For anybody eager to start their own blog, and is excited about the prospect of making money through stuff they write, you might want to slow down a teeny tiny bit. Because doing anything to earn money on the internet, requires knowing how to build a long-term SEO strategy.
There are two sides to SEO: the technical side, and the basic tactics involved in SEO that contribute to ranking significantly.
You need a good combination of both to truly succeed. But before we get to learning how to build a long-term SEO strategy for financial gains in the years to come, let’s talk about why you need search engine optimization.
What Is It & Why Do You Need SEO?
If you didn’t already know, SEO stands for search engine optimization. And what does that mean?
Basically, it’s making sure that your content or your website is available on the first page of Google’s search results when people look for what you’re offering.
In the technical side of things, you need to optimize your content and your website so that search engines — like Google — can understand what your website and content is about.
If you’re wondering why people are so eager to be found on the first page of Google’s search results, well…
When you’re using search engines, you don’t bother to check the second or third page of Google’s search result pages, do you?
No? Yeah, I thought so…
Basically, the higher your content or your site ranks on Google, the more people will click on it. And of course, if you’re selling products or just blogging for a living, this easily translates to sustainable goals being met.
Now that that’s settled, let’s get to learning how to build a long-term SEO strategy.
How to Build a Long-term SEO Strategy
SEO is famous for having long-term benefits for those who use it effectively. For this reason, you’ll find that even the world’s best SEO companies would strongly suggest that beginners invest in the benefits that these SEO practices can bring. Of course, if you have the budget later on, you can choose to invest in outsourcing your SEO practices for better coverage.
For now, let’s stick to learning how to build a long-term SEO strategy.
#1 Invest in long-form content
Content has become synonymous and inseparable with user experience (the latter being one of the most valued characteristics of a good website).
When we speak of content, we don’t just mean the words you have in your blog posts. This pertains to visual content as well. Content is what attracts users. It’s what gets you noticed.
From an SEO standpoint, longer content presents more opportunities to include natural keywords in the body. In addition, it also provides more detailed information that is beneficial to the user.
In other words, it’s a win-win.
Content quality should never be overlooked. Because it’s a useful and relevant content that gets attention, and establishes your reputation as a trustworthy source.
#2 Learning & using keywords
The right keywords are essential!
Keywords you choose should define what your content is about, and it should also be what your target audience is looking for.
To look for keywords, there are plenty of tools available online that you can use. There’s UberSuggest, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, etc.
There are two types of keywords that you need to take account of:
- Long-tail keywords: These contain four or more words. Yes, a phrase is all right. They clearly specify what a user wants, is looking for, or their intent.
- LSI keywords: Stands for latent semantic indexing. Simply, it means keywords are related to the topic that your page is about. Their purpose is to help search engines like Google understand your content better. For finding LSI keywords, you can use LSI Graph.
#3 Optimize titles, meta descriptions, heading, & sub-headings
So you know about keywords now, and you’re on a mission to create high-quality content. But you need to know about these four essentials
The title tag is the strongest on-page tag indicator, and has a great impact on your SEO ranking.
In optimizing title tags, you need to check for:
- Uniqueness in titles, per page.
- Title length is no more than 60 characters (spaces included).
- Meta titles should contain target keywords.
Also, Google understands the content of a page based on the title tag. That means you should make sure to accurately describe your content.
Another important thing is to use modifiers or descriptive words. They are used with primary keywords. Examples of modifiers include:
- How to–
- Guide to–
- Of year–
- Review of–
Meta descriptions are short paragraphs of text displayed beneath the URL. Otherwise known as a snippet of information, it’s used as a preview for search results.
Meta descriptions are typically up to 160 characters long. These need keywords too, so you tell both search engines and your audience what the page is about.
Headings & Subheadings
Headings and subheadings might look familiar if you’ve ever tried writing a blog. As an HTML tag, it looks like this: <h1>, <h2>, & <h3>.
These are section titles that your audience will see on the page. They’re also useful for dividing one large article into bite-sized formats. For your audience, it’s useful if they’re the type to skim through, looking for information they need.
And for search engines, Google checks these tags in the same method as it checks the meta titles.
#4 Earning backlinks
One very important part of basic SEO is earning backlinks. When we say backlinks, we mean one website mentioning another within the page by linking to it.
It’s true that backlinks are major deciding factors for a site or page to rank on Google SERPs, but there is a catch. Your backlinks should come from high-quality websites that are relevant to your own page’s topic.
Let’s say for instance, you write about social media importance. You would want to get backlinks from other sites that write about social media.
Basically, the more relevant and high-quality backlinks you have, the more useful you are to your target audience.
Think of it this way.
A backlink is equivalent to an upvote for your content, deeming it helpful and user-friendly.
#5 Outbound & internal links
Did we mention that links are important?
Both outbound and internal links are crucial for content communication with search engines.
For outbound links, how it works is that when you link to other domains in your content, you’re helping search engines understand your page, and you’re not leading your audience into a dead end.
Things to remember when doing outbound linking:
- Avoid link farming and private blog networks.
- Link to relevant blogs.
- Stay away from too many outbound links.
And for internal links, these help your audience go from one webpage to another within your website. These types of links help your users navigate through a site.
Internal links promote your own content, along with your products or services.
#6 Do social media promotion
Social media platforms are so powerful. And for your site or content promotion, social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the basic social networking platforms for websites.
In doing social networking, you’re not necessarily contributing to technical SEO, but you do get more exposure and consequently, more traffic. And then it indirectly improves your Google rankings. For instance, sites like Instagram can indirectly improve your SEO.
So, optimize your social media posts and distribute your site or content along the different channels.
#7 Monitor your progress
Doing all this stuff without actually seeing the results is unsatisfying. That’s why you need to track your data. And for this, you should definitely register your site on Google Analytics.
This free tool by Google lets you measure results of your web pages with real-time data. Data is displayed via different channels, like direct traffic, organic search, paid search, referrals, social media etc. They also create custom reports for you as you analyze your data.
Always Think About Your Users
The most important aspect of all when doing your basic SEO is to always think about your users and their experiences.
Always keep your users in mind. Think about their wants and their needs. Because as you write content with the purpose to fulfill your customers’ needs and answer their questions, you a better chance at showing Google that your site content is valuable.
No doubt, SEO is a tactic that has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses. But in terms of sustainability of marketing tactics, it’s one of the best. Do it the right way, and you can definitely learn how to build a long-term SEO strategy.