I'll be honest that the further we get from the algorithm changes of a few years ago, the less I view search engine optimization tools and services as valuable as they once were. Don't confuse that with the importance of SEO. Organic search is still an incredibly efficient and affordable strategy for acquiring new visitors. My problem isn't with the medium; it's with the tools and experts out there still pushing strategies from a few years ago that simply don't work anymore.
And when it comes to agencies, I would forego hiring an SEO agency in place of a content marketing agency that understood SEO. It's just my opinion, but an agency that understands branding and messaging, multi-media content development, conversion optimization, and cross-channel media strategies (including earned, owned, paid and shared media) may cost more but will drive far better results.
That's not to say that all organic search agencies don't understand the changes that have occurred. This infographic from Dilate, Top 6 Most Powerful Latest SEO Strategies 2016 With Tips and Tools, details many of those strategies.
The Infographic covers the major SEO elements to consider in 2016, which includes keyword research, on-page SEO, site-wide SEO, mobile friendly site, link building 2016, content marketing, & mobile SEO. There’s also some helpful pointers at the end to show you which Chrome extensions and news blogs can be most useful to you in your SEO efforts.
If I were to sum up what continues to drive amazing results with our clients, I'd list the strategies Dilate uses, but I'd modify how each is deployed and why:
- Keyword Research – Analyzing both the brand strategy and buyer persona research, developing a site taxonomy and content library is critical.
- On-Page SEO – while the elements of on-page SEO are critical, I'd pay far more attention to how the competitors are winning search over your pages. Comprehensive pages that have headings, sub-headings, bulleted lists, images, diagrams, charts, videos and infographics will win when they provide more value than your competitors.
- Mobile-Friendly Site – again, let's take this a step further. Aside from building responsive web sites, understanding how to implement new technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages will take greater and greater importance. Not to mention Facebook's Instant Articles and Apple News Formats.
- Link Building – Ugh. I hate that word and really don't feel it's in your best interest to pursue. I'd rather state authority building or link-earning. Earned media opportunities that are acquired through public relations will not only provide rank weight, but they also can be used to target the right audiences. Stop looking for places to stick links and start looking for the sites and influencers that will grow your reach, awareness and authority in your industry.
- Content Marketing – Developing a content library that provides value to your audience, is shared by your community, and is recognized by your peers as authoritive content is the best means possible for acquiring organic visitors.
- Mobile SEO – Geographic services play a huge role in local search engine optimization and should have made this list. Google pays a lot of attention to where the search user is located, not just what they're looking for. A mobile search in Indianapolis is simply not going to produce the same results in San Francisco (and it shouldn't).
I think speed should have been a top factor in this infographic as I'm not sure anything has as huge an impact on both ranking, user behavior, and conversions. Fast sites are critical – so image compression, content delivery networks and fast hosts all matter!