Doing SEO the Right Way, Regardless of Google’s Algorithm Antics
by Chris Peer on Tue, Sep 05, 2023 @ 08:00
Welcome to the SEO arena, where algorithms are the new gladiators and search rankings are the ultimate battlefield. It’s been six months since Google sent in a new competitor in the form of their latest Google core update, and for some poor souls, they didn’t make it out of the arena.
SEMrush reported that initial data volatility peaked at 8 out of 10 on their volatility sensor meter. The last Google core update in 2022 only reached about 5. Mordy Oberstein at SEMRUSH told SearchEngineLand.com, "The March 2023 Core Update relative to the September 2022 Core Update – 8.7% of the top 10 results now ranking on the SERP before ranked beyond position 20 before the update. Back in September 2022, that number stood at 6.5%. Thus, the data again points to more significant rank fluctuations during the March update."
Volatility can harm a company's online visibility, web traffic, leads, and overall revenue. But we're about to reveal the secret to winning the SEO cage match, no matter who or what your adversary is. Are you ready? Grab your helmet because this blog will show you how doing SEO the right way is the shield you need to protect your website from the algo wars.
Black Hat Philosophy
Black hat SEO specialists work to game the system. When SEO specialists game the system, they employ temporary antics for short term gains. Once Google updates the algorithms to stop the cheaters, these black hat SEO folks find new ways to game the system. It’s a cycle that only benefits the person selling the SEO services and their clients continue to pay for continuous service.
These antics can help a company to rank higher in the short term but are subject to increased volitility. On paper (and for a short time), it looks good. Rankings increase and website visitor traffic may increase. However, these successes come at a price. This is especially important for small to medium businesses as they depend on the leads and brand awareness that strong search rankings can offer. They cannot afford to lose 10%, 20% or 30+% of their traffic overnight, which inevitably always happens with black hat SEO strategies.
Our SEO Philosophy
When it comes to SEO, the SyncShow philosophy has always been to do SEO the right way. What do we mean by that? It means not trying to "game the system." We use tried and true best practices that work every time, regardless of what Google or any other search engine is doing. While specific algorithms may change, there are fundamental strategies that will help you maintain and improve your website's visibility in search engine results, no matter what.
Five Best Practices for Doing SEO Right
Here are the five best practices we recommend to help you navigate algorithm updates and maintain strong SEO.
1. Do Your Keyword Research, Place Them Strategically, and Track Their Results:
Keyword research is the cornerstone of effective SEO strategies. Its importance lies in understanding what people are searching for and aligning your content with their needs. Never stop researching and tracking keywords that users are likely searching for. Integrate these keywords naturally into your content so that search engines understand what each webpage is about. Good keyword placement also includes using them in title tags, meta descriptions, and in H1 and other headers. When users search for related terms, well-placed keywords increase the likelihood of your content appearing in relevant search results. In essence, keyword research isn't just about choosing certain words. It’s also about understanding how those words connect and resonate with web visitors. Finding the best balance between keyword optimization and user experience is essential.
2. Focus on High-Quality Content:
Every search engine aims to provide the most informative results to users' search queries. They will consistently rank high-quality content that reflects user intent and provides valuable information higher. Create content that informs and interests your target user, ensuring it meets their needs. When users spend more time on your website, search engines see your content as relevant and useful, which improves search rankings. Additionally, good content attracts more links from other sites, boosting your website's authority and rankings. Don't forget that high-quality content isn't just copy. It's also images, video, infographics, and interactive elements. Focus on providing value to your audience and creating content that genuinely addresses their needs. Over time, good content can boost your search rankings, drive more organic traffic, and help you meet your business goals.
3. Enhance the User Experience (UX):
Good UX takes a user-centric approach, ensuring that everything from navigation to content presentation aligns with your audience's needs and wants. It's not just about making things look pretty; it's about making them work effortlessly. For example, your website's hierarchy plays a significant role in shaping UX. A well-organized hierarchy enhances navigation, content discovery, and overall user satisfaction. Users can easily find the information they need and navigate between different sections of the site. Search engines use website hierarchy to understand page importance and content relationships. A clear hierarchy can improve search engine visibility and rankings. Factors like mobile-friendliness, clear calls to action, content readability, and social sharing options improve searchability. Whether finding information, making a purchase, or simply exploring, a positive UX keeps users engaged, satisfied, and more likely to return. It can also lead to longer visit durations and lower bounce rates, positively impacting SEO.
4. Track Technical Issues
Do not let technical mishaps like page speed, broken links, crawl errors, redirect errors, and accessibility issues affect your SEO. These may be minor annoyances, but they can significantly frustrate users and push your site down the search results page. For example, page loading speed is critical for many search engines, including Google. If your website is slow to load, that will negatively affect your rank.
To make your website load faster, do the following:
- optimize images
- enable caching
- choose a reliable host
Also, customize 404 error pages to provide a user-friendly experience for visitors who land on non-existent pages and install 301 redirects for broken or outdated links. Use a robots.txt file to instruct search engines not to crawl or index certain pages on your site. By adopting a proactive monitoring approach, you can identify and fix technical issues before they affect your SEO efforts.
5. Building a Strong Link Strategy:
Links are like the road signs of the digital highway, guiding search engines and users to your content. Prioritize building high-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative websites to optimize SEO. However, don’t fall prey to manipulative link-building practices that could lead to penalties. This includes:
- buying links
- guest posting on blogs not relevant to your audience just for the links
- creating a network of your websites solely to link to your main site
- using automated tools to create backlinks in bulk
Effective link-building strategies include:
- creating in-depth articles, research studies, infographics, and videos that resonate with your target audience
- identifying influential thought leaders in your industry, building genuine online relationships, and collaborating on content, interviews, or joint projects that can lead to backlinks
- writing high-quality guest posts for authoritative websites in your industry
- participating in online forums and industry-specific communities to share your expertise, linking to relevant content when appropriate
A few high-quality backlinks can have a more positive impact than numerous low-quality ones. Building a strong backlink profile takes time and consistent effort. Focus on quality, relevance, and naturalness to create a link strategy that improves your search rankings and establishes your website's authority and credibility in your industry.
Wrapping It Up
In the ever-shifting landscape of SEO, where Google's algorithm may feel like it reigns supreme, our five best practices remind us that even while algorithms evolve, certain foundations remain unshaken.
By crafting user-centric content that solves problems and sparks curiosity and designing user-friendly websites, we embrace the essence of search itself – providing easy answers to those seeking knowledge. Embracing the power of keywords and user intent transforms us into digital mind readers, anticipating and fulfilling the needs of your audience.
Here at SyncShow, these practices are our compass, ensuring our clients' sites stay steady even as the Google machine rolls on. We're not merely riding the waves; we're shaping them, harnessing the elements of SEO to illuminate brands, foster connections, and leave an indelible mark in the ever-evolving digital world.
With many years of experience, our team knows how to set our clients’ SEO up for success. Contact us today if you’d like to partner with SyncShow on your SEO strategy.