Most Important Factors of a Successful SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization has entered a golden era, with nearly every online brand stepping up its SEO game. Successful execs and founders will say it first – SEO is here to stay.

Here are the factors of an SEO strategy that matter most, whether you’re just getting started or refining your already-sharp skills.

Organic SEO Fundamentals

It never hurts to review the basics, so start with these SEO fundamentals if you need a refresher.

“At the core of every SEO blueprint is an offer of value, whether that’s in-depth content, a social media post with viral potential, or writing guest posts on a famous publication in your industry. If you focus primarily on value – opposed to shortcuts and magic fixes – you’ll inevitably see results in organic SEO with time.” – Michael Jankie, Founder of Natural Patch

“Social media can create more avenues for your business to be reached, which can be a huge boost for your SEO. This can also be a great way to discover new audiences that your products and services can reach and who they may also be useful for, along with solidifying your current customer base. Your research can be done more effectively with the people already engaged with your products because you can learn what makes them want to stay engaged with your content.” – Michael Fischer, Founder of Elite HRT

“Using the right keywords for your website and audience is key to maximizing your SEO efforts. Different keywords will attract different audiences, and can even be nuanced between different subcategories of your audience as well. It’s important to do research on who you think you will be able to focus on the most and reach the most sales with in order to effectively manage your SEO.” – Eddie Huai, CEO of Luna Blanket

“When it comes to creating an SEO strategy, these two areas I rank as most important. The first being social signals. Essentially when people share your content on social networks, this increases the chances that a link to your website will be provided as well, this will indirectly funnel people to your website. Second, making sure your website is mobile-friendly. Mobile friendliness is a major SEO ranking factor. The reality is more people use mobile devices than desktops to access the web. These two areas can really help improve your SEO strategy.” – Michael Hennessy, CEO of Diathrive

“An often-overlooked SEO fundamental is to simply be active across all accounts and take a multi-channel approach to content distribution and customer interaction. It’s no coincidence that highly active online brands receive more clicks and preferred treatment by Google’s algorithm. Put yourself at an advantage by applying consistent effort over time.” – Lori Price, Co-Founder of PixieLane

Content Tips from the Pros

Content is at the core of organic SEO, requiring creativity, consistency, and a strong game plan.

“Having a variety of content that users can engage with and find throughout your website and social media platforms is a valuable tool to boost your SEO while maintaining your brand. Creative content can help boost your website’s rankings with different keywords being incorporated and more opportunities to link back to your website.” – Cody Iverson, CEO of VisCap Media

“Content can be light and fun to a degree, especially on platforms like social media. But eventually you’ll need to create some more in-depth articles and guides that really dig into relevant topics in your space. This takes more effort and can get expensive, but it’s something that must be done to get your SEO up to par.” – Jeff Meeks, VP of Sales and Marketing, EnergyFit

“Every piece of content you produce must have a clear purpose and be free of fluff if possible. Even if you make a silly meme for social media, there should be an intention behind it, just as there is for a 20-page white paper PDF available for download on your site. The more intentional your content, the better your results will be.” – Nancy Belcher, CEO of Winona

“I embrace the philosophy that there is an infinite amount of content to create as it relates to your brand. You should be overflowing with ideas and having to make tough choices about what to cut from the content calendar each week. Leverage an abundance of content types and formats to amplify your brand and get SEO benefits.” – Lindsay McCormick, Founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits

Earning Backlinks (The Right Way)

Backlinks are votes of confidence from other websites that give your brand greater authority, and give you a serious leg-up in SEO. Don’t buy backlinks – earn them.

“Links and optimized content are two huge factors when it comes to planning an SEO strategy. Links are broken down into three categories, inbound links, outbound links, and internal links. Each plays a vital role when it comes to SEO strategy. Optimized content like keywords is important when it comes to SEO strategy. SEO is not just about the main keyword, it is important to include terms related to the main terms people are searching for, these are called latent semantic indexing (LSI). Using LSI keywords will tell Google that when people type in “mini,” your page is relevant to cars rather than a skirt for example. These are two important strategies to focus on when it comes to SEO strategy.” – Dylan Arthur Garber, Co-Founder of Audien Hearing

“Link building is, more or less, a lesson in networking, cementing your brand’s position in your industry and online in general. You can earn links in countless different ways, but the fundamental principles apply no matter your approach. Create valuable content that people want to read and will spark their interest to find out more. Links will come if you simply focus on this. – Marc Atiyeh, CEO of Pawp

“Sadly, much of the content being published is simply not worth linking to. 75% of it is getting zero inbound links. So forget the ‘more is better’ approach to content if you want links. Go with quality instead. Your content will generate links only if it is truly exceptional – ’remarkable,’ as Seth Godin would say.” – Forbes Contributor Brian Sutter

Website Optimization and Technical SEO

There is a technical side to SEO that goes beyond content creation and networking. Don’t skip these tips if you want to maximize your SEO impact.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that users will leave a website within a matter of seconds if it fails to load and display 100% of the content. Don’t miss out on traffic just because you haven’t optimized your website for peak performance. Get up to speed – literally – and maximize your chances of converting new customers.” – James Ville, Chief Product Officer, GunSkins

“There are many ways to improve your SEO strategy, two of my favorite areas to focus on include page speed and user experience. Page speed is known as one of the leading SEO ranking factors, this has been the case for years. Fast-loading web pages are a huge bonus when it comes to SEO strategy. User experience deals with click-through rate, bounce rate and dwell time, all key components to a successful SEO strategy. I suggest focusing on these two areas when trying to improve your SEO strategy!” – Aidan Cole, Co-Founder of HIDE

“The slower your sites load, the more visitors and revenue you’ll lose out on.”- Anna Crowe, Assistant Editor at Leadfeeder

“A successful SEO strategy will be made up of many moving parts, including the understanding of where and how to place keywords — and much more. However, one thing that can’t be forgotten is that your images can do with a little SEO love, too! Place your primary keyword in the box for alt text, and you will actually be optimizing your featured image for SEO, which can rank on the Google Images page. This means that your images can actually bring traffic to your website. That’s pretty cool, right?” – Ryan Rottman, CEO and Co-Founder of OSDB Sports

“Your webpage may be behind the times if you aren’t optimized for mobile viewing, or if you’re running an outdated framework that Google doesn’t crawl or consider for SEO purposes. Do a complete technical SEO audit and address any issues immediately so that your hard work doesn’t go to waste.” – Lauren Kleinman, Co-Founder of The Quality Edit

The SEO Journey Never Ends

Think you can slow down your SEO efforts once you reach the top of the Search Engine Results Page? Not so fast!

“It’s important to keep pushing the boundaries with content, networking, link-building, and all other aspects of SEO, even long after you’ve hit your initial goals. The algorithm is constantly evolving and competitors are on your tail. You can coast for a while in the top spot, but continued work is required to stay there.” – Courtney Buhler, CEO and Founder, Sugarlash Pro

“Zoom out for a moment and remember that SEO is still a rather recent innovation – the script is still in the process of being written before our eyes. Best practices are what you make of them, and nobody else has access to the data you gather. Learn from others’ discoveries, yes, but think for yourself and experiment to get the best possible results.” – Chris Riley, Founder and CEO of USA Rx.

Where are you at on your SEO goals, and what does the next leg of your journey hold? Test out these tips to accelerate your progress and reap the benefits of searching for your brand.