Twenty years ago, nobody would have launched a new business without getting listed in the phone book. What would have been the point? Most people relied on phone books to find addresses and contact information for local businesses. An unlisted new business might as well not exist.
Now, thanks to the Internet, phone books are obsolete — but search engines have taken their places. People routinely use Google, Bing and even Facebook to find businesses in their areas. In addition, search engines essentially tell consumers where to find the goods and services they need. No phone book could do that!
Businesses that launch without SEO strategies might manage to succeed, but they will struggle to reach their potential. Fortunately, improving your website’s SEO doesn’t take a Herculean effort as much as it takes consistency, time and patience. Read on for four easy ways to keep your SEO optimized.
1. Don’t Play Tricks
SEO has come a long way since the end of the Phone Book Era. Digital marketers used to rely on tactics such as link spamming and keyword stuffing to get their websites ranked. They’d spam keywords in their content and in their website meta tags. Back then, gaming the system sometimes seemed better than providing your visitors with a helpful, intuitive online experience.
Those olden days are long gone. Now, succeeding in SEO is all about making users happy. In crafting its latest search engine algorithms, Google has leaned on artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of user data and determine the subtle signals of high-quality websites. Google has grown to reward websites that engage visitors with updated, sharable, high-quality content and fast-loading webpages that load on all kinds of devices.
So, don’t try to game the system, and don’t become consumed with any perceived hacks that claim to magically boost your search rankings. Stick with the long-held basics of good SEO and don’t fall for alleged shortcuts. Even if a shortcut is found, Google will just patch it with its next algorithm update.
2. Make the Most of Search Engine Results Pages
Standing out from the competition is important for any business. Even when phone books were the gold standard, high-rolling businesses purchased ads to stand apart from the rest.