If you’re running a website as a blog or a business, then to put it lightly, you’re probably concerned with the concept of optimization. After all, being discovered is crucial to building an audience and if your site is floating in the WebSphere like a lonely little planet, then you’re going to be in for a tough haul. However, the art of optimization requires knowing what to do, and just as importantly, what practices to avoid so that your Google overseer doesn’t raise its giant hand and swat you down the rankings.
1) Overloading On Keywords
The days of jamming your content with keywords are over. Google doesn’t like it and your readers don’t either. In fact, you’ll be penalized in your rankings or even have your page taken down if your keyword density is beyond what’s considered natural.
So what should you be aiming for?
Google likes a nice balance of common communicative language with a controlled measure of keywords being inserted where they fit in. However, the truth is that there is no set-in-stone guidelines to follow but a great rule-of-thumb is to read your article out loud, and if it sounds like you’re reading the script of an info-commercial then you could be in trouble. But if your work reads in a natural flow and is coherent without beating your reader over the head with keywords, then you’ll probably be all right in the eyes of Google.
In addition, you can try out a keyword density tool to get an analysis of your article.
2) Posting Trite, Poor-Quality Content
Google wants to keep its users happy, and one of the ways it accomplishes that is by setting certain standards for its content providers. Thus, going into things with a quality over quantity mindset probably won’t work out too well and Google will be sure to let you know that in its rankings. So in order to make Google happy, make sure your content contains the following:
- Research and implement the relevant keywords to your content, this way you’ll only draw in readers who are truly searching for the information you’re providing.
- Understand the subject you are providing content about. Fluff content will disappoint readers and your rankings will take a hit.
- Over-deliver. By really knowing the ins and outs of what your readers are looking for, you’ll not only satisfy their needs, but you’ll be able to provide a level of content that will beat their expectations.
3) Trying to Spam Your Way to Success
Simply put, don’t do it. Sure it can take time for your site to take off, but paying third-parties to spam comments with a link to your site attached to them is both quite irritating and not even all that effective. On top of that, spamming will taint your business and often only serve to drive people away from you.
Success stories take time, and the last thing you want to do is shoot yourself in the foot from the get-go. And it’s not just spamming on other sites that can cause your reputation damage, approving spammy comments onto your blog or site will annoy your readers who are there to seek out real information and value. So only approve the comments that you think will elevate the content of your site and if you need further help on how to or you could find yourself taking a tumble down the Google rankings. Also, if you’d like further help in how to prevent spam, you can always check out the list of Google guidelines.
Just remember, in the end, if your product or service is solid, and there’s a significant market for it, your audience will find you soon enough.
4) Not Bothering To Offer Any Content
No matter how amazing your product or service, or how dazzling your website is, if you don’t provide serious value to your site’s visitors, you’re going to have a tough time building a successful business.
So you have to create a presence, something that reaches out to people and gives them a good reason to become a loyal audience. High-quality content is the way to do this and it will go long ways in influencing them to answer your calls-to-action. However, high-quality is the key, and if you’re not a strong writer, seeking out a professional writing service can be a great way to go. You need to be careful, though, because there’s a lot to choose from out there and visiting a site that offers reviews of the various online writing services can be very beneficial when deciding on which one to go with.
But whatever you decide to do, just remember, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. Great content leads to a big audience which leads to higher Google rankings. Skimp out on the content, though, and you’ll find your site looking up the rankings at the rest of the pack.
5) Purchasing Links
If you want to get on Google’s bad side, using paid links is a great way to do it. Going to a site like Fiverr and scooping up hundreds of links for five bucks a pop might seem like a relatively cheap and easy way to lure people to your website, but as soon as Google catches on to what you’re up to, it will drop the hammer on your site faster than you can count to two. By de-indexing your site, Google makes it so your website won’t appear in search engine results and then you can kiss your artificially enhanced ranking goodbye.
6) Thinking the More the Merrier With Anchor Texts
A little goes a long ways with anchor texts and jamming your content with hyperlinks will do little to help you and cause Google to identify your website as a shady operator and harm your site ranking. However, that’s not to say that a wisely implemented, diverse anchor text strategy isn’t still very helpful. Natural anchor text that is smoothly integrated into your content will have a positive effect on your site’s ranking since Google’s main goal is to create a superior experience for its massive base of users.
7) Ignoring Social Media
As with a lot of other business enterprises, your potential customers need to know your site exists in the first place and if you’re not actively seeking them out your website could toil in obscurity. However, social media is the great equalizer when trying to get your name out there, and if you’re not using it effectively – or at all – the Google rankings could very well remain unimpressed. Thankfully, social networking on the various media sites is not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds, and by just taking the time to post some compelling content on these sites, and even checking out a useful site called Search Engine Watch, you can attract an audience that will quickly find its way to your own website.
8) Turning Your Site Into a Xerox Copy Machine
This one should seem like a clear no-brainer, but copying your competitors’ content is a fast way for your website to plunge into the dark depths of the Google Rankings. For starters, Google’s Penguin 2.0 will quickly root out your shady practices and not just penalize your ranking, but could also quite possibly remove your site from its search results – not exactly something that will help grow your audience.
In addition, and perhaps even more damaging, is that your readers will be let down. Putting up identical content gives them no reason to choose you over your competition and it’s almost like you’re waving a white flag and saying you’ve got nothing original to offer.
So even though it might take longer – and possibly more money if you hire a content provider – create your own high-quality content. You’ll stay in Google’s good graces and your audience will grow and thrive.
9) Not Keeping An Eye On Your SEO
Effective SEO optimization isn’t like hitting a one-time game-winning grand slam. Rather, it more resembles manufacturing runs with a bunch of singles and doubles over the time period of a very, very long game.
Simply put, successful SEO that boosts your site’s rankings involves a well thought out overall plan, high-quality writing, infinite tweaks and updates, result monitoring and the ability to assess performance and perform the necessary adjustments. Conversely, employing obsolete SEO practices will not only stall your climb up the Google rankings, but probably knock you down a notch or three.
But don’t worry, as long as you maintain the mindset of building a well-respected brand and creating high-quality content, you’ll develop and build your site’s audience the right way and create a bright future for your business.
10) Creating Hidden Back Doors and Invisible Portals
There’s always going to be people who are more infatuated with sneaking around the system than actually achieving success by legitimate means. Website owners who pull tricks like hiding text behind an image, using white text against a white background and setting their text’s font size at zero might fool Google for a bit, but the goliath search engine is always coming up with new techniques to detect deception and once it catches up with you, will bring the ranking’s penalty police with it.
Do yourself a favor and stick with the high-quality content creation and on-the-level optimization practices.
Creating a successful business isn’t easy, and it can be tempting to try and fast-track your way around the accepted operating practices. However, this isn’t how true success stories are built. But if you’re sincere about your brand, and wish to establish a legitimate presence online, then by just following the time-proven strategies of creating great content and marketing honestly, you and your site will do great.