SEO in 2024: Overcome these 4 misconceptions

SEO in 2024: Overcome these 4 misconceptions

By Colter Hettich

January 17, 2024
Orange with zipper revealing it to be a lime.
Tactics to help you and your team achieve SEO success this year.

We’ve embraced search engine optimization (SEO) with open arms over the past few years, and have learned a ton — including what often prevents brands from fully committing to SEO.

Marketers often juggle competing priorities, and putting SEO first isn’t always feasible — but in many cases, SEO “obstacles” are quite simple to solve. Below are the four biggest hurdles we’ve seen in working with our clients, and straightforward solutions for each:

They say: “We’re not sure this fits into our navigation, and we don’t have the resources to reorganize the site just for SEO.”

We say: SEO content does not need to be highly visible or easily navigable on your site — it only needs to be optimized for search engines’ algorithms. You don’t need to shoehorn new SEO content into any existing menus or global navigation.

This content is designed specifically to increase organic traffic (from search engines) and improve your site’s authority on a topic. Internal and contextual links are all you need to show Google how the page relates to one another and other content on your site.

They say: “This content sounds too 101 for our audience. We don’t have a place on the site where it makes sense.”

We say: Trust the data. We’ve seen many cases where the data showed that the most commonly searched questions and topics were fairly unsophisticated and exploratory. If you encounter this, the solution is as simple as creating a landing page for the new content. For example, if you’re a bank that offers products and services for small businesses, you might create a “Small Business Basics” landing page that serves as a hub for the new SEO content.

Not only does this keep the “101” content separate, but it also creates a great top-of-funnel user experience and can further enhance your domain’s authority. As users arrive organically and explore, you use links and CTAs to guide them down the funnel to your existing content outside the hub.

They say: “We’re not sure how to differentiate our SEO content.”

We say: The best tactics for differentiating your content haven’t changed: Include proprietary data, add real quotes from real humans at your organization, and give each article a byline.

Google’s latest “Helpful Content” update changed its mission from “content written by people for people” to “content created for people.” They also changed “is this content written by an expert” to “is this content written or reviewed by an expert.”

We believe this change solely reflects the advent of generative AI. Attributing quotes to a real (authoritative) human, using a real (authoritative) human byline, or citing proprietary research remains the best way to differentiate your SEO content.

They say: “We already have some content like this on our site, and don’t want to duplicate efforts.”

We say: Great! We don’t either! If that content has strong authority and could rank in the top 10 via optimization, that’s the easiest route. However, optimization isn’t always an option. In some cases, it’s a product page that can’t be touched, or it might be a page managed by another team.

In those cases, you can simply use canonical links to tell Google which page you want to direct people to. Canonical tags are one simple line of HTML code that points Google to your preferred page. This can help larger organizations and/or sites, which may have siloed teams, to build authority while decreasing the risk of both “cannibalization” or Google penalizing you for duplicative content.

Let’s talk SEO strategy!

Whether you’re part of a sprawling organization or a tight-knit startup — or somewhere in between — we’d love to speak with you about your SEO efforts. Please reach out to us at imprint@imprintcontent.com or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-strings-attached consultation.

 

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