How in the world can one ever keep up? Every week the algorithms change and the SEO words and rules shift dramatically. Actually, they can alter by the hour.
Yes, it’s absolutely necessary to stay abreast if you have a website that seeks continuous traffic. SEO is your green light to get them there. How you implement changing SEO must also change to reflect the latest Google rules. And yes, they may have changed while you have been reading this.
Viral content? Not as valuable as you think.
Even with millions of pieces of content published every day, unique content does stand out. Viral content actually is quite rare, and typically random. You cannot predict what will capture the attention of the people. Devoting resources to somehow create the ‘Next Big Thing’ is probably not the best use of your SEO dollars.
Don’t get me wrong. Viral content is great for continental or global firms with a giant customer base, and some advertisers have a knack for hitting just the right notes to create viral commercial spots. The right advertising boosts your business and establishes your brand firmly in the minds of consumers. Brick-and-mortar businesses serving a local audience? Chasing elusive viral content is rather a waste of time and money. ADVICE: If an SEO company promises you viral content, don’t hire them. You don’t want to deal with an SEO company who lies to make sales.
Bad SEO is just plain bad for business.
Have you ever seen an old “B” western? No name stars, bad acting, paper thin plot line, terrible dialogue, it had to be redone in Technicolor to be in any kind of color? Well, way back in the day bad guys wore black hats and good guys wore white hats. Some clever wordsmith in the wild west of the Internet decided that analogy should carry over, and the term Black Hat SEO became a thing.
Just like those awful movies, you can tell almost smell the bad practices over time. Black Hat SEO evolves as search engines (think: Google) change the rules at a whim regarding what’s good and what’s bad. Tactics once encouraged and acceptable are now sudden death as Google blocks those seeking to game their system.
Google goals have not changed. So, the best advice to is to
1) Fill your website with quality content, l
2) Link only to other quality sites,
3) Stay on top of innovations (like mobile web), and you’re good to go!
Duplicate Content is (not always) Death.
Speaking of how black hat status changes over time, duplicate content suddenly is not as bad as it once was. As long as you use canonical tags when you republish content on your site, duplicate content may not be devastating for your ranking as you might imagine.
Always report sites using your content without permission, but sadly, Google doesn’t worry about doling out consequences for it.
Incoming links are not always good SEO.
Incoming links are awesome and a great way to boost your ranking, right? Yes, mostly. Except when the place that is linking to you has some sort of authority issue. Questionable domains and sites unrelated to your industry can hurt your rank. Yes, another on-the-run change in rules. Quality is far more important than quantity. Trust your sources.
All Things Must be Relevant.
Everything you write or code on your website must be related to your website’s focus, or at least to the focus of the web page. Image descriptions, HTML tags, title, subheaders, and other page attributions should all be semantically related to the purpose of your website or the page itself. If not, the little spiders will tell on you to Google.
Can you be your own SEO expert?
One of the biggest secrets in SEO is automation. Everything you need to know about your web traffic and customers can be accessed with data processing software simple enough for any novice to understand.
To be clear — someone with digital experience will be up on the latest trends and know more than you about fixing problems. There is a learning curve, and SEO experts have already rounded the bend. But that doesn’t mean you have to hire someone to manage your SEO needs. You’ll just have to learn how to use the tools. It is easier said than done. And besides, you respond positively to robo-calls and being pigeon holed, don’t you?
(we know the real answer)
You must be mobile friendly.
Look around, everywhere! Everyone everywhere, from restaurants, doctor’s offices, the library, baseball games, or anywhere else is looking at a device. Devices are everywhere! Take a moment and look up from using your own mobile device and glance around. Notice, most people are focused on their phones instead of actually talking to the other people around them. We won’t analyze what this means for society as a whole, but you do need to think about what it means for your website.
If your site is not mobile-friendly you won’t rank in mobile search results. Imagine, all those people using Google on their phones and they won’t see your site. NONE. All that potential business lost. Mobile search is the pinnacle of local SEO. Yes, you need an expert, even if the internet claims you can do it yourself. It’s as easy as surgery…you can do it yourself! (right!) Your site could be dominating the mobile SERPs, because most local businesses still don’t get it. But, you need help.
It goes on and on. But, you can stay up with it…with help.
Tune in again next time for more!