Technology

3 SEO Practices to Guide Your Strategy in 2020

By / Nov 19, 2019 (Nuthawut/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

SEO is important, but it’s hard to explain up the corporate ladder and to other departments. Reframing your SEO practices could help drive better results in the coming year.

More organizations than ever think that search engine optimization matters.

In fact, according to a recent study from Zazzle Media, 97 percent of marketers agreed that SEO was a key part of their marketing strategy.

But with search a constantly confusing thing to get a grasp on in the organization, it might help to reframe your strategy in the coming year. A few considerations to get things going:

Put extra focus on highlighting results in reporting. As the Zazzle report notes, budget issues are the most common reason that organizations don’t invest more in SEO, cited by 61 percent of respondents who were asked their top three reasons why. But the second and third place answers suggest a more subtle dynamic at play: 34 percent of respondents noted that it was hard to prove SEO’s effectiveness, while 26 percent said that other channels provided a better return. “This points to the ongoing challenge of winning over senior stakeholders and educating further up the company structure,” the report stated[registration]. The firm suggested regular, in-depth reporting of data for the next year to help clear things up and build investment.

Work with your developers to find SEO common ground. Your devs may have bad memories of some of the decisions your organization made to help boost its search engine presence back in the day, and it might discourage them from wanting to get in your corner again. But the fight is worth it, Search Engine Journal notes. “The days of keyword stuffing and bulk link buying are no longer seen as popular or sustainable SEO practices by most, but it may take time and relationship building for an SEO to win the trust of developers because of their prior experiences,” it states. The site recommends finding common goals between your analytics and developer teams to maximize your work.

Don’t use backlinks as a crutch. A key way to help your organization’s reach is through a strong search presence, and that might lead you to focus on aggressively building out backlinks with other sites. Kaspar Szymanski, a former Google employee and a founder of the firm Search Brothers, says that leaning too hard on backlinks—including using sketchy schemes such as payment or false traffic—is a bad move. But in a guest post for Search Engine Land, Szymanski notes that backlinks still have a place, if they’re used in the correct context. “Backlinks should be actively pursued, however, not for an illusionary PageRank gain, but to grow conversions, which is the primary purpose for optimizing websites and does not pose a risk that the site may be penalized and disappear from [search engine results pages] altogether,” he said.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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