SEO is becoming an Arms Race, learn how to compete

By July 13, 2018 SEO

This is a guest post by Kick Media, a Brisbane based digital marketing agency.

As the percentage of businesses putting digital strategies in place continues to rise month to month, competition for the top spots on Google is really heating up as SEO is becoming more and more difficult. There are only so many things you can do to help a sites SEO so it becomes an arms race to see who can do the most the fastest.

If we break down the landscape of SEO there are basically 5 ways to optimise a site for SEO. There may be hundreds of generally accepted factors that affect SEO but they all fall into 5 broad categories of optimisation. Each has slightly different weights that change from one google algorithm change to the next but essentially the more of these categories you dominate the higher your site is going to rank.

The 5 Types of SEO Optimisation

Authority

Authority is about link building so we are talking about backlinks, referring domains, referring C class’s, and Citations. Most SEO’s hang out in this space and ignore everything else, as for a long time link building has been seen as the single most important weapon in the SEO arsenal. For those that enjoy checking the links of every page that ranks as much as I do you would have noticed in the last 12 months that more and more sites are ranking with very few backlinks so we know algorithms are slowly moving away from this factor. It’s definitely still important though.

Relevance

This category is about your site’s relevance to the search term you are trying to rank for. It includes the following factors; term frequency, search intent, LSI keywords, amount of content and language. So this section covers most of your onsite changes like adding content, checking your keywords are being used in headings and putting other similar words that Google expects to see alongside your content based on other people using the terms. Another important part of this section is making sure you are answering the question someone is typing into Google known as search intent.

Quality

This factor covers optimisations like click-through rate, traffic, brand search, repeat visitation, terminating search & engagement. These factors are all far more recent additions to Google’s algorithms and since it’s release the importance is increasing quickly as Google gets better at measuring them. Kick Media SEO a local Brisbane agency have been doing significant R & D into this category and expect Quality link building to eventually take over Authority as the most important category.

Trust

This category covers the following factors: SSL Cert, site includes phone numbers, privacy policy, terms of service, contact forms, address’ hours of operation and reviews. This category is most simple to work on as it’s more about tick boxes that can all be checked off quickly by adding everything Google wants to see.

Location

This category is about proximity to the searcher, geo-optimised images, using the right domain for the country you target, Hreflang Tags, local citations and having the right region selected in search console. Google is getting better and better at serving local content even in generic searches. To take advantage though your site needs to let Google know where it’s located.

Where most SEO strategies break down.

A lot of websites run into problems by optimising just one of the 5 factors. Often there will be one factor that they know how to do well so they just focus on it forgetting everything else. In the beginning, optimising just one factor will cause increases in ranking and in some industries it can even be enough to rank. This gives them confidence so whatever factor they were working on they do more and more. However, eventually, they become over optimised in the one factor and Google starts to penalise them through their algorithms. In more competitive industries these penalties often happen before they ever get to the top of Google. When you think about all of Google’s algorithm updates most are designed to find and penalise one or another of these factors being done in excess.

Holistic SEO Strategies 

The best SEO strategies being developed for local Brisbane businesses, incorporate as many of the 5 SEO factors as possible to provide a more holistic approach to SEO. The good news, especially for those doing their own SEO, is you don’t have to be the best in all 5 factors to rank number 1. In fact very rarely are sites ranking number 1 even at the top of more than 2 of the categories. You just need to go outside your comfort zone to learn about and work on as much as you possibly can. If you can dominate at least two out of the five and not ignore the other 3 you will be well on the way to number 1 rankings in any industry.

Matthew Rogers

About Matthew Rogers

I love everything visual & digital, from photography to graphic design and special effects.