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By Joshua Groves • July 24, 2017

Using History to Plan for the Future: A 3-Step Guide to Content and Rankings That Last

How to Future-Proof Your SEO Efforts.jpg

Let’s face it.

SEO has changed so much over the years, you could spin yourself dizzy trying to understand all the recommendations that exist.

But don’t worry, in this post we’re going to cover why you don’t need to read 25 different guides or ask your 14-year-old nephew how it works to end up with good rankings.

Fundamentally, we can use the evolution of SEO to predict the future – simply by reviewing what history tells us about search engine design and refinement.

What does the overwhelming trend say?

Search algorithms are getting better and better at predicting what searchers are looking for. How they do this has evolved from basic keyword matching into predictive analytics across multiple media types while utilizing previous user behavior. It’s really quite fascinating!

However, we’re not really going to delve into the technology behind it. We’ll provide simple takeaways you can start using immediately. Ready?

 

Write and regularly post high-value content for your target audience while making sure your site is well-built, consistently embracing SEO best practices.

While there are advanced, technical best practices for optimizing your SEO efforts [Download our advanced SEO guide here], the overwhelming evolution of search engines the last several years has focused on improving the predictive capability of machines to infer the quality of content and its relevance to the audience that’s searching.

The message here is clear. While there are technological factors to consider that help boost your online presence, each stage of search-engine evolution reduces the importance of the technological factors, driving more importance to the content that you produce.

As an example of this evolutionary trend, an earlier version of Google’s search ranking algorithm would punish all of the pages on a website if a link was bad or other issues were flagged.

Website owners would then have to fix the page and wait for Google to re-evaluate their pages before the penalty could be removed (which could take months, or more). This could cost websites valuable traffic and, no doubt cause many sleepless nights.

 

Now, Google calculates in real-time. If there’s a broken link or another signal that causes them to devalue a page, the penalty is typically specific to that page and doesn’t impact the entire domain.

Once fixed, there are no long-standing penalties to deal with. That means it’s okay to go out there and give this your best shot – you can make mistakes and not be penalized for months and months.

This also means if you follow the inbound methodology, understand your buyer personas and can help solve their problems, you’ll be rewarded by both your audience and search engines.

[Pssst, how to write a great blog post]

Now, you’re probably wondering about those three steps we referenced in the headline.

 

These three steps are the most important things to consider when producing content and optimizing your website for SEO:

1. Write highly relevant, quality content that’s targeted to a specific audience. Gone are the days of writing a general piece that caters to everyone.

2. Ensure each part of your website is appropriately named and categorized. Each page should have a title that describes the content, complete meta descriptions that include keywords, and images that have alt text describing what they are.

3. Include links to relevant internal content/services and where appropriate, link to trusted industry resources to support your content (set these to open in new tab).

 

That’s it! That’s a handy three-step guide to practicing future-proof SEO.

By considering how search engine algorithms have changed over time, you’re able to see the trajectory and predict the future state.

Each iteration of search engine advancement has increasingly rewarded those who create great content and provide value while lowering the rankings of sites with “meh” content and trying to boost their sites with fancy tricks.

Take these three steps and put them to practice. If you decide you need help, schedule a free consultation with us! And in case you missed it earlier, click below to start downloading our free guide to SEO.

The Ultimate Guide to Brilliant SEO (That Really Works) 

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