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Ultimate Guide to Establishing and Maintaining a Competitive Edge in SEO

The desperation for top rankings on Google has, over the years, evolved from keyword stuffing to black hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics. This fact alone has necessitated the constant changing of the Google algorithm to a level of sophistication that sees Google rolling out ranking updates way too often for comfort. The implications here are that no sneaky strategy will get you to, or maintain your site on, the front page. You have to stick it out, your content has to be top-notch, and your website has to be a genuinely useful resource.

 

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Technical SEO

Let’s start at the top. First, great content is fantastic, sure, but does your website’s infrastructure complement your content? Or does it ruin your chances of conversion? Think about site speed, responsiveness, structures, and sitemaps. Technical SEO is all about how efficiently your website can adapt Google’s ranking algorithm to optimize UX (User Experience). As much as you concentrate on establishing your website as a useful resource, try to make your infrastructure as easy to navigate through as possible.

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Structured Data

The first and most valuable resource in planning SEO is to understand a searcher’s intent. Think about it. What if you could actively evaluate the exact part of your content that drives results, then structure your content, in its entirety, around that specific data. 

Let’s break it down a bit. Resources such as Amazon and Microsoft are considered structured data consumers. These sites target specific, well-positioned information. Structured data doesn’t just improve your visibility; it also provides a kind of “hint” to search engines, which ultimately enhances your analytics. 

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Semantic Markups

You may have noticed that most of these strategies tie into providing improved user experience. That is the single most valuable resource in optimizing SEO. Semantic markups here allow you to catalog content, they make it easier to update your coding, and most importantly, they give you a far more precise query/content match. This element of technical SEO means search engines can easily crawl, index, and rank your site. By extension, your website becomes more target-specific, a factor that makes your content easier to understand. This strategy builds on understanding user intent and addressing it with the best available resource – precisely what Google is trying to achieve. 

According to Jason Barnard, Owner, Kalicube.pro, trustworthiness, credibility, and understanding will be the most crucial elements of online businesses. It will be vital for many companies to establish supply chain excellence in their fields to maintain their status as a credible resource. Now, this may sound complex, but it isn’t. The idea here is that search engines will now have a fact-checking orientation to benchmark the quality of specific content. Primarily, how well you rank will be determined by how relevant, useful, and credible your content is. 

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Utilize Consumer-Based Link Building

According to Shannon McGuirk, Head of PR and Content, Aira Digital, nothing drives traffic quite like a well-formulated, well placed, and consumer-based link. In principle, one authority link is worth a dozen half-ass, irrelevant backlinks. Link building meant for search rankings has become a thing of the past. Ensure you earn links that focus on user needs, prioritize the understanding of user intent, and customer satisfaction. Customer-based link building helps you establish trust, and a successful strategy will help you build a bigger brand. 

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Build On Visual/Video-Based Content

Quick facts 

According to the Search Engine Journal and the Search Engine Watch, 62% of universal Google searches have one thing in common: VIDEO CONTENT. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. You’re also looking at the fact that content with visual/video content is 50 times more likely to show up on a search engine research page than plain text (Forester Research). These figures are an indication that SEO in 2020 will lean heavily on visual content. 

With this in mind, it is also important to note that the discussion here is video content as a valuable resource, not an ad or anything that diverts attention from plain text. The video should support your content to add and complement it. You can start a YouTube Channel or link to Instagram or Facebook. Just ensure it’s useful. 

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Track Your SEO Progress 

Ultimately, the success of your marketing strategy will have to show results. Mostly, you have to be continually updating your SEO to get the best blend of factors. You’re looking at an evaluation into landing page efficiency, conversion rate, SEO spending vs. return rate, performance and rankings, all the way to CTR (Click Through Rate), DT (Dwell Time), and bounce rate. In the larger scheme of things, you need to be aware of how your strategy is performing, and whether you need to improve or go back to the drawing board. Effectively tracking your progress is an integral part of proper SEO planning in the future. 

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Prioritize Visibility

A new concept comes into play here. Featured snippet optimization. This concept indicates that more brand marketing is happening on Search Engine Research Pages (SERPs) than on your website. The quicker brands learn to adapt and optimize on Google, the more visibility they gain. Focus on first impressions. Structure your snippet optimization strategy to maximize your profile and establish content that ranks first on the knowledge graph. 

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Focus on User-Based Content

Lastly, this list would not be complete without further emphasis on user-based, quality content. Nothing improves your organic visibility, quite like well-formulated content. According to Grace Kindred, Junior Technical SEO Analyst, News UK, there is still a strong drive for quality content as a way for websites to build and establish consumer trust. 

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Bottom Line

The prime resolve here is to establish and maintain a long-term online presence that is accurate and convincing enough to elicit consumer trust. The SEO tips and strategies you see here should allow you to withstand this test of time, and to help maintain a competitive market edge. Focus on building trust and improving your credentials, SERP rankings will come.

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Greg

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