Transmogrify is a real word. Doesn’t sound like it should be, especially if you were first introduced to it in the Calvin and Hobbes comics.
But it is a real word and it’s what’s happening to SEO right now. SEO is being transmogrified into something it wasn’t just a few short years ago. Long gone are the content farms and link directories that used to be the most effective SEO tools going. (We’re not going to look any further back than that – it just gets uglier.)
So unless you’re willing to give in to the dark side and go all “black hat” on your SEO, your best practices are a whole lot different than they used to be.
To be sure, there’s plenty left of what some might call “pure” SEO: the things you can still do on-page to get your content noticed. So a technical site audit is definitely a worthwhile SEO exercise. At a minumum your audit should include an examination of:
- Page structure
- Navigational structure
- Image optimization
- Page weight and other loading speed factors
- Site map availability
- Webmaster Tools integration
- Local search profile optimization
- CMS version / Code “age” – if you’re out of date, using deprecated markup, or at risk from a security standpoint, you’ll be penalized.
But beyond that, what else is there to do?
- Create great content
- Get the word out about your great content.
The search engines continue to get better and better at delivering high quality results, so they’re judging your content. Make it great.
They’re also watching what the rest of the interwebs thinks about your content, so you have to create a great social media profile, actively encourage engagement, and repeat.
So, SEO is certainly not dead – there’s always going to be a better way to make it to the first page of the search results. But now social media and great content are leading the way, not tech tricks.