Search algorithms seem to change more frequently than the latest fashion trends. Although the Panda and Penguin updates have received lots of the attention lately, experts say that Google alone makes adjustments to their algorithm several hundred times per year. Every time Google makes another update there’s a mini-panic from webmasters and small business owners – “oh no, now what?!?”
Take a deep breath and stay calm because there are some things in SEO that stay consistent. Here are five SEO constant concepts to consider and build upon:
1. Build your site for people, not for ad dollars or search engines. When creating your site, remember who you’re building it for. Don’t bombard your visitors with too many ads or anything other than what will provide a positive user experience. Don’t make them click “next” 25 times to see 25 ways to make Ramen. Put your readers first and deliver the user experience they’re looking for. This improves bounce rate, repeat viewers and, maybe you’ll get a new newsletter subscriber (if you have your opt-in form on a page), which could lead to sales.
2. Be a resource. There’s no Candyland slide for good content. Create content that will reach your desired audience. Make useful pages that educate and inform, and ensure that it’s easy for viewers to navigate and find what they’re looking for. Teach, share and most importantly, don’t limit your site to just selling. Show some personality, your artsy side and/or spread knowledge through guides, articles and examples. Show Google what a good resource you are by including outbound links, plenty of images and even a video or two. Don’t forget to include social sharing icons so your website visitors can easily share all your great content with their own social networks!
3. Use Keywords. Use relevant keywords in copy that users may use in search to find you. Unsure what they are? Check the AdWords keyword tool for ideas. Don’t over-optimize by stuffing these terms too much throughout the copy (remember #1 above). Include it only where it makes sense when reading. Include it in the page title, description and throughout the copy a few times. You can also include it in the image name if it’s relevant, as well as the alt tag attribute.
4. Don’t cheat. I’m a firm believer in playing fair. If you don’t want to get de-listed or bumped down to page 50+, be a white hatter (aka – do the right thing). Don’t spam, keyword stuff, buy links, cookie stuff, create fake profiles, buy “likes” or any other shady tactics. The last thing you want is to have your site to be removed from the Google index. Yes, this does happen!
5. Get links. Put your wallet away, you don’t need to buy links. The right way to get links is to create link-worthy material. You can create guides, infographics, interactive calculators, a unique article, comparison charts, an illustration, a storytelling photograph or dozens of other content types. No matter what it is – the more thought and care you put into it the better. Another great way to gain new links is to guest-post on a blog relevant to your brand’s services or products.
These five simple concepts have been consistent in SEO for the last 10 years and will most likely hold true for many more. Although this generally means working harder than some folks, rest assured you won’t be banned, blocked or have to duplicate your efforts to regain visibility.Learn more about webmaster best practices.
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