Many search engine optimization strategies have come and gone in the past two decades. Despite these changes, several important principles have held true throughout SEO’s history. A search engine must supply users with relevant, useful results if it wants to remain popular.
Most fundamental rules of SEO are linked to this timeless goal:
- Your Web site needs to feature unique content that doesn’t appear elsewhere on the Web. Search engines know that searchers don’t want lists of Web sites with identical material. They usually favor the first Web site that posts a certain article, blog entry or product description. Sites that re-post it may be penalized.
- In addition to being unique, Web pages should provide high-quality content that benefits the reader. This is probably the most effective macro technique that benefits all aspects of digital marketing. Such material also encourages other webmasters to link to your pages. Many Web site owners try to cut costs by taking shortcuts, but this usually doesn’t work in the long run.
A premier example of going above and beyond is Brilliants Luxury Van Rental Pages if you check them out, instead of just listing the features and showing pictures like their competitors they have a google street view style window that lets you virtually tour the bus and see it for yourself. This raises user engagement, helps bounce rate and helps with conversion rates.
Another example is an interactive one, Glasses.com has a virtual try on app that lets you see what glasses look like on you virtually. Again this is unique, its novel, interactive and compelling. This type of content is more powerful than hundreds of links or “optimized” pages because this type of content with a little help promotes itself.
- Periodically update your Web pages. Search engines don’t want to send users to resources with outdated information. They also punish Web sites with numerous broken links. There’s usually a logical reason to update a page. For example, you could add the latest statistics or the current condition of a product that you reviewed. The most common way to get constant “fresh” content is to run a blog. Running a successful blog is subject for a post of its own, but there are some good tips here.
- Add search keywords to your Web content, but don’t use them excessively. If a page on your appliance Web site includes the phrase “cheap microwave oven” in every other sentence, Google will know that you’re trying to manipulate the rankings. An SEO competitive analysis can help you identify the best keywords to use.
- You should gain inbound links by posting desirable content that people voluntarily link to. This may consist of appealing articles, blog entries, videos, photos, animations or software downloads. Search engines disfavor Web sites that artificially obtain links by purchasing them or initiating link exchanges.
- To maintain high search rankings, create links to reputable Web sites with quality content. Linked pages should also be highly relevant to the material on your Web site. For example, consider linking an article about fuel prices to a Washington Post column or a page on the Energy Information Administration’s Web site.
- At least part of each page must be machine-readable. This means that a search engine’s computers can understand it. They have the ability to read text, file names, URLs and various tags. However, an engine’s “spiders” can’t interpret a page that only contains graphical content, such as photos and videos.
- If you want a page to appear in the results, “spiders” must be able to find it. Although search engine software has become more sophisticated in recent years, some navigation systems remain impossible for automated computers to access. Plain text links and/or a sitemap usually deliver the best results.
- Remember that substance holds much greater importance than style. A flashy Web site may impress customers, but it’s a waste of time and money if people can’t find it on Google or Bing. Many designers have made the mistake of ruining SEO by overemphasizing video, animation and intricate menu systems.
- Don’t be deceived by the latest manipulative SEO scheme or trick, even if it seems quick, easy and affordable. You may feel left out as your competitors briefly benefit from these methods, but their rankings will fall as soon as the major engines find a way to detect and penalize webmasters who use this technique.
The bottom line is that genuine search engine optimization is attained by creating quality material and regularly maintaining a well-designed Web site. Top search engines reward webmasters who follow these rules and punish those who violate them. It’s vital to be patient and remember that long-term success is rarely achieved by taking shortcuts.Comments