SEO has experienced numerous changes over the years. Given that the first Google algorithms were extremely crude, just about anyone could manipulate them. Companies were able to achieve excellent results without providing any value to the readers. This dark age of optimization was known for link exchanges, PBNs, and keyword stuffing.
As Google got smarter, cheap tricks quickly became obsolete. White hat SEO became a popular buzzword, and suddenly, everyone started providing real value to the users instead of trying to trick the system.
In a way, holistic SEO is a continuation of this mindset. It’s the most sophisticated, user-friendly approach that optimization specialists have created to this day. In this article, we’ll explain the term a bit better while sharing a few tips that will help you optimize your site.
What is holistic SEO?
Holistic optimization encompasses the best practice within the field. It’s meant to improve various aspects of your site so that it ranks better in SERPs. This method is extremely user-focused, tackling all potential problems that visitors might encounter while browsing.
Unlike traditional SEO, the holistic method isn’t one-dimensional. Experts who rely on this approach focus on safety and ease of use while creating excellent content that meets user intent. According to top-tier holistic SEO professionals, here’s the bare minimum you need to do:
- Pay attention to technical aspects of optimization.
- Create content that answers users’ questions. Not only should these posts provide relevant information, but the articles should be well-structured and easy to read.
- Once again, everything should revolve around the users. The pages should look the same when you open them on a desktop computer and mobile phone. Among others, all pages should load in just a few seconds.
- Lastly, optimization experts should introduce defensive measures. Aside from switching to HTTPS, there are other methods that would ensure a company’s safety.
Google’s algorithms have changed so much that even if you use these suggestions, it’s not certain whether your pages will reach the top of SERPs. In modern SEO, the wholesome, holistic approach is just the starting point of your optimization efforts.
Why is the holistic method so important?
Google doesn’t care much about websites and the companies behind them. Instead, its main focus is providing users with the best web surfing experience possible. Although the algorithm might seem demanding, it gives priority to marketing teams that aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves.
The reason why the holistic method is so important is simply that nothing else works anymore. You can no longer reach page one by just spamming links to a specific page or stuffing keywords. Furthermore, having a holistic mindset also provides better results on a website level, simultaneously helping all pages rank.
In some ways, modern optimization resembles traditional word-of-mouth marketing. The search engine analyzes user behavior by checking click-through rate, bounce rate, time spent on site, and some other indicators. Pages and websites that have better stats rank better in Google. So, without even realizing it, users silently promote websites through their actions.
As most of our readers already know, there are more than 200 Google ranking factors. Unlike traditional optimization, which usually focuses on building links, the holistic method tries to improve all elements across the board. This is both positive and negative. In other words, although there’s always room for improvement, there are also various things that can go wrong.
The differences between holistic and traditional SEO
Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between holistic and traditional optimization:
- In the past, most experts were trying to improve sites’ technical aspects. Nowadays, they’re focusing on user experience turning random visitors into dedicated readers.
- Back in the day, SEO professionals created blog posts by using specific keywords. These phrases would “show” the search engine what’s the article all about. As Google became more sophisticated, it could understand the meaning behind the text. When you use the holistic approach, you don’t have to focus on keywords as much. Instead, it’s more important to build topical authority. We’ll explain this concept in the following chapter.
- When Google’s algorithm was new, you could use various ranking tricks. Experts could completely disregard users and the competition and focus on things such as optimizing meta descriptions, keyword stuffing, link farms, etc. Today, this doesn’t work anymore. Whenever you create new content, you should first consider how this article affects readers and whether they’ll like it.
- Another major difference lies in traffic quality. Previously, SEO professionals just tried to maximize website traffic. Given that the user behavior had no impact on rankings (as far as we know), it didn’t matter who visited your site. This all changed with improvements to the algorithms. Today, it’s crucial to laser-target your ideal demographics, as irrelevant traffic can potentially hurt you.
Although some grayheads still clamor for the “good old days,” the fact remains that new Google algorithms are much better for all of us.
Importance of topical authority for modern SEO
Back in the day, most SEO experts would blindly create articles around specific keywords. Although these phrases were usually, in one way or another, relevant to the websites, the underlying themes could vary significantly. Google wanted to stop this practice and make sites laser-focused.
In holistic SEO, topical authority is a crucial concept for optimization. As the name implies, instead of talking about various different things, websites nowadays are trying to focus on one or a few general topics and cover all the related concepts.
Building your authority around a topic helps Google understand what’s your site all about. It increases your chance of ranking for a particular set of keywords. As mentioned, for this method to work, the content team needs to cover all the angles of a particular topic.
Interlinking helps you with the execution. After creating numerous related articles, you should connect them to each other. With every next link, your authority on the particular topic increases in the eyes of Google. Furthermore, this makes it easier to get higher-quality, natural backlinks.
Holistic SEO’s impact on branding
Search engine optimization ruled the web in the past. Many website owners didn’t think much about branding and the potential long-term impact of their optimization practices. In the end, even if something went awry, they could easily create a new domain and get similar results with minimal investment.
This changed as the search engine became smarter. Optimization services are much more expensive nowadays and usually provide less tangible results. However, if you decide to invest in this marketing strategy, it can do wonders for your branding. MiroMind knows that better than anyone else.
It takes a lot of time for holistic SEO to work, and we had numerous cases where companies quit after just two or three months. What website owners don’t understand is that optimization is no longer a “cash grab” approach. Instead, it has become a strategy for building a legit web company.
More importantly, when you go with holistic SEO, you’re actually trying to provide value to people visiting your pages. Although the traffic is lower compared to that which traditional optimization provides, the people who check your site are more likely to return. Furthermore, this traffic is more likely to convert into sales.
As tedious as the process might seem, the holistic method is the best way to establish yourself as an industry leader. More than anything, it’s a process of creating loyal customers and readers and maximizing your customer life cycle.
Tricks and tips to maximize your holistic SEO
Truth be told, there are so many things people can do for their sites. Google analyzes your every move making it harder for inexperienced website owners. Because of that, it’s much safer to hire a veteran SEO company such as MiroMind.
However, if you’re still adamant about doing your own SEO, here are a few suggestions that could help you out:
- Make sure that your site works as intended. Don’t be stingy when creating it, as it will serve as a basis for all other marketing and SEO efforts.
- Although having an incredible design is a bonus, this can backfire if your website becomes too slow. It shouldn’t take more than three seconds for a page to load.
- Website architecture is a concept that many people disregard. Basically, you should make it easier for users to browse your pages. One of the major rules is that visitors should reach any page on a site in just three clicks.
- Mobile phones have become so popular in the last few years, and they’ve overtaken desktop computers as the preferred device for accessing the web. Not having a mobile-optimized site is considered a big no-no.
- Content creation starts with keyword research. Try to find phrases that have a high volume with low difficulty.
- When writing content, make sure to avoid any fluff or unnecessary information. Every single thing on a page should serve users, not the other way around. Among others, you should pay close attention to readability. Adding images and videos is also great, but only if it has a positive impact on user behavior.
- Always remember that holistic SEO is just a part of your promotional efforts. Although you can use it as the basis of your strategy, you’ll get much better results if you combine it with other marketing approaches. For example, you can use PPC to generate sales before the SEO results kick in. SMM is fantastic in conjunction with optimization and can be excellent for direct communication with readers.
Holistic SEO isn’t a cheap catchphrase. It’s a concept that rules digital marketing, and it’s crucial for building a healthy web brand. Although it’s great by itself, it provides even better results when combined with social media marketing and pay-per-click.
While links are still an important factor for reaching top spots in SERPs, there are also other things you can do for your site. Google monitors your every move, and before you invest any money, make sure to create an actionable strategy.