Search engine optimization (SEO) used to be too technical only the site developers, webmasters and experts can configure and maintain it. Things have changed dramatically. What was effective in 2011 was not so effective in 2013 and already obsolete in 2014. There are new best practices and of course, rules. Here are some of the SEO do’s and don’ts applicable today.
- Embrace higher word counts. Articles that dive deep into the topic ranks seven times higher than shorter articles. Just make sure that the content is informative to the user otherwise it will defeat its purpose.
- Use relevant words and not necessarily exact word matches. Relevant terms bear more weight than exact words.
- Put keywords when there is an evident natural fit. Don’t force it.
- Check page load time. Page load speed is a requirement, not an advantage. There is nothing more annoying than a page that takes forever to load.
- Include backlinks. Backlinks help in building credibility. Nonetheless, source backlinks from credible sites. These are the sites with high authority and PageRank.
- Put the keywords in descriptions, headers and titles. This is another must. Consistency is key. A keyword that appears on the page should also be found (as much as possible) in the URL, page title, headline, title, sub-title and meta description.
- Regard natural phrases as keywords. When utilizing keywords though, use only the highly targeted ones.
- Write like a real person interacting with another real being. Use your real name (in author bio).
- Satisfy the users, not the bots or spiders. Think UX (user experience). Create engaging and enjoyable contents that are created with the users in mind.
- Forget jargons and other industry and technical terms. Use easy-to-understand words instead. Speak the language of the users, if you must.
- Write in short, easily digestible sentences. Remember: contents are consumed on-the-go.
- Publish 100% unique, high-quality and informative contents. Offer fresh perspective to whoever will be reading or viewing the articles, for instance.
- Adhere to Google’s quality guidelines. This is the backbone of doing SEO in 2014 and beyond.
- Create and verify the account on Google+ pages for business. Again, make sure that the business information are consistent. The process also breeds trustworthiness.
- Establish a good reputation. Get customer reviews especially from industry-specific sites.
- Focus on social sharing since it boosts search results. Be where your users are. Facebook is for B2B and B2C while LinkedIn is for B2C, for example.
- Interact with community members. Contribute to various discussions.
- Cram lots of keywords into contents.
- Skimp on visuals such as photos, images and videos.
- Cheat the algorithms.
- Try ‘shortcuts’ or anything that will game the system.
- Duplicate contents.
- Spin contents.
- Use link schemes.
- Publish spammy contents.
- Put hidden links.
- Pay for fake reviews.
Majority of the items tend to be very basic, and have long been included in the list of SEO do’s and don’ts. In positioning your website and thus your business for long-term growth, invest more time and effort in doing the do’s while discarding the don’ts. If you do this, expect results in no time.
About Author : Cris is a Filipino blogger and a business enthusiast. Currently working in a digital markeing agency in the Philippines that provide services including SEO, web design, social media marketing, mobile app development and many more at www.myoptimind.com