SEO is a murky and inexact science. The rules are constantly changing, much of the advice that gets published is hopelessly out of date, and many of the “experts” out there have proclaimed that title for themselves without any real basis to support it.
Even though it’s quite difficult to get SEO right, it’s one thing you really can’t afford to get wrong. One of the ways you can really go wrong is if you indulge in the use of black hat SEO strategies to try and boost your site traffic. If this is eventually discovered by Google and other search engines, the consequences can be really detrimental for your website and your business.
It doesn’t take very much for these consequences to begin to affect you. For blatant violations, being blacklisted by Google will probably be the least of your worries. The loss of trust that it creates in potential customers is something you’ll find difficult to recover from.
Therefore using the right SEO techniques is a vital skill to learn. Here are few of the tried and tested methods for growing an online business that will also not attract trouble.
1. Create a lot of high value content
Being found is often a matter of being famous or popular online. One way you can achieve fame and popularity within online writing circles is by serving up high value content to the public for free.
Including a blog on your site is a good method for publishing a lot of content rapidly, but remember it has to really be of high value to the public for it to be of any value to you.
Don’t make the mistake that a lot of businesses make, where they treat every blog post as an ad for their business, talking only about the products and services they provide.
For example, if your business sells wine, you could have a huge variety of articles discussing the merits of different types of wine, the potential health benefits of wine, and so on.
If all you talk about is what’s in stock or what promotions you’re running this month, that’s not information many people care about, and you won’t get them talking about you to others.
2. Be sociable
If you can create a solid social media presence to support your website, then it will provide a tremendous SEO boost.
The biggest mistake that small business owners make is thinking that social media on its own is sufficient. This is simply not the case, and you’ll never reach your full potential if you rely solely on a social media presence without a website and a blog.
The main purpose of the website is to provide static business information. This is information about your business, your products, and your services. Your social media site is more for dynamic business information such as special events, promotions, and announcements.
The posts on your social media site should be geared towards driving potential customers to your website. The links created between social media and your website can yield high SEO benefits.
3. Create something new
Sometimes the best business content on the Web isn’t serious at all. Content that is created just for the fun of it, like an imaginative or thought-provoking video, or even just a really good cartoon picture, is content that is more likely to be talked about and shared than content that was created only for marketing purposes.
A good piece of original content can give you a short term viral boost that could attract thousands of additional visitors to your site.
The above techniques have been tested over many years and have remained strong while other trends have faltered and died. The basic concept of providing people with good content that serves them in some way (by being informative, entertaining, or both) is so obvious it shouldn’t need explaining, yet very few commercial sites are properly putting this concept to work. Let your business be one of the rare ones the does, and you’re business will have a better chance of becoming more prosperous.