Do you publish new content exclusively for the enjoyment of your existing audience? Or do you want it to rank high in Google and bring new visitors to your site month after month? One of my firm beliefs is that Google is becoming more and more ‘human,’ and should be treated that way. This means that in all your SEO efforts, you should consider the use for us human visitors first, and then check if that aligns with any SEO recommendations. A site’s age has an influence on that site’s ranking. A site that has been around for a long time can be seen as more reputable. Plus, it gives Google a background in determining a site’s trustworthiness. Basically, site age lets Google know your site is legit. The days of self-serving, scammy, and spammy SEO are long-gone. And that’s a good thing. The ‘secret’ to success with SEO is no secret at all. Just focus on serving your audience’s needs and answering their questions in a thorough and empathetic way.

Diversify your linking profile

First and foremost, the content on your website must be well-written, free of grammatical errors, and 100% unique and original. Content must read smoothly and give visitors the information they are searching for. The search engines tend to give pages with longer, more in-depth content a higher placement on SERPs. As much as it's important to try out new things and experiment with SEO, one thing remains constant -- the importance of title and meta tags. The best keywords are ones that don’t have much competition. Try long-tail keywords — these are three- to six-word keywords that are extremely specific and tend to have less competition for them.

You’re not a content marketer, unless you’re also an SEO

Ongoing addition and modification of keywords and website con­tent are necessary to continually improve search engine rankings so growth doesn’t stall or decline from neglect. Optimizing for local SEO means more than just making sure your location is clear. You can also use it to show opening hours, reviews and phone numbers (which smartphone users can click to instantly call). As I mentioned, SEO is a long-term strategy. You won’t see results in the first week, and probably not even in the first month. Different people grasp information differently, and your business message has to be available in every form so that it can capture the attention of a wider audience.

It’s time to revolutionize our approach to meta tags

Information Architecture allows people and search engines to better understand the content structure on a site. Did you know Google uses around 200 ranking factors to rank websites? This may be a lot for SEOs to take in all at once. However, focusing on links is still best practice. Google counts thousands of PhDs as employees. And while its algorithm over the years has been incredibly vulnerable to abuse by spammers, increasingly it’s taking into account the context in which a link appears. Gaz Hall, a Freelance SEO Consultant, commented: "If the content you’re producing isn’t of a high quality and isn’t useful/unique then, no matter how optimised your site is for search engines, people will simply just click away and find a more useful site"

Go great or go home

If content fails to align properly with keywords, as is often the case Google will ignore your content or give it low priority and searchers will click your link in Google organic results, but they will see the content is off the mark... and leave. Link outreach is a bit “old school” but can still be quite powerful. Unlike traditional AB testing where metrics become available immediately, with an SEO change you need to wait before you can even begin your analysis. Google needs time to index the change. Then you need to accumulate at least 2 weeks of data. Have you ever wondered why Google.com delivers different results for a user in the US than for a user in Germany?