Schemes versus Strategies: Content for the Long Term

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How far into the future does your search optimization plan stretch? If you can’t realistically see what you’re doing now as viable in a year or two, you’re at grave risk of running afoul of the next wave of search engine algorithm changes. A short-term scheme puts all your content creator’s efforts into keyword-stuffed pages, paid links and spun articles. Ultimately, the traffic stream these tactics divert to your site will dry up because search engines constantly look for ways to close the floodgates and eliminate SEO schemes.

A long-term SEO strategy relies on custom-written blog posts and articles, a library of stored knowledge developed over time and an organic ground-swell of interest from social media followers. It’s inevitably a slower process, but it’s slower for the same reason you don’t get a five-course tasting menu from a star chef at a drive-through window. It’s the opposite of a fast-food approach to content, and that’s why it’s the most viable long-term strategy.

Why Gaming the System Doesn’t Work

Ultimately, any short-term scheme for artificially inflating traffic is doomed to failure. As soon as Google’s latest algorithm changes close the loophole a site has been exploiting, that site must scramble to find a new tactic to get back the traffic it loses. For many sites, the traffic never comes back. Take a look at these stats from SearchEngineLand and see how some major players in the SEO content industry have fared post-Panda.

When you pin your site’s SEO plan to outmoded tactics, you’re climbing a staircase that’s constantly crumbling beneath your feet. Every time a new algorithm launches, your marketing team has to leap to the next temporary tactic. Wringing traffic from search engines through short-term SEO schemes is also a money-waster. With one change, Google could nullify all the previous investments you’ve made in your site, devaluing the content you’ve already bought and forcing you to buy the next SEO scheme from anyone who promises a quick, powerful fix for your traffic woes.

Building a Sound Content Strategy

An integrated, long-term content strategy puts the emphasis not on exploiting loopholes search engines haven’t yet closed but on the wide-open range of SEO tools that will always enhance a site’s value. Site content that provides readers with relevant information, blog posts that keep the website fresh and a social media presence that organically brings more traffic to you never loses its worth.

In fact, great content becomes more valuable the more of it you supply. Instead of climbing that crumbling staircase and constantly jumping for the next step, you build a sturdy platform of authority in your industry. Everything you publish adds height to that platform, raising your site’s visibility with visitors and with search engines. Google’s become far more sophisticated than it once was at picking out the high-value content among the sea of low-value filler stuffed with keywords and rife with errors. Sites that provide the former get rewarded; sites that deal in the latter disappear from the front page of search engine results.

A well-crafted static site can be the cornerstone of your SEO plan, but it’s just the beginning. Integrated SEO is also a key part of a long-term strategy. Search engines love synergy and look for sites that have it – pages that draw traffic from a variety of sources and earn links from a number of other sites. Your social media, email and blog should also be a part of your overall SEO picture.

Don’t believe in an SEO scheme for anything more than a brief infusion of low-value traffic and a high bounce rate. An overarching SEO strategy takes more time to implement, but it’s an investment that pays off for years.

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