SEO can be confusing. It can be frustrating.
But part of the reason is that it can be very rewarding.
It’s a huge boon for business when you have high rankings. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local business or a global business, if you have high, relevant rankings you’re going to see strong sales.
Because of that and because Google is only 20 years old, there has been a lot of ups and downs with SEO. As Google worked to create a smarter algorithm, there were occasionally ways to game it. That would lead to booms and busts in the rankings.
Today, though, things are pretty mature with Google. The rankings are the best they’ve ever been. That’s good for searchers and it’s also good for businesses with a long-term focus.
So what does this mean for your SEO strategy?
Here are some strategies to implement that will lead to long-term SEO ranking success…
1. Offline Brand Building
An increasingly important aspect of SEO is brand recognition and reputation. These have been timeless indicators of success in the business world. The more well-known a brand is and the better its reputation, the more likely people are to use it.
Obviously this doesn’t happen overnight. People need to see proof that they can trust a business over time. And Google has been working to make its algorithm reflect this.
The interesting thing is that by working on your brand in the offline world often reflects things online. The more people that know about you the more they’ll search for you. The more mentions you’ll have online. Reviews. That kind of thing.
Whatever you can do to increase your offline branding consistently over time will help your rankings. Going to local events. Sponsorships. PR in traditional channels like TV, radio and print.
Whatever gets you connecting with the offline world.
2. Online Brand Building
And obviously this comes into play in the online world. The more you’re mentioned online the more trustworthy you seem to consumers and to Google.
There are all kinds of things you can do. Social media, email marketing, a great website, podcasting and so much more.
3. Easy-To-Use, Fast Website
Fast is critical yet it’s still overlooked too often by businesses. Think about the last time you opened a website or an app on your phone and it took a half second longer to load than you expected…
Slowness drives us all crazy. People will give your site about one second to load and if it takes longer they’ll either leave or get really annoyed.
Pay extra for good hosting. Work with a designer and developer that can make your site easy to use and fast. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. There are a number of great themes and theme providers.
This gets into branding again. I’ve found this to be a great way to build your brand over time. It’s consistent effort to guest on various media.
Think about the actor that is on a late night talk show. They are there to provide entertaining content for the show’s audience. In return, they get access to that audience to pitch their new movie.
You can do that with guest blogging, podcasting, video and more. Even traditional media like local TV and radio and print work well.
The key is to make the outreach part of your regular efforts. Reach out to 100 blogs or podcasts every month. You’ll get responses from about 10 and from that you’ll get about 3-5 that make it all the way through.
Do that over time and your brand will grow in recognition.
5. Create Content Everyday
Finally, work to create content everyday. Not sales content. Content that educates or entertains (or both). The goal is to offer as much value as you can through content as a way to grow brand awareness.
Don’t even ask for sales with this type of content. It muddies the waters. Just let them know that you’re the creator. Trust that over time some will buy from you, but even more importantly, your brand will grow and that will show Google that you’re worthy of key rankings that will lead to more sales.
Video, audio and text. Pick your strongest one and go with it. Or try all three.
You can’t create enough.
These might not seem like the SEO tips and tricks that you were possibly looking for or that you see in other places. There are certainly tactics you can do for specific things like link building. But for the long-term and as Google becomes even more mature, these timeless strategies will lead to long-term rankings.