With the turn of each new year, we not only see countless resolutions but also marketing-specific projections, predictions and prophecies. Mostly fashioned by industry experts, these predictions can cover everything from marketing trends, sector specific performance and even tech premonitions. For Digital Marketing (and SEO specifically), this is no different.
You’ve probably already spotted hundreds of articles covering Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) trends and predictions for 2019. We have. Yet, with all this new information being casually thrown around, the basics of SEO can easily be forgotten.
So, with us half way through 2019 we thought we’d take a minute to step back and revisit the basics of SEO for some easy wins.
SEO basics > SEO trends
SEO trends are often over emphasised, acting as a distraction from some of the simpler stuff that function as solid foundations. Especially for SEO beginners, following the latest trends could actually be doing more harm than good.
“Everyone races to learn more and more, but nothing is done deeply. Things look pretty but they are superficial”
- Josh Waitzkin “The Art of Learning”
Going back to the very basics of SEO, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. Test the theory in practice, analyse the results and fine-tune. Surprisingly, this is usually one aspect of the SEO process that is neglected – a reason so many eventually turn to agencies with already established practices.
Once general tactics are confirmed, using web analytics, such as Google Analytics and SEO tools such as SEMrush, it’s possible to track and define what is and isn’t working. Start small and analyse performance as you go along. From this, you’re able to implement new strategies and the testing process starts again.
Starting with an audit
Before deciding on a focus for your SEO strategy, we recommend starting with an audit. A thorough audit allows you to:
- Understand the current performance of your website, including information on sources of traffic and how your website is interacting with the wider web
- Find technical issues
- Assess on-page content, helping you understand what is working and which areas require improvement”
Exploring these areas within your audit will eventually lead to a list of questions that you must ask yourself:
- When Googling phrases you’d like to be found for – are you listed within the search listings, do they direct the user to the page that is the most appropriate for the search query?
- When looking at your Google Analytics organic traffic report – are there any sudden losses of traffic and are there any website or Algorithm updates that correlate with that?
- When reading the copy on your website, does it add value to the user or reflect your services and/or products?
- Are other websites linking to yours and is it a quality link?”
After an SEO audit has taken place, it’s time to craft a strategy. Another common pitfall is believing that a one-size-fits-all strategy works. When crafting a strategy, it’s important to take into account your sector specifics. A microenvironment analysis has a huge influence on SEO activity.
It’s also key to identify optimal (and relevant) keywords that could help to drive traffic to your website by increasing its visibility within search engines. With this in mind, don’t forget to think about what searcher’s intent is either. The strongest option isn’t always to focus on the most competitive keywords, especially if industry competition is high.
Learn to walk before you run
This age old mantra evidently rings true here. It can be a useful thing to understand the latest trends, but it is more important to delve deeper and establish a strong foundation with the basics first.
Gaining an understanding of the basics allows you to master the intricate workings of SEO. Trends come and go, but the basics of SEO will always be relevant.