SEO, or search engine optimization, used to be super technical and require either a knowledgeable website developer or SEO expert to configure and maintain. Luckily, things have changed quite a bit, and content, rather than meta tags and website speed, now rules the SEO roost.
The new rules of SEO were recently covered in a blog post by MarketingProfs that drew on research by Searchmetrics (of Google organic search results). While it was discouraging to read that big brand websites rank in top positions for search without following the “new rules,” it was comforting to read that there is so much we, as small businesses owners, can do to positively affect our SEO.
Here are the new do’s and don’ts of SEO according to Google:
- Do write blog posts that really dive into a topic, which, yes, means embracing higher word counts.
- Don’t agonize over exact word matches; relevant words and terms are more important.
- Do focus on increasing social sharing of your blog posts, as that really boosts search results.
- Don’t rely on fast page load times or keywords in page titles for awesome search results, as they are now a basic requirement, not an advantage.
- Do include backlinks – they still help build credibility.
- Don’t go overboard and cram insane amounts of keywords into content – you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.
- Do include keywords in headers, titles, and descriptions.
- Don’t skimp on images and videos – both remain helpful for search engine results.
- Do write like a person and use easy-to-understand language (aka, no jargon, SAT-words, acronyms, or overly complicated sentences).
What other SEO activities do you practice that have really helped with your search ranking?
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