SEO involves several onsite and offsite tactics, but one simple strategic change can improve your results and set you up for the future.
Regardless of whether you’re new to the world of SEO or a seasoned expert with impressive rankings, in order to be successful you have to respond to the changing currents of the industry. Major search engines, namely Google, are constantly refining and perfecting their complicated algorithms to eliminate tricks and schemes from the SEO playing field.
It means as marketers, we need to stay adaptable, and respond to these changes in order to preserve momentum. For previous updates, it meant reducing keyword frequency to only 3-5 percent of an article’s content, or using relevant anchor text when posting external links. But simply responding to changes as they come up is a temporary solution; in order to see the greatest results, you have to think proactively and invest in SEO strategies that are going to matter years from now.
So what’s the one simple change you can make to improve your SEO strategy and give yourself a better chance for success in the future? It’s a little counter-intuitive for those of you that are used to traditional SEO. You have to forget about keywords.
Keywords and keyword phrases have dictated the trends and practices of SEO since its inception as a marketing strategy. Abandoning them altogether is not likely to catch on as a new movement. But by eliminating keywords as your primary strategy, and replacing them with solid content, you’ll be investing in a long-term, quality-based inbound marketing machine.
Focusing on keywords leads to fluffy, “writing-for-the-sake-of-writing” content. And most keywords are difficult to implant naturally in context, leaving you with unnatural sounding language that will irritate your users and, eventually, upset Google’s algorithms.
Instead, writing content and building links whose primary goals are to inform, educate, or entertain is going to set you up for:
- Improved readership and retention
- Optimization for long tail and natural keywords
- Domain authority that will not diminish over time
- Long-term sustainability impervious to frequent updates
It’s not an approach that will pay off instantly, but investing in an SEO strategy that is not driven by specific keywords is going to put you ahead of the crowd, and put the days of arbitrary SEO tricks far behind you. It’s a long-term strategy for long-term results.