Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process by which the visibility of your website can be improved within search engines. There are those ‘experts’ out there who promise the earth regarding SEO and can only get close to delivering on their promises via underhand tactics such as purchasing Facebook Likes and building 1000s of links back to your site from questionable sources.
Such techniques only have short-term effect and are detrimental, nay suicidal to your online marketing. When search engine optimisation is done ethically, the results include improved organic search engine rankings, more visits to your website and more potential sales conversions. After you have invested in a business website, why would you not want a healthy return on it?
What do the search engines look for?
Search engines look for a combination of factors which lead to your website being ranked more highly for the same keyword as the competition. In no particular order, these factors comprise:
- Social media
- Incoming links
- Website usability
- Meta information
Amongst others, these factors determine what your website is all about. Ranking high gives you a huge advantage over your competition.
Five UN-ethical SEO techniques we avoid
1. Keyword ‘stuffing’ in Meta Tags
An old technique (and a bad one) was filling metadata with every possible keyword and phrase. It was also a common practice to simply steal the meta tags from competitors.
2. Hidden content
This involves having pages filled with text the same color as the background and items stacked on top of each other in a desperate attempt to cram as many keywords as possible into the content.
3. Duplicate content
This is the mindless copying and pasting of the same content across different domains in a bid to get content out to a wider audience. This is very annoying and only complicates searching and means the user will click on a dozen or so links that seem unique, only to find that they ultimately lead to the same site or product.
4. Sacrificing quality and usability
This is where SEO gets in the way and affects usability. For instance, repeating keywords again and again in different ways can make a site both annoying and confusing.
5. Making customers believe SEO is a ‘dark art’.
This involves taking advantage of customers that simply don’t know any better. It’s really easy for someone who knows the lingo to pull the wool over the eyes of an aspiring business owner. SEO isn’t magic.
When SEO is done ethically, you will experience improved search engine rankings and an increase in the amount of visitors to your website. This increase in visitors can in turn increase sales for your business and increase profitability. SEO done properly is a good business investment.