Why you shouldn’t try to cheat the search engines and what to do instead
SEO is one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy. Even the most creative brochure on the best card stock money can buy can’t compare with a fully optimised website that’s mobile-ready and bursting with great content.
Creating that kind of website and optimising it for the search engines can be hard work, and we’re not here to tell you it’s all roses, rainbows and unicorns, but just because it takes some effort is really not a reason to try and cheat the search engines.
Many have tried to do this, but Google and the other search engines are continually updating and improving their algorithms to ensure that they deliver the best and most relevant content to their users, and what this means for cheats is that they will be caught and any climb in rankings they may have experienced will be gone overnight. As for their website? Good luck trying to find that in any search engine worth its salt once they’ve been rumbled!
So, if it’s a resounding ‘NO’ to keyword stuffing or aiming for keywords which aren’t relevant just because they bring in traffic, and other dodgy practices, what should you do instead?
We’ve talked in a previous blog about SEO trends for 2018 and that post is well worth a read as it does touch on the most important things to keep in mind for your site – rapid loading, relevant content and mobile-readiness (you can check your site here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly), but there are other things to think about that can help:
We’re mentioning content again because it really is *that* important. Google is keen to show the best of the best in its search results and the more you write epic content that’s highly relevant to your audience, the more you’ll climb in the search engines.
While keyword stuffing won’t work, do add your keywords naturally in your copy. The idea is that you need to write for both your audience and the search engines, so write for your audience first and then weave your keywords seamlessly into your writing so the search engines can establish context and see that what you’ve written is relevant to their results.
2. Internal linking
Once you have all that amazing content, don’t just leave it in isolation. Do some internal linking between posts that are relevant, like we have here. Not only will that keep your audience on your site for longer as they go from relevant post to relevant post, but it will connect your content and let the search engines see the shape and structure of your site, establishing the hierarchy of pages on your site and giving link value to the most relevant posts and pages.
Check the size of the images you use on your website. The search engines are all about site speed in 2018, and a slow-loading site with huge images won’t do you any good.
Use something like ShrinkPictures to reduce the size of your images before you post them, and if you have a WordPress-based site, install the WPSmush plugin to reduce your images even further, once they are on your site.
While you’re uploading images, add an image description and alt text with the main keyword you are trying to rank for as this will also boost your SEO efforts.
SEO is ever changing at an unbelievably rapid pace and it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments, but if you continue to write brilliant, relevant content that your audience loves, with the right keywords in for context, chances are Google and the rest will love you too.
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