By Allen Brown
Over the years SEO has changed as search engine algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated. This is good for the most part as it has improved the user experience, ensuring that spam or weak content websites are not ranking highly on search engines.
To ensure you stay on top of your SEO strategy, here are a few dos and don’ts for modern SEO.
- Use analytics to measure performance
Before you start writing content, you need to know which keywords you’re trying to rank for. Using keywords analytics is a great way to inform your decision. When checking ranking for phrases try to find those that relate to your business, but have a low difficulty score - meaning that fewer businesses or sites are competing for them.
- Focus your content around keywords
Ensure that your titles relate to the content or keywords in a clear way. The professionals at Excite Media SEO explain that “the keywords that the visitor enters into the search determine largely the websites that will appear in the search results.” When searching online, you will have 55 characters to impress the user before your title is cut short. Make these count.
Ensure that the body of text has content that is simple and highly specific to your topic area. Squeezing in extra, irrelevant information generally doesn’t help your SEO presence.
- Use relevant links
Quality over quantity is important when using links. Too many links look like spam, but a few relevant links to key internal and a few external links tend to benefit your SEO.When making an internal link, ensure you link on keywords you want to rank for and ensure you only link to a page once.
- Optimise images for SEO
With all forms of media on your website, remember to label them, so that they are visible to search engines. It doesn’t have to be a long description. Once traceable, search engines can understand more about what your content offers to your users and potentially increase your ranking in the process.
- Create relevant content
Focus on creating relevant content that your customers will enjoy reading to increase your chances of moving up the rankings, bringing more users come to your site. Create good quality, relevant content and the customers will come to you.
- Make web pages mobile responsive
Make sure that your website is mobile responsive. Google favours mobile-friendly websites, as they provide a better user experience over multiple platforms. Mobile web designs can result in lower bounce rates. The lower the bounce rate, the better your SEO specialist.
- Disavow poor quality inbound links
Did you know that your SEO can be influenced by third-party sites? If poor quality sites link to your content, you may be penalised by search engines. You can deny harmful links from accessing your website essentially telling search engines not to take those links into account when determining your ranking.
- Copying large pieces of external content
Duplicating your own content does not seem to harm your SEO, but it doesn't help it either.
This is not the case for copying someone else's content. Search engines are getting smarter and tend to favour original content. This pushes non-original content down the rankings.
Focus on creating original content, rather than stealing someone else’s.
- Linking to external sites too often
Linking to external sites too often can harm your SEO. Google has recently started penalising for this.
As a result the truly negative effect comes from your content looking like it is spam. This makes your content hard to read, resulting in high bounce rates which search engines will pick up on. Don’t link to external sites that contain adult content or gambling, or sites that are in direct competition with your business or product.
- Overusing keywords
Search engines want content that has a clear theme. However, overusing keywords tends to put customers off. This potentially reduces conversions. Use synonyms to avoid this. It ensures that a search engine can still identify the topic of your content, without affecting its readability for users.
- Trying to cheat the system
Buying back-links, using hidden links, and participating in link networks are all forms of archaic link schemes to increase your SEO. With search engines becoming smarter, these techniques do not work, and you are often actively penalised for using them.
Learning from these dos and don’ts and applying them as part of your marketing strategy should improve your SEO. SEO is a fundamental part of content marketing, and you need to remember this is a process that takes time. Stay patient, and eventually your website will bring in high quality traffic and potential leads.