Just about anyone with a website has received a sales pitch from a pricey SEO firm. They promise unicorns and rainbows – pushing you to top rankings on your main keywords in a matter of days. However, many of these companies rely heavily on loopholes in search engine algorithms (the proprietary formulas that rank websites for search) to produce their “instant” results without taking the time to truly optimize site content. To improve the quality of search results for users, Google and other engines are constantly modifying these algorithms, closing loopholes and optimizing to reward sites that provide informative content.
With search companies putting greater emphasis on quality content, the best option for businesses is to invest some time and effort into boosting rankings organically.
5 DIY SEO Tips
Update website content – Search engines are looking for clear information without excessive fluff. Make sure you are not using industry-specific jargon or overusing keywords as the latest algorithms penalize websites for “keyword stuffing”.
Update often – Search engines notice when content is updated or added and index sites accordingly. Websites that are updated with fresh content regularly are indexed more often, resulting in a ranking bump.
Mobile Optimization – One of Google’s latest updates has begun penalizing websites that are not set up to be mobile responsive. If you have not considered switching to a responsive template or design, now may be the time.
Find and fix broken links – Too many broken links could indicate an old or neglected website. Search engine spiders stop indexing if they encounter too many. Check your site regularly to make sure links are up-to-date.
Encourage valid backlinks – An old tactic many SEO companies utilize is initiating backlinks from sites and services set up simply to host backlinks. Newer search engine algorithms have begun to catch on, discounting links from websites that do not register as authentic. Work with industry partners and publications to ensure your links and content are placed on legitimate websites and disseminated via social media to gain true SEO traction.
Keeping up with changes in SEO can seem frustrating. But the ultimate goal of any search engine is to provide relevant results – continually updating their algorithms to seek real, informative content that best meets the parameters defined by the individual searching. Keyword stuffing, fake backlinks and other loopholes designed to fast track search engine optimization will be consistently phased out. For many businesses, the best solution is to pocket the credit card and focus on giving their online presence a real polish.