There is one thing that will always be true when it comes to SEO, and that is: SEO is constantly changing. When search engines wise up to the ways that people are looking online, and the ways people are tricking them to get ranked higher, they change their algorithms and start handing out penalties for those not playing by the rules. And these penalties can be pretty hefty at times. In fact, they can take your site down for good.

Some people may not even realize that their SEO is outdated, and still get hit with fines. Here are a few areas of SEO that have changed over the past few years, and what you need to correct if you haven’t already.

Have a responsive web designweb design elements
This cannot be stressed enough. Google ranks sites based on how they are searched for on mobile devices, and if your design is not responsive to all devices, then you are missing out on some serious sales. People look to their phones now more than ever – hence why Google decided to start ranking for mobile devices. You don’t have to sell services online for this to be important. Whether you’re a doctor, a landscaper, a plumber, or a freelancer, you want people to be able to find you and quickly get information about location, hours, and ways to reach you.

Stop focusing on one keyword

One keyword just isn’t going to cut it these days. You want a string of phrases to choose from, and this is especially important if you are trying to rank locally. If you sell books on how to teach people to paint the exterior of their house, you want to rank for more than just painting. You get a lot of unnecessary traffic when you rank for one word, and that isn’t going to do you any good when they see your page, realize it isn’t what they were looking for and leave. You want the people who need your service to find you, even if that means not ranking number one for the word paint.

Don’t focus on getting every link possible

Yes, links still matter. But with that being said, you really want quality here now. Google has been cracking down on people that buy links, or have unrelated links to their topic. That’s one reason guest posting isn’t getting the results it used to. You don’t have to have the most links to rank number one, you just have to have the most links that are from sources that relate to your topic. You can beat out a lot of big name companies when you have the right people linking to you.

Pay attention to your content

Content isn’t just text anymore. Actually, you don’t need to stuff your pages with tons of text like in the past. Now the options are endless for you to use. Content is videos, podcasts, infographics, and everything else that enhances your website. Five years ago people were focused on getting mediocre text on the page continually, while today you really need to step up your game when it comes to SEO and provide quality. There are more people out there working to get their piece of the pie. So if you haven’t updated your SEO strategy in a while, it’s time to take another look at it. After all, your competitors probably have.