Creating a website or implementing an SEO strategy is no mean feat. From slick navigation and compelling content to page speeds and link profiles, there’s no end of things you’ll need to bear in mind if you want to rank prominently in the SERPs.

But what are some of the fundamental, guiding principles you must adhere to in order to achieve success? Here’s six truths to live your SEO life by.

  • Make SEO a strategic company-wide initiative

SEO takes a great deal of commitment for it to work – you’re either all in or you’re out. That means CMOs and other top decision makers must make SEO a key strategic initiative that is recognised and followed company-wide.

After all, Gartner reports that “nearly half of brands lack a discernible search strategy; only 10 per cent are maximising the opportunity search offers.”

One of the best ways to get everybody on board is by educating employees about SEO and its many benefits. Support your rationale with hard evidence and get creative to move SEO changes forward.

  • Beat the competition, not the algorithm

The goalposts of SEO move on a daily basis. It’s up to search engine gurus to figure out these changes and respond faster than the competition.

In other words, there’s no point trying to beat an algorithm that continually updates to the wants and needs of users. Instead, focus on your rivals and attempt to outperform them for competing keywords.

When it comes to dissecting the competition, look at on-page factors, off-page factors, technical factors and quality factors. Ask yourself: What is it that’s helping them to rank so well? This should better inform your approach going forward.

  • Website content needs a clear and deliberate hierarchy

Linking together pieces of content that are related to one another is no longer good enough. If you want to show Google you’re an authority on any given subject, your website must provide detail and depth. This can only be achieved with siloed content.

Siloing structures website content by grouping related web pages together in categories. These categories support both desired keywords/search terms and the expertise of a

website.

“Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site,” notes Google’s Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide. “Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure.”

  • SEO is not a silver bullet

The fundamentals of SEO are and will always be a well-performing website that contains relevant, worthwhile content. If you fail on both these fronts, you won’t get very far.

As Google explains in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines: “Some websites are not maintained or cared for at all by their webmaster. These ‘abandoned’ websites will fail to achieve their purpose over time, as content becomes stale or website functionality ceases to work on new browser versions.”

For this reason, you should always maintain your website on a technical level – is it fast enough? Does it deliver a good user experience? Also, ensure your website content remains up to date and engaging for audiences.

  • Good SEO doesn’t come cheap

If you want a good SEO strategy delivered quickly, then you should increase your budget for more resources. If you want cheap SEO fast, then you’ll inevitably get what you pay for. But if you want high quality SEO at an affordable price, then you may as well keep dreaming. It doesn’t exist.

Cheap SEO will not only lead to the downfall of your website, it could also prove costly for your entire business. Sure, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on marketing budgets, but those who can weather the storm could see the sun shining over their SEO strategy.

When you do throw money behind SEO, you can rest assured that you’ll receive it back in more traffic, better user experiences and greater conversions.

  • You’ll never be done with SEO – it’s an endless pursuit

SEO will only be ‘over’ when users stop frequenting search engines, Google quits changing things, and all of your competition dies.  For the foreseeable future, you must keep making strategic decisions about your website and the content it publishes to achieve favourable online outcomes.

Multiple changes to search per day, millions of competitors for the most obscure of search terms and the never-ending maintenance of a website’s backend means SEO is a full-time job.

Just remember there is no end to SEO and it takes commitment to see results. Think beyond the title tags that need to be changed this month or site speed that must be tackled the next. Look at the bigger picture.