The Past, Present, and Future of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In the past, for an online to get leads they had to rely on email marketing and advertising tools such as PPC and Adwords. That then changed and everyone started talking about SEO – if you were not doing it you were doomed to fail. Techniques for ranking included title tags, meta descriptions, keyword tags, keyword density, H1 tags, image attributes, links from certain domains, the volume of links, quality of links, internal link structure and anchor text in inbound links. Today, with the introduction of social media the range of techniques has expanded to include tweets, retweets, likes, social mentions, page load time and content marketing.

The inclusion of social media as a way to get websites ranked has left many marketers stuck. They are still fixed in the old ways where if you optimized content, had strong links and worked on meta tags and so on websites would rank. While all these are well and good, and in fact need to be done, you need to move onto the new way of thinking about search engine optimization. This is a very cookie cutter approach and it fails to take into account the user – today’s user is into social media in a big way. If you want to be found you have to be visible in that space.

Keep in mind that being on social media is not enough – you also have to provide what the everyday user is looking for. When they find you on social media you have to be appealing enough that they want to go on your website, and when they get there you have to provide content that is good enough to get them to buy your products.

Going forward your main focus should be to understand what your users are looking for and provide it. Aside from links, keywords and so on, you have to be able to give content that users can engage with. The mistake that many marketers make is getting the cheapest content that they can find in a bid to save money. They log onto content sites that charge as little as a dollar for 400 words. No one who writes good content is going to sell it for that little. The best that you can get is a kid who is looking to make a few dollars. If you want good content that is informed and engaging you to have to be prepared to pay more.

There is one other thing you have to make sure to do. You have to optimize your website for mobile. Most people are accessing the web through their communication devices so if you aren’t optimized you are missing out on a lot of traffic. Even after you optimize you have to continually tweak so as to improve user interaction.

In a nutshell, while it is okay to do keyword research, build backlinks and so on, these old SEO methods alone are not enough. You have to provide the kind of content that they are looking for and also make sure that they can see your website on their phones and tablets.

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