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Are you keeping up with your SEO?

By piranha

23rd May 2014

Just because you knew the best SEO practice in 2010, it doesn’t mean that the same tactics will work today. The basics of good SEO are continually evolving and failure to keep up with the times can have serious consequences on your website’s rankings.

1.           Do not take your search ranking for granted

Getting ranked on a search engine is one thing, being ranked high is another.

It is not a walk in the park to get a high ranking site on a search engine – you are essentially competing with millions of people in the same area as yourself.

It is this reason alone that should resound in the minds of those who think that a high-ranking site is ‘no big deal’ – that ‘anyone could do it’.  The simple fact of the matter is that it is a big deal to have a high-ranking website and it takes a specialist to understand this and do it properly.

Unfortunately, it is the ‘no big deal’ mind-set which leads people to believe that once a site has a good ranking on a search engine, that it will stay there without any further changes.

It should be noted here that this is simply not true.  A listing can change in an instant – algorithms used by the search engines are changing constantly, things that mattered today may not matter tomorrow; that little trick that got your site on the front page of Google may be the exact reason you’re at the bottom the next day.

That’s just the way that SEO works – you essentially always have to change things to coincide with the search engines because the search engines are always trying to defend themselves from people finding black-hat techniques to cheat themselves to the top.

Staying on top of any changes should play a major part in your SEO strategy – finding that your site has suddenly dropped off the listings should not be taken lightly, and burying your head in the sand is not going to improve your drastic loss of sales.

2.           It’s mutually beneficial to pay attention online and offline

 Everything around us is constantly evolving and changing; the concept of distance is a thing of the past where the internet is concerned.  Those who live across the world can be followed in real-time over things like social media – messages can be sent to the furthermost corner of the world in an instant.

This reason alone has changed how everything, including marketing – both online and offline is dealt with.

What is said about you offline nowadays matters just as much as what is said about you online – information about your business placed on the internet can have a huge effect on everything down to the sales.

Marketing teams now face the challenge of trying to create unison between a businesses’ online and offline presence – the struggle arises when trying to create consistency across the whole brand.   After all, it would be pointless saying one thing online and not following up on it offline. 

3.           Carelessness can destroy your SEO

A small change can have huge implications to your search results – anything from a change to the page header that contains vital keywords, to the title tag of a page.  Even a change or addition to the existing block of text on the home page can have unforeseen consequences.

The chances are that when these changes are being made, the person making them will not know of the implications that it may have if they do not have knowledge in this area.  Any alterations should be analysed thoroughly by a specialist before they are implemented.

You could potentially lose your search rankings if the correct steps are not followed, resulting in a drastic effect on your overall sales, too.

4.           Proceed with caution when changing your CMS!

The decision to move your website to a new CMS should not be done without serious consideration.  Whilst the idea of having a much easier system to manage may be enticing, the actual implementation (if not done correctly!) could potentially kill your traffic and therefore sales.

There are several things which may be affected from an SEO point of view which should be taken in to account before changing anything:

  • Content duplication issues may arise
  • On-page optimization may be altered and damaged
  • Structure of URL’s and page hierarchy can be changed
  • Overall site architecture may be damaged

Many CMS frameworks consider themselves to be SEO friendly and provide an out-of-the-box SEO feature which is great for the first-time user, however for those who are more serious about driving traffic and generating sales from their online platform, this is not enough.

“SEO-friendly” is a loose term used much like you see your “HD-Ready” televisions, which come with the ability to implement the HD element, but you need the special wire – similarly, SEO-friendly is a method used to easily input SEO techniques yourself, but might not necessarily have the right skillset, knowledge or time.

If you find yourself asking questions about the things you are about to implement, it is best to enlist the help of a professional who will be able to help you make any changes to your site without having implications for your site’s rankings.

5.           “Responsive Design” and their misconceptions

Responsive designs are all the rage nowadays – everybody wants a site which displays a certain way on a big screen, but can be re-sized to show a certain way on a mobile screen.

The misconception people have is how they think that SEO for mobiles is the same as a responsive design.  Mobile SEO is much more than that – something that allows you to analyse things such as geo-targeted local searches in much more depth as well as navigate around easier. 

Mobile SEO is something that is constantly evolving, the same as SEO itself – an entity all on its own which is only becoming bigger, allowing for the customisation of your user-experience and the ability to quickly and easily share things with friends.

6.           SEO today is different to the SEO of tomorrow

 If your site has had some SEO work done to it and you are under the belief that this is now finished and will never need to be touched again, you’re wrong. Search Engine Optimization is an on-going process, one of which is never finished.

SEO is constantly evolving, the algorithms that the search engines are built around get changed regularly, making certain tricks which may have been used last month obsolete this month.

An SEO strategy should be seen as just that, a ‘strategy’ – one of which is on-going and constantly evolving around the changes in the industry.  One change on a social networking site that is linked to your main web page can cause a ripple effect which could have repercussions down the line and may not easily be fixable.

 7. On-going change is a MUST

It is important for every business leader and professional to understand the importance of change.  We cannot simply bury our heads in the sand and wish for any changes to go away.

As new technology emerges, our traditional way of thinking about marketing disappears.  It is literally time to think outside of the box and look to the future for different, innovative ways to keep our businesses afloat.

Those who fail to do this will simply be left in the dust of those racing ahead with the next big thing to arrive on the scene.

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