Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very important process for a business’s web presence. However, doing it correctly is paramount to its success. Little errors can cause the results to be lackluster or lead to a penalty from a search engine. With that in mind, here are ten dos and don’ts for SEO:
- Do keep content current and useful. This is arguably the most important part of SEO. Web crawlers and visitors will frequent your site more often if there are regular content updates. Your site visitors will be happy with new content, and so will web crawlers. This is the most important part to your SEO ranking.
- Do have incoming links from notable sites. The quality of the site linking to your site is also important for your overall ranking. Having a major site link to your site, such as com (the Wall Street Journal), will help your ranking and reputation much more than someone’s personal website or a small business website. Quality of incoming links pulls more weight than the number of incoming links.
- Do use directories. Make sure you are submitting your site to reputable directories. Make sure you submit in the correct category as well. When a link crawler follows the link from the directory to your site, it is assuming that your site fits the category it is listed under. If your site does not fit, it does not help your ranking, brand, or customers. It just causes confusion for all involved. Having quality links from reputable directories will help your rankings.
- Do be unique. This one goes along with content creation and keeping it current. Your content needs to be unique to your business, niche, and customer base. Shoving content on your site just to get indexed is a bad idea. Search engine crawlers can identify poor or repeated content. Site visitors will also find bad content unpleasant. Keep your content fresh, relevant, and unique to what you do and results will come from it.
- Do select relevant keywords. Keywords have always been the backbone of SEO. They are key to getting the right traffic to your website. You need to choose keywords that are being used to find your website. This can be done through Google and Bing Analytics and Webmaster Tools. From there, input those keywords into your content, meta descriptions and keyword tags, and titles.
- Don’t use link schemes. Link schemes allow you to gain a copious amount of links. This is done to increase rankings, but search engines have realized this tactic and will now penalize you for doing it. Also, don’t try to hide links. Hiding links is usually done by making a link the same color as the website background. Site owners do this to hide bad or unwanted links. Hiding links will also get you penalized.
- Don’t stuff keywords. Keyword stuffing is when the webpage copy is loaded with keywords. This high amount of keywords can manipulate the search engine to give the site a higher ranking. However, text loaded with keywords usually results in a poor experience for the reader. Also, search engines have found ways to identify keyword stuffing, and you will be penalized if it is found on your site. The best thing you can do is create informative, useful content for your readers while imputing keywords at appropriate times.
- Don’t buy links, ever. There are many definitions that search engines use for buying links. The most basic form is exchanging money for links or posts containing links that pass or manipulate rankings. Also, exchanging products or services for links is not allowed. Same goes for sending someone a free product for them to link to you. Committing these actions is a violation of search engine guidelines, and your ranking will be negatively impacted.
- Don’t think you don’t need SEO. If do not use SEO on your website, if will be very hard to find. If it is not found, consumers will not know about your business, location, and your brand will never truly be defined. Also, your competitors, who are most likely employing SEO techniques, will surpass you. So, help your website, brand, and business be found by investing in SEO. Here’s more information on why you should invest in SEO.
- Don’t forget about SEO. Just because you put the time, effort, and money towards getting a high ranking doesn’t mean you’re done and it will stay there. While it doesn’t require as much effort to maintain it as it did to get the high ranking, it will still require some upkeep, which mainly pertains to making sure you’re still optimized for the proper keywords, continuing to build links, and creating useful content. If you keep committing yourself and your business to SEO, you will maintain or even raise your ranking.
As you can see, there are a few critical rules for SEO that must be followed. If you follow the rules and these dos and don’ts, you will be on the way to a high search engine ranking. If not, it will be the death of your website. Take the time and invest in SEO.