5 Tips for Better SEO
by Taylor Slattery | March 1, 2020
The landscape of the internet is ever-changing. Every day, new sites and products are created and marketed to the masses. These new sites along with all the others in existence are competing for our attention, and one of the best ways to get it is via search engine, the most obvious of which being Google. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a world full of misinformation and gurus offering a number of different tactics that you can employ in pursuit of a higher Google ranking, but today we’ll look at 5 tips that can serve as a general guideline for approaching SEO.
1. Establish a Routine
The internet is like a living, breathing organism. Think of your site as one of its non-vital organs. It doesn’t need you to survive and won’t go out of its way to ensure that you do, so you’ll have to put in the leg work to stick around. Monitor your vitals. Continually optimize your site for the way users interact with it and treat your SEO as an ongoing process. This doesn’t necessarily mean to treat your site like it’s on life support, but annual checkups won’t be enough. Make sure to schedule time on a regular basis to perform SEO maintenance.
2. Spend your Money Wisely
SEO is a problem that can’t be solved simply by throwing cash at it (unless you’re throwing that money at someone who knows what they’re doing.) Spending large amounts of money on ads with Google isn’t necessarily going to improve your ranking. It will put you in front of customers, and it will likely generate sales and brand recognition, but these are short term gains, and you’ll need to continuously feed money into the ad machine to maintain your growth. Ads are undoubtedly necessary and will consume a large portion of your budget, but consider spending some money on improving areas of your site that might be lacking, as your site’s performance plays a large role in its ranking.
3. Organic is Healthy
In the same vein as the previous tip, trying to use shortcuts or employing cheap tactics to increase your visibility can actually harm you. A major component of your site’s ranking is backlinks. Many “SEO specialists” employ a tactic of simply generating massive amounts of backlinks to your site in order to quickly boost its ranking. To accomplish this they use a network of sites they’ve created specifically for this purpose. Unfortunately, this trick doesn’t work. Google considers not only the number of backlinks your site receives, but also the quality of the source. Having backlinks on questionable sites can actually have the opposite effect and harm your ranking. Stick to organic growth. Try to build genuine relationships within your given market. Reach out to blogs and writers and keep the quality of your backlinks high.
4. Have a Balanced Diet
In a sense, SEO is part of your marketing, but the two should be considered as separate things. A large following on social media or a successful ad campaign and the resulting surge in sales are great for your brand but won’t necessarily affect your ranking. Think of social media and ad campaigns as a means of finding new customers and your SEO efforts as a means of making yourself easier to be found. They’re two sides of the same coin and both equally important, but require different approaches and considerations.
5. Make a Commitment & Adopt a Long-Term Mindset
SEO is a never-ending process. It may take a while to notice any observable effects of your adjustments and it will likely be a long time before your efforts bear any fruit. It can be easy to become discouraged or feel like you’re wasting your time, but you need to be patient. If you’re attempting to conduct business online, then SEO is important, and if you’re going to play this game you might as well learn to play it well. As they say, the cream rises to the top. What they don’t say, however, is how long it takes to get there.
SEO can feel overwhelming, but like any large task, with persistence and patience, it too is surmountable. In the world of SEO, only one thing is for certain, if you stand still you’ll be left in the dust.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.
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