Gone are the days when SEO consisted primarily of tactical tricks known by a select few experts. The current digital landscape calls for a more integrated approach to SEO. Today’s successful strategies incorporate a mix of high quality content and engaging social media marketing with search optimization tactics in order to provide value and build brand authority over time. Do you have a modern SEO strategy? We’ve outlined the five elements we use to create SEO strategies for our clients that meet today's standards for success. 

1. On-page Optimization: The first step to in creating successful SEO campaign is to start with a website that is optimized for the best user experience. This includes technical and structural aspects like providing easy navigation through clearly labeled URLs and tagging, ensuring your site has mobile responsive capabilities, and keeping things fresh with relevant, regularly updated content. We’ll talk more about content later, but one of the easiest ways to ensure your site has frequent updates is to keep a consistent blog. While there are a variety of factors that determine SEO, starting with the basics and optimizing the functionality of your site will maximize the return on your outside strategies.

2. Keyword Research: Now that you know content is key, creating quality content that optimizes the user experience begins with keyword research. You can start by making a list of important topics around your business or industry, then pull the most search-friendly key words or phrases from that list to use as keywords for your website. Optimizing the basic information on your website through keywords is just the first step thought, in order to be effective you'll need to consistently create new content around your keyword topics.

3. Content: Taking what you learned from your keyword research will help you build a successful content strategy. Content optimization is more than just filling in keywords wherever you see fit. Each piece of content should have a unique objective in mind, one that focuses on a specific audience need and includes an effective call to action. Again, one of the keys to creating content that speaks to your target audience, builds brand authority and improves your search ranking, is to provide interesting and informative posts through a frequently updated blog. Social integration also plays a role in optimizing content and creating a successful SEO strategy. 

4. Social Media: Content extends to the updates you post on traditional social media pages like Facebook and Twitter, and the information included in directory listings found through places like Yelp or Google. Having a social media presence in conjunction with your website increases your online visibility, and optimizes the reach and engagement of your target audience. Sharing content from your website through social media also increases it's chances of being found and shared. The recent increase in the use of social media for searching out and responding to information makes incorporating it into your SEO strategy important now more than ever. Links from these high quality sites can also help build authority, reinforcing your brands relevance to search engines. 

5 Links: Link building has always been an important part of SEO, but with content marketing and social media continuing to play a more prominent role in creating a successful SEO strategy, there has been a shift away from link-building--often involving certain manipulative or bating tactics--to a more strategic way of thinking about how to earn links through providing high quality content. Today, building your brand, and creating leadership in your industry is more important than just building links.