Search, SEO, content marketing, and Google standards can all be scary words when you are a business owner. When you have an SEO company telling you they are going to buy backlinks or get you in all the link directories, it might sound good, but what does it all mean? How can you make these decisions without a degree in “Geek Speak?”
It’s really not that difficult once you understand a few of the standards Google has set up. And before you start complaining about Google and their constant changes that keep us all changing the way our websites are designed and optimized, consider the fact that they are making it easier for good and honest businesses to be found, and penalizing those overly stuffed-keyword sites that used to come up first in search but had little, if any, real value to them. Staying on top of these changing standards could be the difference between online marketing successes for you and online marketing failure.
Here are 7 Tips You Need to Know to Keep Your Website Ranking High:
Don’t Buy Links
The practice of buying links or backlinks is not just looked down upon by Google, but many websites have found themselves actually blacklisted for this practice. (Meaning their sites will not be served up by Google when someone is looking for them—Like a spy movie, where one’s identity is scrubbed from all systems.) Placing a link on a site filled with ads for Viagra, porn or other, spammy content is NOT helping you one bit! Generally speaking, if a company promises you hundreds of links for a paltry rate, you should RUN! It is most likely a link buying scam which could really hurt your marketing efforts. It’s like getting into a scary white unmarked van with someone promising you candy. Don’t do it.
Watch Out for Bad Link Directories
Do you remember when your mother or father told you that you will become who you associate with? Well the same rule applies when you associate with sleazy or spammy link directories. One of the most important things you should remember about signing up for link directories is that if you choose spammy link directories, Google will consider you guilty by association. A few questions to ask yourself if you are looking at link directories: 1. Would I trust this site if I came to it or does it look spammy? 2. Is this site relevant to my potential customers? (An online gaming site sending links to your real estate site is not necessarily a good match!) 3. Is the list curated by a human? If you find a list of links to great restaurants in Chicago and the list is put together by a food critic, it makes sense to try and get on that list or directory, but generally speaking, directories are not the best strategy for your business.
Don’t Fall for Bad Article Marketing
Using content marketing or article marketing is an important piece in your marketing puzzle, however, Google has advanced over the years in their technology and are now better than ever at tracking down spun articles. Spun articles are pieces of online marketing content that only have small variations made to them so that they may be posted at different locations all over the internet. The correct approach to article marketing is to create great, relevant content that your visitors will find valuable, and then share it on your site or someone else’s site that targets the same types of clients you do. Guest blogging is also a great way to ensure your content gets shared around in the appropriate ways. Of course as with most valuable tools, article marketing is only truly valuable when it is done right and that entails hard work. Again, sounding like advice your parents probably gave you, Google rewards those who work hard and penalizes though who look for shortcuts.
Walk Away from Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the unpleasant and wasteful practice of using important keywords or keyword combinations in an article or website copy, over and over in hopes of making the content more attractive to search engines. In the early days of online marketing and content marketing this might have technically worked, but today Google algorithms are far too sophisticated to be tricked by such practices. Google search engines today are not simply looking for a certain combination of words, but the engines can detect quality content as well.
Even if Google were not upholding the standards of quality for marketing content, ethical business owners are more concerned with providing quality to their customers and users than they are with simply hitting a certain traffic number each day. For this reason, you should avoid keyword stuffing because it no longer works with Google and it never worked with your customers. If you want to see great traffic and high conversion rates then you should provide great content carefully balanced with keyword use.
Double Check Your Anchor Text Selection (hyperlinking out to other content)
Another important aspect of your online marketing is the anchor text which you choose to use for hyper linking. Linking can be a really powerful SEO tool, however, it must be done wisely. Hyperlinks should lead to authoritative sites which are actually relevant to the content you are providing. If you randomly link sites that have no real relevance for your readers, they will quickly catch on to what you are up to and will tune you out.
Fix Broken Links
Keeping an eye out for broken links is a really easy way to keep you on Google’s good side and hopefully, keep your website ranking high. Links die out and become obsolete or even change owners and content. If the links on your website are no longer viable then they should be taken down and replaced with more profitable links. This can easily be done by keeping up with regular website maintenance. Plug your website into this free tool to see if you have any broken links.
Staying active on your social media sites is also another way to prove to Google that you are a viable presence and not simply a spammy entity sneaking around the internet. Use social media to point people to content on your website (blogs, videos, and other content make great social pieces).
If all this has you wanting to drop out of Geek School, contact us. We can help you stay on top of it all and manage the madness. With offices in Denver, Chicago and San Antonio, we have you covered!