“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change,” said Jill Whalen, a former website SEO consultant. Understanding the difference between quality SEO, and SEO “tricks” — also known as black hat SEO — will be key for businesses that want to move forward with their online marketing campaigns in 2014.
The practice of search engine optimization has seen some big changes in the last few years with multiple changes, including the major algorithm updates of Penguin, Panda and most recently, Hummingbird. For this reason, we’ve compiled a quick list of SEO services do’s and don’ts for 2014.
DO: Get inbound links to your website from other websites%3Cbr%3E
DON’T: Pay for links inserted into poor quality content on badly performing websites%3Cbr%3E
- Explanation: Five years ago, 500 inbound links for $30 might have been a great deal. Today, it could actually backfire on your website. Google’s own head of web spam, Matt Cutts, has said that, “Some of the tools that we built… can also be used to spot link buying. People sometimes think they can buy links without a footprint.” Linking isn’t always a bad thing — in fact, it’s necessary for your company to grow. But when you’re only constantly linked in from poor quality sites, Google notices, and takes note. Being associated with poor quality websites can ultimately lower your web ranking.
DO: Use a blog as part of your overall website SEO strategy%3Cbr%3E
DON’T: Treat this space as another spot to extoll the virtues of your company%3Cbr%3E
- Explanation: Think about the psychology behind searching. People aren’t searching for terms like “Laufner and Steed, best lawyers in the Northern California region.” Instead, they’re probably asking questions like “What should I do after a DUI?” The more your blog — and any content associated with your website — answers the questions consumers have, the better. Being informative will also cause other websites to use you as a reference source. According to Hubspot, companies that blog receive, on average, 97% more inbound links.
DO: Have an engaging, well-designed website%3Cbr%3E
DON’T: Make a site that is well-designed at the expense of loading speed%3Cbr%3E
- Explanation: Did you know that the majority of users, about 60%, will navigate off your website if it takes longer than five seconds to load? Not only is a quickly loading site essential for keeping people on the page, it’s important for getting them there in the first place, as well: Google began taking load time into ranking consideration starting in April 2010. You can prevent slow loading by choosing attractive but pared down web design, and by asking your website developer to make sure that your most popular pages preload information in anticipation of likely usage.
Do you have any tips for website SEO techniques? Let us know in the comments.