We’re fortunate enough to live in a time where SEO strategies have non-technical elements. Believe it or not, SEO used to be even more complicated, and if you didn’t know how to code, you wouldn’t even think about trying to manipulate it.
Today, SEO campaigns incorporate both technical and creative, non-technical elements. As search engine algorithms developed, highly-ranked sites evolved to appeal more to the human user and not just the site crawler looking for the right links and metadata. Great SEO strategies can now focus on the value and relevance of site content.
Technical VS non-technical SEO…neither is more important than the other—they both work together to create a site that is both user-friendly and search engine-friendly. The ideal SEO team combines people with technical web development knowledge and people with the right marketing skills. This means that boosting SEO might be easier to think about as a team, but also that it can be tough to figure out what exactly needs your attention. Is your SEO lagging because your site isn’t mobile-friendly (a technical issue) or because your content just isn’t what your target demographic is looking for (a marketing issue)?
To really optimize your site’s SEO, you have to be thorough and ensure every piece of your site is structured to suit the search engine algorithm and your human consumers. Obviously, this isn’t easy. Maybe you have a whole team of people dedicated to this, or maybe you are the team dedicated to this. Either way, you should have a solid plan when it comes to a well-rounded SEO strategy.
Know Who’s Doing What
Depending on the size of your company, your SEO team will look different. When possible, those working on technical SEO—writing your XML sitemap, testing your load speed, filling out site metadata—tend to be different from those working directly on web development. These technical SEO employees are a link between the web developers and the non-technical SEO marketing team.
They have enough knowledge of SEO and web development to ensure both sides are operating in the best way possible for the site’s ranking. They will also implement the ideal structures and optimizations. It’s imperative that whoever is in charge of the technical SEO is involved in planning your SEO strategy. They aren’t just there to spot problems that could’ve been prevented.
Stay Up-to-Date on Search Engines
The current state of SEO (the popular strategies, the go-to advice) is all due to how Google’s search engine algorithm has evolved in the past 20 years. Two people used to be able to put in the same search and get just about the same result. Now, Google knows it’s users. The search results rearrange on the page depending on the searcher’s location and search history.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when it comes to keywords (and for users!). Users know that they don’t need to include their location in their search when they are looking for somewhere to eat. They can just say “thai food,” and Google will pull up restaurants in their area. You no longer need to waste time targeting “thai food pasadena.”
Google also serves up mobile-friendly sites to mobile users before it serves up desktop-only sites—something that would make a non-technical person cringe, but that can be easily fixed by using the right theme or having a developer on staff to help correct technical issues.
The point is that SEO campaigns develop as search engines develop. Consult your analytics regularly to see what’s working, but also keeping on top of the latest developments in tech news so that you’re ready to adjust when the next big update comes down from Google.
Know the Value of Off-Page SEO
To this point, we’ve only been talking about on-page SEO. That’s your site structure, content, internal linking, speed, etc. And while juggling technical and non-technical SEO might seem like enough, you also need to consider off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO is your social media, your guest blogs, and your inbound links. This offers some different benefits than your on-page SEO, but ultimately both work together to increase your performance. Take social media. Directly, Google has started incorporating a brand’s social presence into search results. But social media platforms themselves have also become forms of search engines. Like Google, social media is somewhere that you can go to research your customer’s searching habits and how they want to receive content.
Inbound linking sounds like something technical, but this is actually something that will fall in the hands of your marketing team. Inbound links are links to your site from other sites. They can be built up through affiliate programs with partners in your industry. This not only helps your site ranking to drive you some business, but also helps to establish your brand within your industry.
Write for Humans, Not for Robots
While it can be easy to throw a bunch of buzzwords at content creators and expect a product that will really boost SEO, this isn’t the best strategy. This won’t even make Google as happy as you might think it will. Part of SEO is dependent on your content’s relevance and popularity. A blog post that isn’t relevant to the rest of your site or that doesn’t appeal to your readers isn’t going to do so hot.
Of you’re just starting a blog, don’t even worry about keywords. Figure out what your audience wants to read, and then start looking into optimizing for SEO. One way to do this is to work SEO tips into both your content workflow and your in-house style guide. On the non-technical side, this means that your content is chosen to appeal to your customers. It incorporates the right keywords selected by the technical SEO team. There’s a step in the editing process where these keywords are appropriately added. On the technical side, there is also a step where the HTML of the new content is given the correct forms of metadata. The H1 tags are in the right spot and there’s alternate text given to the image.
Even the experts know you can’t go at SEO alone. Great SEO campaigns also need great tools. A managed WordPress hosting plan with Pressable includes a free subscription to Jetpack Security Daily, a feature-rich plugin that includes SEO tools that will take over some of the nitty-gritty of your SEO strategy. Plus, our Strategic Partner Program is filled with companies ready to get to work improving your site’s search engine performance.