It can be hard to keep the search engines happy with their forever changing algorithms, so we’ve put together a ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ guide to SEO.
When it comes to search engines, Google is at the top of the charts. Make sure that Google is happy and rival search engines – such as Yahoo and Bing – will follow suit. Follow these simple ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ to boost your site ranking:
- Don’t hide text within your site.
As is the case in most pursuits, cheating the system won’t sit well with Google. Web pages have been known to have hidden text behind images or in the same color as the background as a way of boosting their keyword count. Google hates this and will penalize you if you do it.
- Don’t flood your pages with keywords that aren’t relevant to your industry.
Google is pretty good at knowing when they are being flummoxed and will take action when sites attempt to trick bots with an inundation of irrelevant keywords that don’t match your site’s content.
- Don’t buy links or use link farms.
Site owners attempt to increase page rank by exchanging links between completely unrelated sites. Once again, Google will penalize your site for participating in link farm schemes.
- Don’t duplicate content.
For higher page rankings be sure that all content posted is original and informative.
- Do encourage guest posts.
Guest posts can help you build authoritative links but try to make sure that guest posts make up less than 20% of your total link profile. Contextual links (links within the text leading to additional information about a specific topic) are best for guest posts and can add to your ranking power more than author bio links.
- Do link to social media.
Links to active social media accounts add ranking power to your pages. Google knows that spammy sites will not have active Twitter or Facebook accounts in use.
- Do focus on relevant and informative content.
Each time you push the ‘publish’ button ask yourself, “Does this content answer questions relevant to my site?”. If so then you are in good shape!
- Do improve your site’s trust signals.
By linking to .edu and .gov pages as well as sites with established brand power, you can increase trust signals and consequently pagerank.
By following these easy steps it is easy for sites avoid Google penalties. These penalties range from ‘Minor’, meaning that there could be a slight drop in rankings, to ‘Severe’, meaning that a page or site will not appear on Google.
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