Estimated reading time: 7 mins
SEO has changed dramatically over the years. You need to stay in the know if you are to make sure that your business continues to rank highly. Your search engine optimisation strategy is not something you can address once and then forget about. You need to keep tweaking it and making improvements if you are going to beat your competition to those coveted spots you want to rank highly for. With that in mind, read on to discover more about SEO dos and don’ts so that you can get an understanding regarding what works today and what doesn’t.
Don’t try and cheat the system – There is only one place to begin, and this is by dealing with the biggest ‘NO’ of them all. You should never try to cheat the system. This is known as using black hat techniques, and it can be incredibly damaging for your ranking, both now and in the future. There are a lot of companies that will promise you fast results, and if they do this, you should immediately be skeptical. A good search engine ranking is not something that can be overachieved overnight if it is done correctly, i.e. organically and naturally. If you see amazing results quickly, this indicates that black hat techniques have been used, i.e. you have attempted to cheat and manipulate the system to get to the top. This may seem good in the beginning when you see that your rating has improved dramatically. However, this will be short-lived, as Google punishes websites that adopt this sort of approach. Therefore, not only will black hat techniques fail to boost your ranking in a sustainable manner, but also they will actually damage it.
Do rank for region-specific keywords – The importance of local SEO cannot be ignored. This is especially the case when you consider the rise of mobile searches, as a lot of people use their smartphone to find out the location of a business or reviews for companies in a specific area. Local SEO can really help you to make the most of this. Moreover, it is incredibly difficult for small, local businesses to compete with the bigger firms in the industry when it comes to general keywords that are not location based. However, when you target a specific city or region, competition will not be as fierce, and so you can establish yourself as the main business for your industry within a certain area.
Don’t use traffic as the only metric to SEO success – A lot of companies measure the success of their SEO campaign by looking at the level of traffic they receive. While traffic is important, it can be deceiving. Yes, it is great that more people are visiting your website, but what are they doing when they are there? Do they make a sale or sign-up to your newsletter? If so, this is great news because your conversion rate will be improving too, which is exactly what you want. However, if people simply leave your website as soon as they enter, this sort of increased traffic does nothing for your business. It actually indicates that you are going very wrong with your SEO campaign. This could be because you are using links and keywords that are not relevant to your website, and so while you are attracting traffic, your bounce rate is high because you are not attracting your target consumer base. Your SEO strategy should be designed to improve your online sales, merely get a higher level of traffic to your website. Make sure you keep this in mind when you are measuring the success of your campaign, as well as when you are looking for different ways to make improvements.
Do make sure that your website is optimised for mobile use – There really is no excuse for not having a responsive website in the current day and age. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that search engine optimisation is all about keywords and links. While these are both important elements, SEO is a lot more than this. Search engines are looking for websites that offer value to the customer and work in an efficient and effective manner. This certainly is not going to be your business if your website design has not been optimised for mobile use. Make Google website improvements to rank higher. If your website is difficult to use and slow to load, you are going to be missing out on a huge pool of potential customers, and your search engine ranking will suffer as a consonance too.
Don’t overuse keywords – Keyword stuffing is an extremely outdated SEO practice that should not be used today. The art of using keywords is to make sure they appear natural. When someone is reading a piece of content, they should not be able to tell what your main keyword or phrase is.
Do make sure that the content you create is relevant – This relates to the earlier point about people visiting your website yet leaving. This is definitely going to happen if your content is not relevant. You need to ensure that you focus on creating content that is unique, original and engaging. It must appeal to your customers. Write for people, not search engine bots, and create content that is highly shareable so that you can boost your chances of getting backlinks from other websites.
Don’t prioritise quantity over quality with link building – When it comes to link building, quality always triumphs over quantity. If you include too many links, your content is going to look spammy. Moreover, if these links do not have any relevance to your website and/or the content that you are producing, they can cause more harm than good in terms of your search engine ranking.
Do target long-tail keywords – The sort of keywords that are most effective have also changed over the years, with long-tail keywords providing the most value for businesses and websites today. According to research that was carried out by Ahrefs, the vast majority of searches that are conducted on Google have at least three words in them. For this reason, you can expect traffic of a much higher value and quality to be brought to your website by incorporating long-tail keywords. 2018 is the time to ditch those simple and short keywords once and for all.
Don’t overlook guest posting – Guest posting is a valuable strategy that all businesses should be making the most of today. However, it is surprising that so many companies are failing to use this opportunity. There are many different reasons why guest posting is good for your SEO strategy. This is because it offers you link-building opportunities, it generates awareness of your business and your website, it offers social networking benefits, as well as improving your writing skills. Guest posting will also establish your business as an authority in your sector and get you quality traffic.
Do invest heavily in your social media presence – Last but not least, the importance of making the most of social media should never be taken for granted when it comes to SEO today. One tithing you need to avoid doing, though, is spreading yourself too thin. Singing up for every social networking platform you can find is not the way to go about it. You need to conduct your research to find out where your customers are. Once you have done this, you can focus on two or three social media platforms maximum, so that you can master these. Make the most of social media scheduling tools so that you can post on a consistent basis.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding what you should and should not be doing if you want your SEO efforts to be effective today. There is no denying that SEO can be overwhelming, especially is it is ever changing. However, if you stay in the know and you make a conscious effort to keep in the loop with the latest trends, you will find that tweaking your strategy for the better is something that comes a lot easier to you. Of course, you can always hire a professional SEO company to take over the reigns. This is a good idea if you feel out of your depth. Nevertheless, you need to take your time to research the company to ensure that they have a good reputation and a great track record of providing the sort of results you are hoping for.