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Bringing SEO Back from the Dead

Phillip Reinhardt

There was a time not so long ago that SEO was at the very heart of every company’s digital marketing strategy. Things have changed dramatically. A recent survey found that SEO is the least popular digital marketing strategy among medium-sized businesses. In fact, only 44% of businesses surveyed claimed to dedicate any time or resources to SEO.

It’s not clear why so many businesses find SEO to be unworthy of their time. There’s still great value in obtaining top organic results. Even as more people click paid ads, the overall growth of search engine traffics means there are just as many organic clicks made as before. And with fewer businesses focusing on SEO, there’s a larger opportunity to make headway.

One problem is that SEO has evolved a great deal over the past decade and continues to do so. Tactics like keyword stuffing and using hidden texts and links used to drive great SEO results, now they’ll likely get your website blacklisted. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to drive SEO organically. Here are four ways that work in 2018:

1. Derive Keywords from Key Topics

As we recently discussed, only 5% of your pages are driving 95% of your SEO traffic. The key to stumbling upon this great content that drives traffic is by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are the most important pieces of information about your industry that you would need to research? What would pique your interest? These are the key areas you need to build your website content around. With these topics at hand, use SEO tools to branch out and determine which keywords are most important. It’s a much more natural and effective way than picking your keywords and designing your website’s content around them instead.

2. Use Customized URLs

URLs are important for SEO purposes and making them readable counts. If your blog posts are formatted like this: www.samplewebsite.com/1234567-June, then they won’t help you out at all. Use keywords that are relevant to the content. For example, an article about cooking at home could be titled something like www.samplewebsite.com/recipes-to-use-at-home. It’s easy to understand what you’ll find on the page, and search engines will react appropriately.

Your URLs are more than navigation tools. They can either help you drive SEO or turn traffic away.

3. Create Several Content-Rich Pages

It’s a good idea to take the most useful content you have on your website and combine them into several extremely information-packed pages. They should be neatly organized, like a digital eBook or white paper. This gives search engines a treasure trove of information to crawl and rank you on. More importantly, it gives your audience an incredibly valuable page and is an ideal opportunity for backlinks. As a bonus, since you’re just gathering and repurposing existing information, you should be able to turn them around quickly.

4. Leverage Alternate Image Text

The alternate image text is easy to forget about since you don’t usually see it when viewing a page yourself. It is useful, however, for people who are visually impaired and using a screen reader. For SEO, purposes, it allows search engine crawlers to understand what exactly your image is. When adding an alt tag to your images, keep it short, sweet, and use your relevant keywords. Keep in mind that these crawlers will need to understand your copy, so avoid keyword stuffing and keep everything natural.