Google is continually improving algorithms, and this is evident from the recent ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ updates changing the way websites rank, and the best way to optimize your website to rank higher. With ever changing techniques it can be hard to keep up – but the basics of SEO have remained the same for quite some time. We’ve shortlisted 4 simple, white-hat techniques you should always use when it comes to search engine optimization…
1. Stop keyword stuffing
The general rule for keywords is to target broad keywords on the homepage and long-tail keywords in the internal pages of your site. However, it is not uncommon to see many SEO companies attempting to keyword stuff the homepage with as many keywords as they can fit in. Google penalizes sites for this, and attempting to cheat the system doesn’t get you anywhere with SEO anymore. Similarly, keyword stuffing guest posts and links won’t help you either – it’s always better to aim for organic, quality links that will bring real traffic to your site and naturally boost your SEO.
Stick to broad keywords on the homepage, and target long-tail keywords on internal pages of your site. As always with keywords, make sure you are including them within relevant, high-quality content and avoid sounding like a keyword churning robot. Google wised up to this a long time ago, and so should you.
2. Make user experience your main focus
If Google’s updates have taught us anything, it should be that user experience and high quality content is key. Whether it’s creating a quirky, interactive web design, writing high-quality informative and sharable blog posts or even just improving the speed of your site, user experience should always be the main focus of your SEO strategy. Consumers are expecting more and more, and with the competition and huge global corporates turning their main focus to the consumer you need to too, or you’ll fall behind.
User experience is all about creating great content, shortening the customer journey and creating a connection with consumers. All of which can also be helped massively by the use of social media…
3. Use Social Media
There is much controversy regarding how effective/ineffective social media actually is for generating business and improving SEO, although the expectation for businesses to be at least present across platforms is here to stay. Social media acts as a customer service platform and creates a close, familiar bond with business and consumer, and it is a mistake to fail to use this to your advantage.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and any social media platforms you use give you the tools to effectively share content and drive your audience back to your website. Google recognizes this spike in click-throughs and will reward you for it, so regularly update your social media and interact with consumers.
Social media and SEO go hand in hand, and by responding to consumers quickly and informally you create a connection that ultimately improves user experience, so use it to your advantage and learn to love it.
4. Realize that there are no shortcuts
No really, there isn’t. Many SEO companies will practice black-hat techniques that may improve your rankings in the short-term, but the long-term effects are more than likely damaging to your site. Remember that quality always wins over quantity, and organically improving rankings through creating a great user experience and producing high quality, sharable content is best way to improve SEO. Not only will this improve rankings, but it will make sure you rank for the keywords that are relevant to you, bringing the right audience to your website and generating you more business.
Don’t be fooled by the concept of just paying for links or a quick-fix, these practices simply don’t work anymore. A good SEO strategy will take time and effort, but Google will reward you for it.
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