What worked in the past is not going to generate the same level of results in 2017. However, this doesn't mean that traditional SEO is dead. In fact, with the right approach, some of the tactics you employed a few years back can still generate top rankings.
Turning your back on SEO may sound like a feasible plan--especially if you've been burnt in the past--but this could lead you to leave a lot of money on the table. That's not something you want to do.
With that in mind, it's time to review a few traditional SEO tactics that can help you reach all your goals:
1. Link Building
Believe it or not, link building is still a great way to boost your search engine rankings, which will bring more traffic to your website.
Here's what you need to know: Link building in 2017 is not the same as it was in 2007.
In the past, any link was a good link. It was all about quantity, even if it meant securing links via comment and forum spam.
Those days have come and gone, but you can still use link building to your advantage.
You need to focus your attention on building links from high quality, relevant websites. This is no longer a numbers game. Your results will be tied directly to the quality of the links you can build.
With some companies spending in excess of $20,000 per month on link building, it's easy to see that the opportunity for growth through this strategy still exists. Just make sure "quality" drives everything you do.
2. Content Remains King
Content has always been a big part of any successful SEO strategy, but the approach that generates the best results has changed quite a bit over the years.
In the early days of SEO, short, keyword-packed content was the way to go.
Just the same as link building, quantity was more important than quality. Companies were pushing out as many 250 to 300 word blog posts as possible, with each one stuffed full of keywords.
This approach will result in search engine penalties in today's world.
The average content length of the top ten search results is over 2,000 words. You're reading that right: 2,000 words.
This is approximately seven times longer than the type of content that generated top search engine results only a few years back.
In addition to length, quality and relevancy are also important ranking factors. If you're going to create long-form content, you might as well do so the right way. Even if it takes you several hours to create a killer blog post, it's well worth it in the end.
3. Keyword Research
There are people who will tell you that keyword research is no longer important.
It may not hold the same weight as it did seven years ago, but that doesn't mean you should abandon this altogether.
The use of keywords in your content (as well as other areas of your page) is still important. Here's what has changed: you no longer want to stuff your keywords into the content as often as possible.
Ten percent keyword density in a 250 word article was not uncommon ten years ago. You don't need to go crazy any longer.
Conduct research to identify the keywords that make sense for your business. From there, use the keyword, and its variations, as you see fit (without going overboard).
As a general rule of thumb, as long as the content reads naturally, you should be good to go.
With Google generating more than 100 billion searches a month, it goes without saying that you want to get your piece of the pie.
Traditional SEO tactics can still produce results. You won't be able to use the exact same strategy as you did in the past, but there are cues you can take to put yourself on the right track.
What is your favorite traditional SEO technique? Has this helped boost your search engine rankings? Is there any tactic in particular that you suggest avoiding?