7 Long-Term SEO Strategies to Improve Your Blog Rankings
Blogging offers ample opportunity to maximize the effects of your SEO strategy and drive more traffic to your site via fresh, useful and engaging content. If blogging is already part of your online marketing strategy, you’re probably searching for ways to make sure that your optimization endeavors produce long-lasting results. Short-term SEO strategies can only do so much to drive organic traffic to your website. A sustainable web presence requires you to be up-to-date with the newest changes and to align your content and SEO strategy to work for you on the long-term.
In this article we will explore ways in which you can put a long-term SEO strategy in motion to the benefit of your blog, and ultimately, to the great benefit of your business.
Off-page SEO has been long synonymous with back-linking or link building, and while still important today, due to the changes brought about by the updates to Google’s ranking algorithm, link building has transformed into link earning. Indeed, gone are the days when you could just post thin content, buy backlinks and reap the benefits. Artificial linking will get you penalized, whereas earning links will get you ranked higher. If your audience sees value in your content, if you provide solutions to the problems they’re struggling with, if you can come up with novel ways to meet their needs, links will flow organically. And these links are worth more than any artificially placed link, even if the latter may outnumber the former. Google’s ranking algorithms have become smart enough to tell the difference, so you should be weary of any black hat SEO techniques.
High Quality, Informative Content
Content pertains to the larger domain of on-page optimization, and it’s the heart and soul of your SEO strategy. A few years ago content generation boiled down to the “write to rank” approach, today, this too, has shifted to “write to inform”. Right from your title to your very last paragraph, you have to make sure your content is 100% genuine. That means no artificial keyword outpouring, no senseless writing. What you should focus on is to create quality content that will pique your readers’ interest by either being a source of new information or by offering new, creative solutions to their problems. Simply put, what you write shouldn’t be meant for the rankings, but meant for your readers.
Another aspect of content is the tone of your writing. If you’re constantly trying to pitch your readers, they will immediately pick up on your marketing ploy or that you’re being artificial. Adopt an editorial tone; sure, your ultimate goal is to sell something, but you can do that without compromising yourself. While the honesty of a content may not be something that web crawlers can pick up on, your readers surely will.
Create Videos and Upload to YouTube
Written content is not the only star of SEO; video content is also gaining some serious ground. Although not suitable for all types of businesses, it certainly works for many. Are you sharing recipes and cooking tips on your blog? Cooking videos uploaded to YouTube may help generate more links to your website, raise brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website and increase conversions. You’re reviewing video games on your blog? There you have it, a field in which video content is king!
While it works for some, video content may not work for all, but it’s certainly a domain worth exploring in your quest to implement a long-term SEO strategy for your blog. You may not even need more to get started than a well-made business launching video to go viral (remember the success of the Dollar Shave Club launching video in 2012?). There’s really only one way to find out if video content would work for you!
Focus on Long-tail Keywords
Focusing solely on head keywords may not bring you the desired results, and it’s particularly hard to rank for simple keywords in areas where competition is intense. Long tail keywords are more descriptive as well as more specific than broad terms, and give you an opportunity to rank easier in search results. For long tail keywords the competition is not as fierce, and while there may be fewer searches for these multiple-word keywords, those who do search for them are usually a more active and focused traffic. For example, someone who searches for “blue organic cashmere cardigan” is likelier to be more interested in that specific product than someone who just searches for “cardigans”.
Long tail keywords may not drive more traffic to your blog immediately, but they will do so gradually, and that traffic will ultimately convert better.
Optimize for mobile traffic
The balance between mobile and desktop users is slowly shifting in favor of mobile devices, so it’s only natural to keep up with these changes not only to adhere to Google’s new “mobile-friendly update”, but also to adapt to your readers’ changing browsing behavior. Mobile traffic is certainly not negligible! People are constantly on their phones and on the go, so why should your blog miss out on all that mobile traffic? Create a mobile version of your blog or use a responsive theme in WordPress to ensure your readers have a smooth user experience across all mobile devices.
Although Google says that social media does not directly factor into your rankings due to the volatile nature of these platforms, you can still use social media to enhance your brand’s visibility. Social media mentions can be construed as a part of off-page SEO. If people regularly share, comment and engage with your content on social media, that tells Google that your content has value.
Your social media profiles also matter, if not to Google, it matters to your prospective or existing fans, so make sure to build up a strong social media presence by choosing a few key social media channels that work for you. Whether it’s a Twitter page or a Facebook page, people may search for your brand on these platforms too.
Guest post on other blogs or websites
Guest posting on other blogs is also an off-page SEO strategy that is fading away since Matt Cutts has declared it dead. Guest posting was used as a way to get reputable backlinks to your website from other sites in your niche. With time, due to fake guest bloggers and artificial links, guest blogging has lost its reputation, because it was simply becoming too spammy for Google to take it into account.
However, guest blogging can still work and can be beneficial to your blog if it’s done right. And if it’s used for the right reasons. It may be that guest blogging is dead from a strictly SEO perspective, but it can still be used to increase brand awareness and increase traffic to your blog or website. Therefore, if you’re using guest blogging as a way to build up an audience and not to build links, you’re safe.
SEO is a dynamic field that is in constant change, so it’s a good idea to always stay updated. Your blog or site should evolve and should let itself be shaped by the new dynamics of your audience’s behavior and demands. In this way, you’ll be able to stay on top these challenges and make them work for you both in the short run and in the long run.
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