If you find yourself searching for advanced search engine optimization techniques, you might be finding a wide range of results and types of content. Advanced SEO can mean many different things in different contexts, and it’s important to understand exactly what you need and if what you’ve found online can provide it.
What is advanced SEO?
At some level, the term “advanced SEO” it used simply to refer to a step above the most basic levels of search engine optimization that is provided either free, automatically, or in a very simple way without any strategies or technical knowledge. In that sense, advanced SEO might mean “enterprise-level” SEO, as in campaigns that are large, complex and have a broader set of resources necessary for a large company or organization.
Advanced SEO also might just mean more technical and code-heavy work, as opposed to keywords and content. Advanced SEO might also simply refer to the level of a strategy being implemented–so regardless of the type of SEO work, it is within the lines of a complex and well-tailored digital strategy, thereby making it more advanced than a basic campaign.
Another definition of advanced SEO might be timely: staying on the cutting edge of the latest algorithm updates from Google.
What is Basic SEO?
When marketers refer to basic SEO they most likely mean one of two things: software that automatically performs basic SEO tasks, and basic keyword addition to content.
The first, software, might simply mean a WordPress site or other web app software (think Squarespace or Wix) that provides the ability to edit basic Title Tags and Description Tags and might offer recommendations on proper keywords.
The second, keywords, usually involve placing keywords on a page-by-page basis to give a page more focused keywords–but only based on each individual page, with no analysis or comparisons between other pages on the website or the competitive market for that content.
For example, a WordPress plugin like Yoast might recommend that a web owner add a certain keyword to a headline. Or, a content writer might add focus keywords to a blog, without necessarily taking into account other blogs or competition on the site.
These are examples of basic SEO and, frankly, they are unlikely to produce any value or return on investment when it comes to competitive content on the internet. They are an important place to start and learn basic skills, but they simply cannot produce traffic with unstrategic keywords and no backing plan.
How does Advanced SEO help websites rank higher?
Let’s look at a few of the more advanced types of search marketing for organic traffic. Recall our list from above, that most of these fall into four categories of SEM & SEO: the latest updates, technical SEO, strategic content planning, and enterprise-level marketing. Here are a few examples that fit into those categories:
Schema markup or structured data for SEO
Content remains the top ranking factors in search engine optimization, but what’s changed is the way search engines crawl and understand the content. They have gotten much better in recent years at understanding a user’s search intent, in order to provide the most relevant results.
In that sense, structured data markup and schema help your page relay that information to the crawlers and search engines faster and in a more organized way, giving them a better understanding of the content, and context, of the page.
When Google or Bing is able to show a direct answer to your question or pull up a relevant rich snippet, that is thanks to the schema and structured data on those sites. This can be a powerful tool for SEO.
URL restructuring and formatting for SEO
URL formatting is extremely important on large websites, where crawling and quick indexing really matters. Maintaining a standard format, which usually follows the category/subcategory/keyword path is often helpful and can develop:
- increased user readability
- minimalized technical issues
- supported user intention, which leads to increased clicks
Redirects and proper directories for SEO
As websites grow or change, and search engines also progress, it’s important to look back and determine whether your URLs are still SEO-friendly. Other important considerations with technical SEO and URLs are:
- 1. Proper redirects – only use strictly 301 redirects to avoid any bounce back, but also to redirect URL to URL for each page. We also advise eliminating redirect chains.
- 2. Updated sitemap – creating a new XML sitemap with proper metadata is important.
- 3. Updated links – both internal and external links need to be kept intact to retain link juice and internal linking and indexing breadcrumbs.
Latest algorithm changes
One of the major differences between a basic SEO campaign and an enterprise-level SEO campaign with an advanced SEO strategy is daily (and hourly/minute-by-minute) monitoring with an advanced SEO or analytics firm.
This means any drop or change of any kind in site traffic, revenue, conversions or even potential changes via algorithmic shifts are immediately identified and accounted for, if not outright immediately fixed before they become a problem.
There is no foolproof solution to being prepared for any of Google’s unannounced algorithm changes, but working with an analytics consulting firm will ensure the best knowledge and strategy for how to deal with any cutting-edge type of new problems in the SEO and digital organic traffic world.