Creative Commons image by  NOGRAN s.r.o.

Creative Commons image by
NOGRAN s.r.o.

If you’ve been marketing your business online for a decade or more, your understanding of what makes good search engine optimization strategies might be less than up-to-date. Part of keeping your SEO where it should be is keeping up with the latest trends. Here are a few tips and hints that can get you out of the Dark Ages of Internet marketing (okay, really just into 2016 and beyond).

Keywords are not what they used to be.

You already know that content quality is important and that keyword-stuffing is very much out (right?).A� What you might not realize is that when Google sifts through your content, it’s not necessarily looking for keywords in their own right. Instead, it’s looking for your intent. That’s why if you Google, “greatest show in the world,” the search engine knows that chances are good you’re looking for the Ringling Circus, which is the “greatest show on earth.”

What this means for you is that while keyword research is helpful because it can steer you in the right direction, sticking to specific keyword phrases, particularly long-tail phrases, is not important. Make sure your content is well-written and focuses on the point you want to make, and it should be classified correctly in searches.

Link wheels are a big don’t.

Ten or so years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for SEO companies to recommend “link wheels.” These were websites built for the purpose of all linking to one another. For example, if you had a website where you sold cleaning products, you might develop one site about floor cleaners, which linked to a site about bathroom cleaners, which linked to a site about window-cleaning, which linked back to the floor cleaner site. These were sometimes complex designsA� if drawn out, creating figure eights, spokes, and other shapes in addition to (or instead of) a simple wheel, but the premise was the same: Manipulate linking to boost SEO.

Nowadays, this doesn’t work. First, Google catches onto this sort of thing and will penalize sites for doing this. Secondly, backlinking works best when the sites linking back are authoritative, and not just fake sites or sites built specifically for backlinking or link-wheeling purposes. If you were wondering whether building a link wheel would be a good strategy, it’s not. It was iffy a decade ago, and it’s definitely black-hat now.

Local SEO is a completely different animal.

Between a requirement for mobile-friendliness and changes to the layout, local SEO looks almost nothing like it did a decade ago. Think about it: Ten years ago, people weren’t using their smartphones to look for a “cake bakery near me,” like they are today. Keeping your Google My Business listing up to date and making sure that your site is optimized for mobile devices are two actions you can take right now to boost your local SEO rankings, if you haven’t done them already.

There are undoubtedly many other ways that today’s best SEO practices are not the same ones you had success with ten, or even five, years ago. If you aren’t sure where to start with your digital marketing and local search, contact Most Optimal for help.


SEO links
Creative Commons image by Adam Levine.

Creative Commons image by Adam Levine.

Whether you are new to learning about search engine optimization, or SEO, or you’ve been at this for a while, you probably wish there were a few silver bullets that would all but guarantee success. Well, there aren’t… but there are some content- and link-based strategies to try if your SEO strategy seems to be stagnating. An SEO company can help you with any or all of these tips, or you can try your hand at these on your own.

Boost your content.

Go through each of your pages and be sure that they all have at least 300 words of content. If they already do, comb through to make sure that your keywords are included somewhere on the page, preferably toward the top. Also, read it out loud to ensure it reads well. If necessary, hire a writer or an editor to make sure that your content is human-reader-friendly. If people are clicking away from your site in frustration because the content is not up to par, then the search engines will not look favorably upon your site. Make it reader-friendly with subheadings and plenty of white space, and be sure that what you are putting on the page is worth saying; it should be engaging and relevant to your business.

Add Internal Links

Within your content, you should have a couple of links going to other pages on your website. You should also have a navigation bar on your home page that will lead to various other pages. One good tip to keep in mind is that the higher up on a page a link is located, the more importance Google and other search engines will attribute to the page it leads to. If you are using a link to a secondary page on your homepage, try to get it in the first paragraph or two, if possible.

Build External Links

Link-building means getting other sites to link to your pages. This can be easier said than done, but there are a fewA� ways to accomplish this without resorting to black-hat methods. One is to ask site-owners who are not your competitors but who still use your keyword on their pages for links. For example, if you’re a landscaper, you might know of companies who will reference landscaping in your area even though they’re not landscapers themselves. Some examples might be real estate agents, nurseries, or companies who do siding or brickwork.

Use Outbound Links

Another way to use links is to link out to other sites. Every site you link to should have content or a product that you believe in. Another consideration is that each of these sites should be reputable. Linking to a random blog does not hold the same clout as linking to a reputable organization in your industry, and search engines are aware of this. As a side note, linking out can actually end up bringing you more external links, which will, in turn, help you score better on the SEO algorithms.

Search engine optimization can be a challenge, but if you have the time to comb through your site and work on your content and your links, you should see some improvement on your ranking. Most Optimal is also available to help you with your local visibility and search marketing. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more!