Perhaps the real question is why is a long term SEO strategy such a slow process?
I say this because shorter term SEO tricks can sometimes be implemented, to try and beat the latest gaps in the search engine algorithm.
This has happened time and time again and then an update hits and all these sites suddenly disappear.
So these aren’t SEO strategies they are SEO hacks – and they are short-lived unfortunately.
Instead a longer term SEO strategy aims to give the reader what they want and in doing so will ultimately please the search engines.
Long Term SEO
The term long term SEO has been around since the mid 2000s when Shari Thurrow compared long term and short term SEO approaches.
Thurrow criticised the approach of SEO companies who offered to beat the search algorithms (sound familiar?) back in 2007.
Since no-body really knows all the details of a search algorithm, it isn’t really possible to beat the system long term. In addition even if your post ranks at number one but it isn’t relevant to the reader, they aren’t going to stay and buy anything so what does it really achieve?
This was a message reiterated at a SEO conference in 2014 when Rea Drysdale from outspoken Media stated that website owners needed to concentrate on,
the big picture rather than short-term “vanity goals”
Most SEO Strategies are Short Term (and Short-Lived)
Short term SEO approaches tend to focus on getting website posts ranked, but can often stop once the pages have appeared in the search results.
SEO writer Michael Martinez claims that as much as 50-75% of current SEO strategies are short term, with possibly a further 15-20% being only marginally longer term, which he classes as medium SEO strategies.
This means that the vast majority of people who claim to be practising SEO are really only looking at very short term approaches. Google is expected to change its search algorithm up to 600 times a year, so what works well in SEO today may have no role whatsoever in a strategy in 6 months time.
Longer term strategies focus on ensuring that all content is maintained and SEO is practised continuously.
Google Updates Tend to Affect Low Quality Sites Most
One of the difficulties of the Google updates is that the sites most affected tend to be the ones who have been guilty of whatever the update is tying to stop. Whether this is;
- low quality content with Panda
- or spamming and low quality links in Penguin,
The sites that practiced these things were all badly hit. So whilst it might be tempting to look for those SEO shortcuts to speed up the process, if you ultimately end up losing everything is it going to be worth it?
What is A Long Term SEO Strategy?
A long term strategy for SEO Martinez describes, is a set of principles rather than short term SEO tactics. In essence long term SEO focuses on the reader and works to ensure that;
- content is of good quality and is useful to visitors
- any links are meaningful, relevant and are not broken as time passes
- site can be navigated easily and content found
- regular new content is added that is fresh
- older content is updated and adapted so that the whole website continues to contain useful and relevant material
- site content caters for a variety of readers including – visual learners, readers that scan content and video learners
- SEO is applied on a continual basis rather than as a once off gesture to get the website domain indexed and ranked.
In other words an overall SEO strategy looks at a number of different aspects of your website, not just quick ranking tactics.
In terms of a maintenance and SEO strategy, the website design needs to consider the following points;
- On site navigation – if you want to reduce bounce rate and encourage readers to visit other pages, do you make this easy for them?
- Site loading – slow to load sites often have images and content that has not been optimised or are weighed down with plugins.
- Mobile use – more people now access the internet by mobile therefore sites that do not facilitate this face SEO penalties.
- Back links – need to be genuine and enhance your website rather than simply be bought links.
All of these factors take time and effort and it is largely for these reasons that real and genuine SEO principles take time to be implemented and show their results.
The following infographic provides a summary of the key issues discussed in this article and hopefully it will be useful when considering your own long term SEO strategy.
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