Even with all the digital marketing tools available in the market, search engine optimization or SEO remains the most popular and most effective in boosting sales of small and local businesses. However, as cliché as it might sound, not all SEO strategies are created equal. Some outmuscle others. In fact, several changes in search engine algorithms relegate many past SEO strategies moot and in the end, costly to your business.
Because of search engines’ tendency to update and improve their respective algorithms, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what makes an SEO strategy effective from one moment to the next. Old SEO tactics, once considered savvy (e.g., keyword density) now conflict with rating formulas engineered into today’s major search engines.
Hurdling these new algorithm obstacles, however, does not necessarily require a complete overhaul, but only some modifications of old practices. Take heed of some of the following tweaks necessary to keep up with the Joneses of search engines.
The Colors of SEO
SEO is classified into three colors: white, gray, and black. While each boast their own advantages and disadvantages, the use of black-hat SEO (i.e., cloaking, spamming, keyword stuffing) is now generally frowned upon by search engines. As such, giants such as Google are assiduously working to detect and eliminate black-hat tactics.
On the other hand, gray-hat tactics, not as unscrupulous as black-hat tactics, also draw the circumspect of major search engines. For one, the very definition of a gray-hat tactic is quite unclear. Therefore, any tendency in this regard may or may not lead to the banning of your website. The safest route? Stick with white-hat tactics (i.e., no hint of cloaking, keyword stuffing, or unnatural content) to avoid the wrath of Google.
The Use of Keywords
While keyword stuffing amounts to banishment by search engines, keywords remain the bread and butter of most SEO techniques. However, instead of using the same keyword or phrase repetitively in the same article, astute website managers now use long-tailed, well-defined keywords in their content—grammatically correct keywords that flow naturally in articles.
Still, a website can use such keywords as market-defining, customer-defining, or those describing a product. Sometimes your keyword usage requires some trial and error.
The Importance of Meta Tags
A meta tag consists of a text snippet that describes a page’s content. They don’t necessarily appear in the content itself, but are only visible to those reading a search engine results page (SERP). Meta tags make it easier for a reader to discern whether a particular website addresses their specific query or need. For small, local businesses, a meta tag proves essential because of its importance in SERP, especially for mobile-device users who comprise the majority of searches.
Solid, relevant content and links are also important elements to create a strong SEO strategy, no matter the size of your business. If you need help in establishing an effective SEO marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to contact a digital marketing expert to point you in the right direction.
What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?, SearchEngineLand.com
7 types of keywords to boost your SEO strategy, SearchEngineLand.com