One of the most important things to understand about search engine optimization is that it is a long term strategy. Businesses and websites of all industries and sizes can benefit from an SEO campaign, as long as they are willing to commit to it and dedicate the necessary time. Results vary on a case by case basis, but typically SEO success is gradual. Since it can take some time to achieve desired traffic, it’s important to continue working at SEO in order to maintain success.
The first phase of an SEO campaign begins with on-site optimization. The on-site optimization process involves analyzing a website page by page, conducting keyword research, selecting keywords that are relevant to each page and that have search volume, implementing these selected keywords into the content on the page naturally, and writing customized meta tags and URLs. On-site optimization helps the search engine spiders properly index and rank your website for specific keywords and keyword phrases, but it is only part of the SEO process.
What really gives your website the SEO boost that it needs and sets a website up for SEO success long term is phase two, which is link building. While on-site SEO only needs to revisited every few years or whenever the content changes, it’s the link building component of an SEO campaign that needs to be ongoing. A well optimized website is a start, but without the growth of inbound links over time, a business will find it difficult to compete with its competitors that are targeting the same or similar keywords.
The search engines want to provide users with the best possible results for their search query. Therefore, a large portion of the search algorithm is dedicated towards gauging website trust and links are what establish this trust. If the search engine spiders notice that a large number of relevant, quality websites are linking to your site they use this information to determine that your website must be valuable. For this reason, website owners should be on a never ending quest to earn inbound links from quality websites.
Link building, if done correctly, is no easy task. There are plenty of link building services offered at low rates, but those links are mostly useless and may even end up hurting your website in the long run. As part of an SEO campaign, it’s recommended to develop a link building strategy that outlines which tactics will be executed on a monthly basis for at least a year. Link building tactics include blogging and blog commenting, press release distribution, article marketing, directory submission, and social networking. Over time, links will occur naturally as awareness of the company or brand is generated via quality content.
It takes time to achieve SEO success and once you find it, it’s important to stick with the campaign in order to maintain that success. It’s tempting to scale back on SEO efforts once traffic has reached an optimal level, however scaling back results in a gradual downward trend in traffic which is difficult to reacquire.