Photo-Mix / Pixabay

When it comes to search engine optimization these days, it’s far from enough to simply produce great work. Whether you’re sharing the written word, photos, books, slideshows, or infographics, your overall strategy should go further than just sharing and waiting.

Your hard work needs to be built upon a strong SEO foundation. Here are several important practices that can help you reach the next level.

Do Your Homework

Dive deep into keywords, themes, and competitors within your space. Utilize SEO research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, and SEMRush to evaluate the search volume of different keywords, the competition within them, and their corresponding traffic values and costs.

Comb through the first pages of various search results in order to determine what sites are leading the pack. Popular brands and authoritative sites tend to keep the bar raised high in terms of keyword competition.

When competitors’ sites are lower in quality and authority, you might have a chance to corner an audience. What you’re trying to find is a perfect intersection of high demand for keywords and low competition. Not every keyword will line up with this ideal match, so keep this next practice in mind.

Make Room For Simple Stuff

Sure, you’re looking to produce plenty of digital content for your audience with professional level knowledge, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll need to also serve beginners and novices. As you build your digital presence and brand, you’re going to be best served by an approach that prioritizes breadth over depth.

Additionally, consider how easy you’ll find it to produce “lighter” pieces of work that provide something for the full range of your potential audience.

Layer your content by linking between relevant topics and sections. Refer your readers to previous coverage, related subjects, and anything else that you’ve published which they might find useful.

Keep an eye on opportunities to improve on things that already exist. You might be able to produce something much better than an existing publisher with better titles, formatting, sources, and depth. By creating quality content and aiming for the top ranks, you’ll also raise your chances of earning backlinks from other publishers and aggregators within your space.

Search engines are looking for links as they crawl your website, so make sure that you’re paying attention as well.

Maintain, Clean, And Refresh

While you’re probably focusing on crafting plenty of new things to keep your website moving, it’s just as important to keep tabs on your history.

Your highest-performing pieces should be checked and improved as needed, and anything that’s outdated and irrelevant should be updated as well. Both weak and heavy hitting content alike may benefit from being repurposed into other formats—perhaps an infographic can make use of your existing copy and reach an entirely different audience?

Consider labeling your entries with “last updated” labels that let your readers know how fresh something is.

Never Stop Learning

Subscribe to mailing lists, follow social media accounts, and do whatever it takes to stay on top of news and trends in digital marketing and SEO. Technologies and best practices seem to change in the blink of an eye, so don’t fall behind!