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How to Stand Out: The Dos and Don’ts of SEO

Want to make sure you’re doing the best thing for your company’s SEO practices? Check out these great (and not-so-great) SEO methods.

SEO (search engine optimization) is one of those rare things that is either viewed as the crown jewel of a business’s marketing plan, or something that only nerds understand. Whether people realize it or not, SEO practices are the basic decision maker on how much attention a website will get on the internet’s search results. Smart SEO practices will get you to the top of the list and will also give you better control over your company’s image. On the other hand, poorly executed SEO can lead to a number of terrible outcomes, including a bad company image, or being banned from Google results. (Cue dramatic music) DUNT DUNT DUH! Great Methods

  • Getting linked to from reputable sites – Most if not all search engines now use reputation and the quality of sites linking to you as a way to gauge whether or not your site is actually legitimate and decent. By getting good links from great sites, you’re boosting your worth in Google’s rankings.
  • Working on quality content – Good content is appealing to people, but also can be a good way to improve your search engine score. People who click on your content and share it give you great links through social media. They also will be able to see your company as more capable, more interactive, and generally just cooler than your average business. The more views your content gets, the higher your site ranking, too.
  • Getting social – Google’s newest algorithm actually rewards companies that have mobile sites and social media presences, too. This means that you can actually be productive while on Facebook.
  • Optimize your website – Your website won’t show up in Google if it loads too slowly. How can anyone expect to find your business if your site isn’t listed? Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to make sure your website is optimized correctly for all browsers. Remember, your mobile version counts too!

Not So Great Methods

  • Getting links from shady sites, link farms, etc – In a lot of ways, SEO is like a techy version of high school. Your goal is to hang out with the cool kids (good sites) and avoid the kids who are bad seeds (like shady directories). If you’re being linked to by directories that are seen as blackhat or low quality, it will not only make your company look bad, but also will put you at risk for getting banned from Google.
  • Using churned out, rehashed or just poor quality content – Believe it or not, search engines aren’t stupid. They can tell when someone copies another site’s content, and actually penalize for it. If your content is really bottom of the barrel, then it won’t even interest people enough for them to finish reading it. This means a lot of wasted time on your end, for really awful consequences.
  • Doing nothing – If you do nothing and hope for the best, your site will get washed up into the giant mass of unknown sites that have zero attention from viewers.
  • Get mean to your clients on social media and elsewhere – This will get your company noticed, but not in a way that would end up getting you anywhere, business wise. Do you really want to be known as a business that has an attitude problem anyway?

The bottom line here is that SEO is a must if you want to get noticed and have an online presence, and it’s not just a one and done deal. It’s a commitment that you have to work on constantly. As with many other major commitments, it will be well worth your time.