Nate Nead is the President & CEO of DEV.co, a custom software development company based in Seattle.
You’ve probably seen several ads promoting “set it and forget it” SEO strategies for WordPress. Unfortunately, these promises are too good to be true.
WordPress utilizes plugins for additional website features, but SEO can’t be executed by a plugin alone. A strong SEO strategy will include several aspects of automation, but the bulk of SEO requires manual work.
Have you reached a plateau with your SEO efforts? Would you like to push forward and break through the limitations of SEO plugins? Start implementing the following strategies and you won’t be disappointed.
1. Learn from SEO professionals
Can you tell the difference between a true SEO professional and an internet marketer? If not, you need to learn fast. If you learn SEO from a professional, you’ll become self-sufficient. If you learn SEO from an internet marketer, you won’t know what to do when your automated systems and plugins are no longer supported. Unavoidably, there will be a time when your SEO plugins will be deprecated.
The difference between internet marketers and SEO professionals
Generally speaking, internet marketers are not selling SEO knowledge. They’re selling automated “hands-off” systems for people who don’t have time to do the work. If you don’t do the work, you’ll never learn enough to become self-sufficient.
The other difference is that internet marketers don’t usually have a track record of working with businesses long-term. Since the systems they sell are automated, there’s no need for long-term relationships.
On the other hand, SEO professionals develop long-term relationships with their clients as they perform the work. Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy that requires hard work, measuring that hard work, making changes, and repeating the cycle. Many professionals advocate using automated systems, but automation supplements the manual work.
Where to learn SEO online (for free) from industry professionals
Don’t gamble with random YouTube videos and courses you’ve seen advertised on Facebook. Learn the foundation of SEO from successful industry professionals. The free SEO training we put together will teach you:
You might be familiar with some of the components listed above, but if you’ve never gone in-depth with your SEO efforts, it’s time to dive deep. Every SEO component matters. For instance, if you’ve never used authority sites to boost your ranking and you’re not a pro at using LSI keywords, this free training will empower you to get your site ranked higher in the SERPs.
2. Stay on top of changes in the SEO industry
If you’re learning SEO from industry professionals who produce content on a regular basis, they’ll probably teach you about changes as they occur. However, it’s still wise to independently seek new knowledge.
Here are three easy ways to stay up-to-date with SEO industry changes:
Read popular SEO blogs. There are plenty of SEO blogs on the internet, but stick with top blogs like Moz and Search Engine Journal.
Search for “SEO changes” in Google News. Use Google’s News feature to search for changes in the SEO industry. You’ll get better results.
Bookmark Google’s Webmaster Central Blog. Google makes periodic announcements via the Webmaster Central Blog. Bookmark this site and visit often to stay up-to-date with Google’s announcements.
3. Don’t drop the ball on maintenance
Once you reach a goal, don’t take your foot off the gas. Keep going and focus on maintenance. The moment you’re aware that you’ve reached a goal, you’re already moving toward your next goal. Don’t allow your momentum to slow down.
If you’ve achieved top rankings and are generating decent traffic, maintenance will be essential. Long-term SEO requires establishing authority. You can’t establish authority unless you work hard to keep your site in the top position.
4. Invest in relevant content creation
Creating relevant content is the most effective SEO strategy, but it’s not easy. In 2015, Ascend2 conducted a survey that found 46% of respondents said relevant content is the most difficult task to execute.
If you’re struggling with content creation, hire a professional content marketing agency to produce your content. You can’t afford to produce inferior content.
Take SEO one step at a time
When you’re used to plugins and automation, diving into manual SEO with a WordPress site can be overwhelming. Take your journey one step at a time. Learn as much as you can and outsource the remainder to professionals. Your time is valuable and you deserve the best results.