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Is your website’s SEO based on meta keyword tags, reciprocal linking, and other 2005 tactics? Are you surprised that you’re not getting the results you expected?

Stuffing your website with keyword infused verbiage used to be the best way to rank on search engines. However, SEO best practices are constantly evolving and the techniques that worked in the past need to be continually updated to get the best results.

The latest search engine technology doesn’t just look at keywords, links, and meta tags to know if your site is relevant to a search query. Google, for example, utilizes over 200 separate signals to determine rankings, including user signals, quality feedback and topic authority (how users associate your brand with specific topics using click data, social connections, online mentions and link metrics). Often, the websites that consistently build good content that engages users, will create more signals of trust with Google, and the more signals of trust you gain, the more likely you are to see better rankings.

So what can you do to make sure your website is seen more often by consumers? The first thing is to understand that building a good SEO strategy isn’t an overnight process. It generally takes between six and nine months (depending on the competitiveness of the market) of concentrated effort to produce visible results from an SEO campaign. For the best results, it’s important to include technical, onsite, and offsite optimization throughout your SEO campaign.

Onsite optimization should be one of the first parts of your SEO efforts. This involves reviewing and building up your content to make sure it is relevant and crawlable. Crawlable websites are those that search engines can view and index to extract information to better understand each page’s topic focus and relevance to search terms.

Relying on building fantastic content may not be enough to ensure your site ranks well. That’s why offsite optimization is also crucial to good rankings in search results. Offsite optimization focuses on building visibility and topic authority for your brand, and can include articles, videos, interviews, social media, and other tactics to improve your digital footprint online.

SEO was tricky to understand 20 years ago when it was just getting started, and since then, the subject has only become more complicated. For onsite optimization tips, check out our article on Adding Quality Content to Your Website. If you have a Homes.com website, you can also contact us at 888-510-8795 or productinfo@homes.com to learn more about our Local Impact content program.