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The Ghost of SEO Still Haunts Content Marketing

If SEO is what you’re after, it may be time to update your strategy.

SEO. Everyone wants it, but keeping on top of the ever-evolving search engine optimization process can be a challenge. Strategies that worked in the past to help you earn top billing on search results, such as linking and keyword padding, are now obsolete.
What’s an SEO manager to do? Use an agile strategy that evolves with changes to the latest search ranking algorithms and visual display of search results.
With Google now favoring websites that are mobile-friendly, check the mobile presence of your content and make sure it’s formatted to take advantage of the medium. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized and likely to see a big drop in traffic. Design your site for an optimal user experience, with a display that’s easy to read on a phone and can interact with on any device.
Photos have long been vital in bringing people to your site and are you can harness it for SEO. Search engines can’t “see” images, so add alt text and appropriate file names so Google knows what the image is about, which gives a boost to your online visibility. Also, mention the image in related content with keywords similar to the filename or alt text. A photo caption, when appropriate, also helps.
Yes, Google knows where you live, though it uses the data to optimize search results to reflect your location. For local businesses, this means local SEO is more important than ever. Google now treats local search rankings like traditional ones, and has improved the way it evaluates distance when ranking. Improve your local SEO by adding your location, city and state, throughout your site, including in the sites title, heading, page content and image alt text.
In the days of yore — 10 years ago — filling your content with keywords was a sure path to SEO success, particularly exact word matches. But Google has been getting smarter and has improved its ability to recognize synonyms and concepts related to your keywords. The best approach is ditching keywords and writing content best suited to your users; the right keywords will be included and Google will pick up on the intention and goals of your site.
That’s what Google likes and rewards while keyword padders are penalized for trying to game the system.

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