Smart SEO Tactics

For a non-expert, it can be hard to keep up with fashions in search engine optimization. One minute a particular tactic — like industrial-scale link building or keyword stuffing — is all the rage. Two years later, it’s as if the whole craze never happened. Many people end up dismissing fashion as frivolous, and it can be tempting to do the same with SEO.

Creating quality content isn’t about flair — it’s about creating a match between what you say, what your audience wants and what their intentions are when they make a particular search. If content is in the right form, meets your audience’s informational and emotional needs — and, yes, uses the right keywords naturally — it’s quality content.

The beauty of having strong content is that you can promote it on social media, adapt it to sales collateral and be proud to show it off. 

It’s still true that getting links from other websites improves your site’s keyword rankings, both for the specific pages that are linked to and site-wide.

But like great content, meaningful relationships are timeless. Quality links still improve keyword rankings significantly, but they should be earned. That means establishing relationships with bloggers, influencers and media who might mention you or give you a link. And that, in turn, requires having something to offer them — whether it’s an excellent product to try, a relevant and timely pitch, or a compelling story.

When people think about SEO, they tend to think about their search engine presence. But nowadays, your business is present in a lot more places than that — whether you like it or not.

A great social media presence helps here, too. The consensus is that social media shares have, at best, an indirect relationship with SEO. But it still benefits you when people engage with your social media and are encouraged to find you in search, especially if the search results give a strong impression of your business.

You can (and should) continue to optimize your website to ensure it’s crawlable by search engines and you’re positioned to rank for the right keywords. But what happens off-site has become, if anything, more important.

SEO techniques are converging with good marketing. In general, if your SEO practices are not informative or helpful to actual human beings, there’s decent chance you’ll be penalized for them, either now or sometime soon.

Courtesy of Forbes


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