In this article I will explain what Holistic SEO means, and how to use this concept in your approach to SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of improving sites to make them appear higher in the search engine result rankings. The rankings are determined by the search engine algorithm.
There are two main factors that come into play when Google’s algorithm sorts the order of the results.
- On-Page: These are elements on your own website like site structure, content and page speed.
- Off-Page: Factors affecting your ranking that don’t take place on your website such as links from other websites and social media attention.
The best SEO strategy is one that is a long term user focused approach. This is considered the best approach because it aligns with Google’s mission to “…organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. So to help Google achieve their mission you have to be user-focused. This means that if you make your website very helpful to readers, search engines will want to show it to people because it will help their users find what they are looking for.
Holistic SEO means that you look at the bigger picture of your website, with all its parts instead of focusing on any one individual part. Your primary goal should be to build and maintain the best possible website. Ranking in Google will improve with time if your website is extremely high quality. Remember that Google wants to serve their customers by giving them the results they are looking for because that is why people use Google and it is how google makes money.
So if your website is the best option for their users google will want to rank it high. So to be the best option permanently, you need an extensive SEO strategy that focuses on every aspect of your website and marketing. Everything about your website including things like user experience, your content, and the technical stuff, all need to be amazing. This is ‘holistic SEO’.
How to get started with Holistic SEO
Google wants to show their users the best result, so focus on providing the best possible website for your users. A holistic approach to SEO means you focus on everything and how it relates to your user’s experience:
- keyword research: what words and queries your target audience uses and how you can use that information to reach them
- technical SEO: so visitors don’t get broken links or slow loading pages
- user experience: don’t make it hard for people to find buttons to click or the information they want
- content: quality content that is original and gives the reader the answer to their question
- social media: a social media strategy that reaches new audiences
- mobile: optimizing for mobile is a must
- security: https certification and other security measures build trust and provide a safe environment
- accessibility: remember Google’s mission of making information available to everyone
Benefits of practising Holistic SEO
Thinking about all of these things will result in a better website which will improve your ranking in the long run. Focusing on holistic SEO will give you
- Lower Bounce Rate. Optimizing all of the things mentioned above, your users will feel like the page is secure, is quick to navigate, and shows information clearly there is a higher chance people will stick around to browse
- More Social Media Attention: If nobody ever talks about your website how can Google keep thinking it is a good site
- Higher Conversion Rates: If your audience likes and understands your website the chance of them buying your products or returning to your website are much higer
Holistic SEO is all about avoiding short term tricks and focusing on the long game. Websites that are trying to exploit loopholes in the Google algorithm to trick it into ranking them higher.
- Keyword Stuffing: when a site crams way too many keywords into pages, often out of context and even hiding them by using white text
- Link Buying: this includes paying for links or sending free products just to get a link
- Page Swapping: this is when a site creates a page and once it gets ranked well in google the page is replaced by another page
All of these types of tricks will get a site penalized by Google in future algorithm updates. It is even possible for Google to ban your site altogether.
The right way to do SEO
Create a sustainable SEO strategy where you keep the users experience on your site a tip priority. Of course we like to think of this as just being good website karma. This approach will get you ranked in Google now and for the long run. Remember that Google is always improving its algorithm, and the better the algorithm becomes the less effective short term tactics will be.