Those of us who are dedicated to SEO know the importance of being up-to-date with latest about search engine algorithms. As technology advances, it is possible that the SEO we do today may become obsolete in the future.
As far as SEO is concerned, there will always be some common mistakes made regardless of the era in which we are. Therefore, we would like to highlight a few good practices, however simple and obvious they may seem, they will help you improve your search engine rankings. Here are a few essentials of SEO.
Begin with SEO: Gone are the days when SEO was simply building links and putting keywords within the content. Today, the process of building a website must begin with SEO. Remember, it must be a key consideration for any new website project.
Brainstorm Keywords with the Entire Team: When we spend so much time working on a project, we may fall prey to limited vision. We may make the error of focusing too much on certain types of keywords and disregarding any other types. The problem with this is that some keywords that generate traffic may eventually fall into oblivion. That’s why it is a good idea to gather the entire team involved on the project, so that each one contributes their ideas and the keywords stay fresh.
Have a Broad Vision: SEO is a combination of several factors working together. There is no one factor that is responsible in the increase or decrease of rankings. Therefore, it is always a good technique to get the entire website optimized as a whole, instead of focusing only on the smaller details.
Support Social Networks: Social Networks can help raise the rankings of a web page or site. It is important for businesses to have a presence on them, though they do not necessarily need to be present on all platforms. A business must choose a social media platform that is relevant to their field and target audience. The platform should also allow them to share content in a smooth fashion, thereby achieving a strong online reputation for the website.
Pamper the Content: With search engines like Google developing penalties such as ‘Panda’, content is now of prime importance. It needs to be well-written and relevant to the topic. The images need to be optimized. Overall the content and images together need to justify the topic both in quality and quantity.
Do Not Confuse SEO and PPC: Users may not always be able to differentiate between an advertisement and a naturally ranking site, even if there is a green box next to the title. As we know, most users usually click on the first ad. When trying to improve our results in Google we must not confuse the first PPC result with SEO.
Be Patient with the Results: We cannot expect SEO to have immediate effects when launching a new website. Amongst other things this is because Google also takes into account the age and history of the website. The good news is that we can reinforce SEO visibility with some PPC activity, at least during the first few months until the SEO activity begins to show results.
Black Hat Techniques are a Big NO! : These are aggressive SEO tactics that do not usually follow search engine guidelines. They are fast, cheap solutions which can attract huge penalties from the search engine. Activities like keyword stuffing (where one repeats a keyword in the content without it making any sense) the use of hidden text (e.g. – Hiding keywords from the human eye by typing them in the same colour as the websites wallpaper) and the purchase of links are all Black Hat techniques that can be highly risky. Always make sure your SEO methods are strictly white hat.
Pay Attention to Duplicate Content: Many brands may not even realize that their website has duplicate or identical content. To tackle this they need to use the ‘rel = canonical’ tag which explains to the Google, which version of the web page is the preferred version to show users. Another situation is when you have the same site in different languages. Here you could use the ‘href lang’ tag to show that the site caters to a different audience. Too much duplicate content can eventually lead to your website not being ranked at all.
Optimize PDF Files: Although there are more possibilities to optimize HTML content, we cannot forget the downloadable ones, an important part in Inbound Marketing. To optimize PDFs we have to make sure to use plain text using a SEO friendly URL (with hyphens separating each word), as well as the title and size, to optimize the loading speed.
Stop Using Flash: Believe it or not, it is still used. Search engines find it harder to read Flash files, making it even be harder to rank in search results. Stop using flash and switch to html5 instead.
Use Appropriate Redirects: A redirect is the process of directing a user to a different URL. In some cases a redirect includes moving from an old site to a new site. Take for example the users need to move from xyz.com to www.xyz.com. Users need to do be able to find the url easily in their search. The correct way to do this redirect is to use a ‘redirect 301’; since it indicates that the page has been moved permanently.