SEO changes: What you need to do differently now

SEO (search engine optimization) can be confusing at the best of times. But if you add in the changes Google have made in the last year, it gets even worse!

Search engine companies work hard to give users the best results possible. They do this by tweaking the way they measure how websites are ranked. As a website owner, it is vital to stay up-to-date on strategies that will keep your site search engine friendly, otherwise your site could experience a drastic dip in ranking, traffic and sales.

By the way, I’m running an SEO Crash Course webinar this Thursday at 8.30pm. Click here for more info.

So here are four ways you can stay on top of the changes:

1. Don’t get hung up on keyword density

Up until recently a popular SEO strategy was to fill each piece of content on your site with a set of keywords. These keywords would be used in article titles, the first paragraph, within subheadings and sprinkled throughout the article. It was recommended to highlight those subheadings to give weight to the keywords.

Today, search engines frown on this keyword stuffing method. Instead, they prefer to see articles that flow naturally and that may only contain a set of keywords once or twice and only then where it is a natural fit. And while you can still bold subheadings to draw reader attention if you like, they don’t play much of a role in search engine ranking any more.

2. Include more multimedia

Building relationships with your  visitors and customers helps them to have more confidence in you and what you have to say. The more people get to know you, the more your reputation, traffic and sales will grow.

One easy way to connect with your prospects is using multimedia. High quality videos, audios and web presentations will quickly generate buzz within the online world. People who like what you say will start sharing links to your multimedia with others. This natural back linking will help increase your search engine rankings. These are the reaosns why I have been making videos here on Business Plus Baby lately.

In order for this method to work, you should plan to publish new multimedia on a regular basis and maybe even on a set schedule. It doesn’t have to be every week, but it should be often enough that your followers look forward to your next message and know when to expect it.

If you can produce high quality multimedia with ‘share-worthy’ information on a regular basis, you can generate a lot of backlinks that tell search engines that your site is important.

3. Used ‘forced links’ sparingly

Another popular SEO method used to be forced linking. Forced links are typically links from places like web directories, article directories, bookmarking your own web pages, blog networks, link exchanges, links within social media profiles, buying links and so on. Websites that use this method were hit hard in 2011 when Google released its Panda update. While not completely obsolete, these methods do not hold the weight that they did previously.

Today, you should focus your attention on building natural links from high-quality, relevant sites. Natural links are given freely based on merit rather than from getting something in return.

Building natural links can be time consuming but they will give you much more importance than forced links.

4. Understand Google’s methods

While Google certainly isn’t the only search engine, it does have a huge impact on businesses. Therefore it’s important to keep up with how Google determines whether or not a site is of a high quality.

Google is constantly updating its methods and there is no way to understand the hundreds of factors that play a part in its decisions. However, you can stay up-to-date on changes Google makes and tips they share about what they look for. If you want to know what Google recommends, take a look at the Google SEO Starter Guide.

SEO doesn’t doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. It just takes a little knowledge, planning and regular work to make search engines happy. For now, that happiness means high-quality content and natural links.

If you’re confused by SEO, you might like to sign up for my SEO Crash Course webinar which I’m running this Thursday, 15th November at 8.30pm (UK time). Click here for more info and to sign up.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

  1. Great tips Helen, didn’t know about keywords not holding that much importance anymore.

    • Thanks Jen! It’s still worth paying them attention e.g. if your readers are searching for ‘wallpaper’ and you’re mainly using the word ‘wallcovering’ in your posts then it would make sense to switch to ‘wallpaper’ instead. But make sure you use keywords in a natural way and focus on writing for human beings than for search engines.

  2. Great tips, also worth mentioning that it helps to make your site easy to navigate. If a real life visitor can get round your site easily then so can search engines.

  3. SEO has been such a steep learning curve for me. Thanks for an easy to read straight forward article.

  4. Google also measures the length of time someone stays on a page, which is another reason multimedia is helpful for SEO.

    I think Panda is great, we’ll finally start to get the web we want rather than what SEO professionals are pushing.

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