I remember when I first started out in SEO, honestly, it came easy for me. I do a site – I optimize it and it ranks well – end of story. Unfortunately, things are much more complicated these days.
There is so much misinformation and even some SEO “professionals” are giving bad advice. So I wanted to try and give a few tips to help make sense of it all. This is by no means a full resource for all things SEO, but some basics to keep you up to date and help you navigate a little bit better.
Things NOT to do:
- Keyword stuffing – meaning do not jam keywords into your pages content (including the footer area!), meta descriptions, title tags, meta keywords etc. I just had a client who had a previous developer tell her to do this – she has the brand name stuffed like 50 times into the meta description and title tag – this is an easy way to get booted from Google.
- Pay for link exchanges – these are frowned upon, buying of any links is a no-no. (Excluding Yahoo or major directories)
- Article spinning and submission – this is where articles are written for your keywords and then changed just enough to seem different, but yet are still the same.
- Automated comments – some “SEO professionals” will automate the leaving of blog comments to help you rank – but ultimately this will be a downfall for you
There are many more “no-no’s” but these are the ones I see done most often.
Things TO DO:
- Page Load Time – Google is definitely using load time and site speed as a ranking factor these days – so it is important to check your site and make sure your are “up to speed”. Here are a couple of tools to help you determine your site speed: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/12/your-sites-performance-in-webmaster.html and https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights
- Content Quality – Content is KING to Google! Panda made sure to get rid of sites that may have had great linking strategies but lousy content – and they are continuously changing the criteria to further rid the search results of sites with lousy content. If you have an e-commerce site and are using the manufacturers description – STOP. Write your own – or better yet, hire a copywriter! Do you answer questions and provide answers to those questions your readers or customers might have? Do you offer verbose product descriptions that “talk to your customers”? The more unique and informational you make your site content – the BETTER!
- XML Sitemap – this is the sitemap just for Google, it should be installed and set to update frequently so Google can know you have made site changes
- Social – being social is a must! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare – these and many more all have an impact on your SEO strategy
Again, this is just a start – I could go on for hours about this – but this will give you a good base to help you see what you need to do!