10 Signs that Your SEO Company is Behind the Times

If your SEO company isn’t changing their strategy at least once a year, you may be paying for activities that are no longer relevant. Search engine optimization is one of the most important online marketing techniques a company can use – if it is performed with regularity and expertise.

Just like any other service industry, over time SEO tools, parameters and trends change. Search engines, like Google, and social platforms, like Facebook, update their algorithms. When they make these updates and changes, marketers must refine or redirect their digital marketing techniques otherwise it can be money down the drain. It’s crucial to know when your SEO professionals are not keeping up – because when it is not up-to-date, is a waste of both money and time.

seo strategies
photo credit: Jonny Hughes

Recent changes to the Google algorithms continue to shift the SEO industry from link building for rankings to reinforcing websites that use techniques that provide users with fulfilling experiences rather than frustration. The Google updates are always refining how to spot and penalize spammy activities that are intended to trick the user into a variety of results.

Success comes from consistency and through the use of “white hat” methods that allow your website to rise above the competition by demonstrating it is a great company or organization with which to do business.

Here are 10 of the bigger changes that have happened over the past year that you will want to keep in mind when planning, implementing or supervising your SEO service professionals.

  1. Keyword strategies: Due to Google’s privacy policy update all organic keywords are no longer provided in your Google Analytics account. Focusing on keywords and rankings is not a good practice anymore since there is no way to measure the return on investment (ROI).
  2. Link building practices: Basically link building for the purpose of ranking is not working any more. Backlinks work only if they are built with the purpose of obtaining quality connections from related, relevant websites that have real audiences, quality content and don’t practice in paid schemes.
  3. Website Architecture: Yes, architecture is more important than it has ever been before. Standard on-page optimization is not cutting it any more. Website-related issues like page load speed and organic click-through-rate (CTR) have become part of organic ranking factors.
  4. Long tail keywords in the title: This is no longer a relevant practice. Posts need to be longer, have references and basically include more media, images or videos. If your posts end up with high bounce rates, they can easily hurt your organic rankings, especially in mobile search.
  5. Broad keyword for Page One: Looking to be organically placed on page one of Google or other search engines? It is very possible for narrow keyword strategies, but you’ll need to combine your location, services and products to be able to garner targeted results. Google is extremely sensitive about small businesses trying to dominate broad terms which makes this is a time-consuming approach. The only way to get there is through niche related keyword optimization based on your geographic area.

Local SEO

  1. Localize SEO for your websites: Even if your query is not location related, Google tailors results based on searchers’ locations as well as businesses locations. This makes it easier to optimize your business and gain some advantage in your area/niche. The key is to combine local search practices with other SEO strategies.
  2. Visitors’ security: Improving visitors secure experience is not a demand anymore, it is a must. Using secure protocol, like https, and updated privacy policy plays a key role in enhancing your audience’s privacy and it adds to your website’s overall ranking.
  3. Smart device compatibility: Since mobility continues to become commonplace, smart device compatibility is a requisite and also a ranking factor. Having a separate mobile website is not a good practice anymore and it would be best to adapt a responsive design that will respond to any smart device screen size.
  4. Authority visibility: Becoming viewed as an authority in your industry is becoming more and more important than before. That means having a website that provides answers to industry demands, trends and problems in as many ways as possible. It might come in the form of daily blogs, how-to videos, podcasts and more. Creating an authority brand will directly affect the citation sources and the websites and methods you build links with. Additionally, if you are not constantly active in your online social community and not building a social buzz around your brand and services, you are behind schedule.
  5. SEO schedule: The truth is, technology, online tools and marketing trends are changing more rapidly these days. In the past, it may have been okay to take action a couple times a year and hope for the best. But if you truly want to see your business rise above the clutter, consistency is paramount. Get your audience to know who you are, what you are offering and why they should do business with you.

So now you know. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it wouldn’t have been built at all if they didn’t continue to improve their building methods and make sure all the peasant workers knew how to use the latest tools and methods.

Building a business is no different. Once you learn how to build the strongest pillars, your SEO marketing techniques can continue to change, as needed, without negatively affecting the structure. So make sure your SEO marketing specialists are up-to-date and not setting you back by encouraging the use of overnight get-ranking-quick schemes.