Google’s algorithm updates and evolves each year. Every time this happens, SEO experts scramble to adjust their practices to optimise their sites for the new changes. The changes also force people to decide which factors are more important. If you’re wrong, you can do more harm than good by switching things. It’s an exhausting cycle, but there is a better way to go about it.
Have you heard of the concept of a constant cycle? This is a unique approach to SEO and staying on top of the search algorithm changes. This strategy is called a “constant cycle,” and it can seem overwhelming when you first introduce it. However, we’re going to break down this SEO strategy and tell you exactly how to show up in Google search by using it.
Defining Google’s Search Algorithms & What Makes Google Unique
At its base, an algorithm uses a set of rules that has a finite number of steps to solve a problem. Google’s algorithm sets out to do the same thing. It solves problems by going through a number of steps. For example, if you were to query, “cute puppy videos,” you’d get millions of results. How did it decide which videos were better and which videos to rank at the top? An algorithm.
The algorithm “reads” or “crawls” your webpages when someone makes a search. It gives each page a numerical value for each trait it’s looking for on the webpage. The algorithm adds all of these numerical values together to get one result. The webpage that gets the most points for having more desirable traits ranks higher. Google’s algorithm decides that it’s more important than other pages.
It would be easy to keep track of your page rank if Google’s desirable traits never changed, but they do. Google regularly rolls out slight changes that can impact your webpage’s rankings. This makes Google unique and challenging to rank with. If you don’t keep up and make changes accordingly, your page’s importance can fall. When this happens, you fall further down in the rankings. Google also does major overhauls and introduces large changes. These algorithm changes are often given nicknames like “Fred” or “Penguin”. Google most recently announced a broad core algorithm update in June 2019.
What Does This Mean for SEO?
For the traditional approach, it means constantly worrying about your SEO strategy. You have to take guesses on which changes will impact you and adjust accordingly. This can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, especially if you’re wrong. Since Google won’t admit exactly what their algorithm chooses, people find themselves tweaking things constantly.
However, we’re going to change how you set up and track your SEO strategy. Our system takes the guesswork out of your SEO strategy. Our approach is the “Constant Cycle.” We’re going to outline the framework for this cycle before we break down all of the parts. That way, you can implement it into your SEO plan and take the worry away.
The Framework for the Constant Cycle
Currently, the framework contains 18 different steps. You can follow each of these steps in order to get a constant cycle for SEO going for your webpage. The following is a depiction of the framework:
You can clearly see that each step goes in a logical order before repeating again and again. It even outlines what to do during your minor periodical checks and your major periodical checks. This cycle works across all different search algorithms, and it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’ve incorporated SEO practices for years.
Successfully Incorporating the Constant Cycle Into Your SEO Practices
It’s possible to break down implementing this system into your SEO practices with several small steps.
Monitoring Industry Trends and Learning from Them
The start of the cycle is to pay close attention to industry trends. Google places different importance levels on these trends when they update their algorithm. The varying trends can be some of the more frustrating pieces of the SEO puzzle. Google usually won’t outright admit which ones are more important, so it can take some experimentation. Common trends include:
- Mobile-first Indexing
- Page speed/responsiveness
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance
- Audience and user intent
- Structured data markup
- Quality and in-depth content
- Expertise, authority and trustworthiness
- Voice search optimisation
- Long and short-tailed keywords
If you have no idea where to start in terms of trends, do a quick Google search. You’ll find out which trends a lot of people are discussing. This can give you a good idea about which direction you want to go in.
It may be tempting to try out dozens of SEO trends, but this is very time-consuming. To start narrowing it down to a handful. Take time and learn how each of them impacts your SEO strategy. When you focus on a few, learn all you can about them. Google’s Webmaster blog is a valuable resource that you want to keep on hand.
Observing and Adjusting for Different Scenarios
Observation is going to be a significant part of the whole cycle. You’ll consistently monitor how your keywords and chosen trends are faring. Your observations can be at a local or global level, and it depends on which areas you plan to market in. If you’re strictly local, narrow in your observations to this area.
You’ll adjust your model for different scenarios as well. It’s never going to stay the same. Say that Google threw out a surprise announcement. They said that there were going to put a heavier emphasis on natural sounding keywords. You’d have to go back into your site and reformat to fix it. Instead of having, “show up in search,” you’d have, “how to show up in Google search.” You’d also put “what makes Google unique,” instead of “unique about Google.”
The trick would be to make these longer keyword phrases fit into your site, so they sound natural. If your website wasn’t as fast as it could be, you’d focus on that. You’re always observing and adjusting your website. This practice prevents you from running into large-scale problems every year. Once you compile your observations and have a plan to adjust for them, you can move to the next phase of the model.
Implementing your chosen trends and changes in the more labour-intensive part of the cycle. It’ll most likely take the first time you go through and do it. However, you’re laying the foundation for the cycle to continue on. You want your foundation to be solid, so it’s critical that you take your time with this step.
The first thing you have to do is decide what you want to implement first. Do you want to make your website more responsive? Is it smarter for you to focus on streamlining your content for a more natural-sounding tone? Pick one to start with so you don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do them all at once.
Implement your changes to your website and monitor the before and after. You should start to see improvements. Also, this implementation process should span to your offline practices as well as your online practices. If you update your hours on your online store and you have a physical location, update those along with it. Your goal is to create a seamless and cohesive unit across all of your platforms.
Testing your new processes and ranking factors is an ongoing project. Ideally, you want to test before you implement any changes. The results will be your baseline. As you implement changes, you can compare your after analytics to before scores. It’s the fastest way for you to tell if your system is working for you.
You should test every aspect before and after you implement them. This means very close monitoring and a lot of tests at first. When you get a solid cycle started, there will be less for you to do overall. It’s getting this foundation down that is going to take time and effort.
For example, you wanted to test your webpage’s speed. To do this, you can use PageSpeed Insights from Google. You’d input your URL before you made any changes and see what it gives you back. Once you add your URL and hit “analyze,” it’ll check your page’s speed and responsiveness. You’ll get a speed score ranging from 0 to 100. You’ll also get comprehensive diagnostics and opportunities to speed up your page.
You could run this on every page on your website. You can go through your website with your chosen trends and test all of them. This testing will give you a good indication of how well your strategy works.
The final part of the cycle is making minor and major periodic checks. Your minor checks are fine for when you want to double check that everything is still on target. You’ll need a major check after Google introduces changes to the algorithm. However, both should be less frustrating than constantly playing catch up like traditional SEO practices.
Questions about what you have read here? Want to discuss your own situation?
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