What is sustainable SEO? Search engine optimisation efforts that last in the long term, are not dodgy, and can withstand Google’s updates. However, it is not simply about avoiding algorithmic shifts or penalties, but rather on implementing best practices that will last for years rather than days. SEO is not simple and is resource intensive. Thus it is clearly smart to adopt a strategy that centers on techniques that are sustainable for longer periods of time as opposed to ones that may only last a couple of months at best. Many may relate this to a test of endurance since it requires patience. Take a look at The Web Showroom's page on search engine optimisation to learn more about sustainable strategies.
One could attend a week long seminar that goes into all that is involved with the best practices for on-page SEO. However, in the interest of time, this piece will boil everything down to a few key components. Since search engine optimisation is constantly changing, continuing education is important to make certain the following advice holds true in the future and to keep abreast of industry trends. Google’s webmaster blog serves as a quick reference that is designed to provide basic SEO concepts to individual webmasters and therefore is one of many resources one should read to stay informed.
There are a couple of key on-page SEO components that carried weight a decade ago and still makes a meaningful impacts today. The Title tag utilised in the header information of a webpage is one such component. Generally, this is what Google displays as the first line in the search results, as that is the text which hyperlinks to the destination website. Since a webmaster possesses complete control over the Title tag it remains an integral component to in a sustainable SEO strategy. The Title tag should include approximately 85 characters of text that describes the contents of a page. View it in the same manner as a title for a book.
Another component that Google still takes into account is the information architecture (IA) of a website. A clear and intuitive structure is paramount since the converse only leads to confusion. Information architecture is a fancy way to describe the structure of a website. For example, the important pages of site should reside within only a few clicks from the homepage. A webmaster should question the value and necessity of anything that is buried deeper than a few clicks away. Ensuring that content is quickly accessible via a well-structured IA thus remains an important factor in search engine optimisation that endures.
Obtaining external references (links) that point to a web property utilising intelligent off-page SEO techniques is crucial in order to achieve sustainable results from a search engine optimisation campaign. For example a reference from a well-known news journal may garner quite a bit of attention and traffic initially, but what will occur when the reference is yesterday’s news, or a year later when the story is likely viewed by few if anyone. Clearly, there is short term value gained from such a reference, but it is unlikely that reference will assist in the long term and meaningully contribute to a more sustainable SEO campaign. Unless, the website is fortunate enough to constantly obtain stories in top publications.
The converse of the above example, is to obtain a reference from a web page that is likely to stay only a few clicks away from the external site’s homepage. These typically come in two flavours. The first is often easier to obtain and is from a website that is not visited or updated as frequently. Thus a reference from such a webpage is likely to last longer. The second type is of much more value to an SEO campaign, but as one could imagine is more difficult to obtain. This type includes a reference from an extremely popular site, normally associated with a high Alexa score, that decides the information is worthy to remain a few clicks away from its homepage for a long period of time. Developing such unique and intriguing content to warrant such a reference is not a simple task.
There is nothing wrong with developing hypotheses regarding the future of search engine optimisation and the associated algorithms. Rather, doing such is a helpful exercise. However attempting to predict all SEO trends is a fool’s game. How many people predicted the degree of impact that social media signals would influence search results? Probably, not many individuals. The hypothesis that social signals are likely to play an ever increasing role in SEO is not a stretch of the imagination and is worthy to keep in mind when creating a sustainable strategy.
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