SEO is an ever-changing, shifting sands marketing strategy. All it takes is Google making an algorithm change and it seems like everything changes overnight. At the time of writing this, Google in the last few months have made organic algorithm changes that are quite possibly the largest local algorithm shift. If you are a small business owner trying to navigate this on your own or internally, you may be wondering how do you navigate this without getting overly frustrated? You use what is called an evergreen strategy.
What is an Evergreen SEO Strategy?
An evergreen SEO strategy should be the base fundamentals of how you build everything else, SEO wise. What an evergreen SEO strategy means is using strategies and techniques that have worked with Google since pretty much the beginning. Here I am going to walk you through some of the evergreen techniques and strategies you should be using for your website and business.
Website Should Be Mobile Friendly
Over 60% of web traffic now goes through a mobile device. This is something Google takes seriously and so should you. If your visitors have a bad mobile experience on your website, it won’t matter if you’re ranking high for your keywords, your website visitors will not stay on your website. Google recognizes this as well and is why they have mobile experience as a priority in their ranking algorithm. Because of this, making your website mobile friendly should be high if not highest on your priority list when it comes to your SEO strategy. Google cares about user experience and so should you.
Read More: Why UX Is an Important Part of SEO
Improve Your Website Speed
Improving your website speed ties into making your website mobile-friendly. If it takes your website 5 seconds to load the first thing they see, more than likely your visitors will not stay. Now, if you are a small business and don’t have a lot of time and resources, and running a WordPress website, adding a caching plugin will at least get you further than most regarding site speed. A lot of developers and designers spend a ton of time deep diving into Google page speed reports, spending a ton of time to squeeze the site a half-second faster. In the long run, this may be beneficial but start with caching plugin like WP Fastest Cache or one I have started using, Nitro Pack.
Focus on Search Intent
When creating, redesigning, or optimizing your website, you’re not making the website for you, but for the viewers of the website. To bring those viewers in, are you giving the reader what they want? To best bring in organic traffic, you need to think like the searcher and answer the question in the best way possible. There are three primary types of queries: informational, navigational, and transactional.
Informational: People are looking to learn. Often used words are ‘how to’, ‘why’, and other question-related words.
Navigational: searches where people are looking for a specific website or brand. McDonald’s or halfpricedbooks.com fall into this category.
Transactional: Searches where people are looking to take a specific action using the web (e.g., purchase a product). Keywords like
‘buy’, ‘shipping’ or ‘online’ or specific product names or models (e.g., “Rad Rover E-Bike”).
Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can help. Even if you are not planning to bid on keywords, generally speaking the higher the suggested bid and competition, the higher the commercial intent.
Keyword Research and Translating That into Evergreen Content
If you are focusing on search intent, you have already started working on keyword research. Keyword research helps you focus on which keywords and phrases your site needs to focus on to get organic traffic. For example, I have worked on a garage door company’s website where the state abbreviation with the city meant the difference of double the search volume.
There is a lot of great tools to help you keyword research, from SEMRush to UbberSuggest and Bright Local if you are focusing on local searches. We will go into depth on keyword researching another time but for now, if you’re new to keyword research, follow the links and sign up for the free trials. Each has some great resources to guide you.
Next is turning that research into ever green content. Well, what works for evergreen content?
- How-To Articles or Instructional Tutorials
- Product Reviews
- Encyclopedia-Type Entries
Two tips when writing evergreen content. One, use your keyword research but write your keywords and phrases in naturally. The second is to write to your readers. Unless your intention is to write to other experts, don’t use overly technical language and when you do, explain it in a way your readers will understand.
Throughout your website, whether it’s a blog post or service page, use images. Images make your visitors absorb information faster. Images also help show credibility and prove that the post is rich invaluable information. If you run an e-commerce store, having clear images influences the buying decision in so many ways. Make sure to use good, keyword-rich alt-tags with your images. Google Uses alt-tags to index images.
Regardless of the changes of Google’s algorithm, these tactics and techniques have stood the test of time. In truth, these are not just good SEO practices, but good user engagement practices as well.