Search engines such as Google and Bing are constantly changing and growing. Within the past 4 years, Google has released algorithm updates such as Penguin, Panda and Pigeon. While it is important to stay updated with the ever-evolving world of algorithms, you should never forget these five search engine optimization (SEO) basic principles.
1. SEO is not done in one shot.
Though basic SEO should be established on your website early, your website should never remain stagnant for long periods of time. Continuously updating your website with high-quality content is important for search engines and your users. You can also update old content to show Google that you’re updating your website, without it consuming too much of your time or resources.
2. Search engines control the game.
While the term SEO stands for search engine optimization, the only thing you can affect is your own site. Search engines take into account these site changes and that can then affect your search rankings, but if you don’t play by Google’s rules, your customers will never find you. Don’t go against the Google algorithms solely for looks or to save money. In the end, Google will penalize your site and you’ll end up losing even more money.
3. Don’t focus on getting more traffic. Focus on the right traffic.
While driving a lot of traffic to your website might seem like the most logical way to get more sales and a higher ROI, it’s not always the case. Having everyone see your website instead of targeting your ideal customer base can cause your website to have a higher bounce rate and could ultimately hurt your rankings. You’ll also see a much lower ROI if you are targeting everyone rather than having a high converting website.
4. Content is king.
You’ve seen it all over the Internet lately, and it still rings true – content is king. What this means is that Google is specifically looking to websites to provide continuous, relevant, high-quality content for users. If you fail to provide this content, use plagiarized material or have keyword stuffed content, your website will ultimately be punished by Google or other search engines.
5. Black hat SEO never wins.
If you have ever worked with an SEO company, it is likely you may have heard the term ‘black hat’ when they were explaining a process they can’t use or how other websites in your industry could be preforming so well in a short period of time. Hopefully you’ve never worked with a company who utilizes black hat SEO tactics, because while short term gains may be impressive they could lead to your site being blacklisted by Google or penalized severely in the long run.
Google has been cracking down on sites that show these types of activities harder than ever with its new algorithm updates, so it is important to remain friends with Google. Don’t ever allow anyone to perform unethical practices on your website.
Whether you have heard these SEO principles before, it is essential to always remember them and be patient with your SEO efforts. While the quick, black hat methods might show instant results, good, quality SEO will help improve your website long term with continuous growth – not just a quick spike.
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