. A tactic that may have worked yesterday can get rendered obsolete with a single algorithm adjustment, leaving your rankings in the dust. You can build up your rankings for months, and even years, but one swift update can take it all away in a single day. Many marketers know this, and many business owners have heard about it; some owners have been reluctant to go “all in” on their SEO ventures because of it.

What needs to be understood is that those SEO campaigns failed because of short term strategies that were not designed to be long-lasting. If you want long-term SEO success, then you need to abandon any tactics that quickly burn-out. Google can change their algorithm, but if you follow fundamental principles, then those updates will have a minimal impact on your rankings.

1st Step: Design your site with a tight structure

Design for usability and readability. You should make your site easily navigable, and you should make sure that your pages have a sound internal linking structure. Your site should be responsive, so that it can be easily read on multiple devices. Title tags and descriptions should be keyword-optimized. Your contact information should be easily found. The architecture of your site needs to have SEO in mind; your site is an integral component of your strategy. If it’s not designed for optimal SEO impact, then your SEO strategy gets started on the wrong foot. It all starts with the website; it’s your nucleus, and it cannot be poorly designed.

2nd Step: Acquire quality inbound links

Receiving spammy, low-grade backlinks is an easy way to ensure SEO failure. Even if you see success with poor backlinks, it’ll be short-lived. That’s because Google is totally focused on quality right now, and anything on the opposite side of the line is liable to get penalized. Proceed at your own risk.

How do you get organic, high quality backlinks? You have to offer high quality bait, so that people will link back to your site. Probably the best bait you can offer would be content on your site that gets people linking back to you. If you have a high quality blog post, people are likely to reference it and share it, while linking back to you in the process. This increases your exposure. The more visible you become, the more likely it is that more people will link back to you. It’s like a machine. You should be pushing your content and your brand as heavily as possible, across many marketing channels—through social media posts, guest blogging, videos on youtube, etc.

Is great content the only way to get backlinks? No, of course it’s not. But it’s probably the most natural way to accumulate high quality backlinks to your site long-term, which is what you should be pursuing. Gain backlinks through as many viable methods as possible, but the powerful longevity of good content should never be ignored.

3rd Step: Constantly invest in good talent

If you’re not confident in whoever is running your SEO campaign, then you should immediately abandon ship. If the people behind your SEO do not know what they are doing, or if your long-term goals are not aligned with their methods, then you should stop whatever you’re doing and find a better team.

You should know exactly what methods they are using to improve your rankings, and every major process or tactic that they use should be documented so that you can better understand its effects.

To ensure long-term success in SEO, you’re going to have to invest in top-tier talent that knows what they’re doing, and can cooperate with you to help achieve whatever objectives that you have set in place. This rule applies if you hire talent in-house, or if you hire a marketing firm to take care of your SEO for you.

Are you consistently taking steps to ensure the long-term vitality of your SEO? If not, use the recommended tips in the blog post.

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Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on: Business.com, Redbooth.com, Kabbage.com, MaterialDesignBlog.com

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