What to consider when you’re evaluating your next moves for lifting SEO rankings, building authority, and all the other strategies for staying competitive in a tight marketplace.

In the dynamic world of SEO, things are constantly changing, and it can be tough to keep up. Not to worry, though—there are plenty of people glued to their data dashboards who can lift their heads up and shout out a few insights every now and then as the algorithms change.

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SEO Lives

For instance, despite any protests to the contrary or featured snippets that say otherwise, SEO itself is alive and well in 2023. While paid advertisements and other changes being made to the search engine results page can occupy search results to a large extent, the truth of it is is that the algorithms still work in a way that heavily favors organic search. In plain English: SEO remains effective.

The Keyword/Content Conundrum

When it comes to the building blocks of SEO, keywords are important to the metadata of the page and should be worked in pertinent to the content and not the other way around. While taking a classic approach (adding to your set of keywords) may boost your ranking, it’s more beneficial to focus on linking and a fair amount of topical authority instead. That’s because, fundamentally, the system with keywords is actually not that effective, particularly in competitive markets. If you’re in a tight market, what’s going to drive home success is demonstrating topical authority—showing why you should rank higher on a specific topic by mentioning your experts and delivering deep insights on it.

Don’t Do Backflips Over Backlinks

As for backlinks, to understand that complex world it helps to think in concrete terms. Consider for a moment that a website is really a vessel holding a little (or a lot) of useful information, regardless of whether it is linked to any other websites. Your website might be a tall glass full of juice, as it were, and therefore would earn a greater domain score than another website that’s really just an empty glass filled with nothing but backlinks. The whole story here is that some pages are not worth wasting your time over, and a site full of fraudulent, spammy, and toxic backlinks just doesn’t matter. The only occasion for you to expend effort is if an adverse action is taken against you because of a noxious backlink. It’s far better to spend your time building solid content.

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Be Similar but Better

Using a high-ranking competitor as a barometer is always a solid ranking strategy, no doubt. It will show you what’s possible in your universe. But to be more realistic about your business’s potential, take a look at what smaller (and more similar to you) websites are doing to rank for key search terms. Target someone ranking at, say #7, and decide how you can not only replicate what is working for them but expand beyond their realm and add more to the conversation. That’s where the gold is.

Are You Getting Bang for Your Buck?

Now, if all this SEO conversation is over your head and you lean on an agency for advice, your main worry is figuring out whether they’re worth their salt. Generally speaking, if you or your agency increase organic search volume, there's a correlative increase in everything else. That's good, definitely. But it's got to be the right traffic, the right intent—all that good stuff for the rise to be valuable. The right agency for you takes all of that into consideration. And the best agencies take those results and immediately start asking, “How can we improve?”

At Adcetera, we’re pretty transparent about how we can improve your SEO performance. We use three tools to review your results, determine how much lift you might see, make recommendations, and adjust to make sure you stay on track. We’ll tell you straight up what’s possible or send you on your way.

If you're interested in how we can help you, reach out. We’d be glad to hear from you.

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