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“White hat” SEO techniques in the new world
SEO that works!
In the almost post-apocalyptic world that has emerged following Google’s recent updates and algorithm changes (not that we’re over-stating!), you would be forgiven for thinking that SEO (even “white hat” SEO) has become more difficult. By white hat SEO we are, of course, referring to techniques that are actually recommended and approved of by search engines. Such techniques may now seem few and far between, or simply difficult to discern amongst the plethora of information that is flowing. Well, you will be reassured to know that there are some simple SEO techniques that still work and shouldn’t ring alarm bells with search engines! Invest your time in the right way, be patient and your website will be a success. Here are 5 important points to bear in mind: 1. Search engine techniques are constantly evolving Search engines (such as Google) are continually improving their algorithms and updating their processes. As a result, SEO techniques that work one day, might not work the next. This is why it is so important to stay “on the ball” and adopt long-term strategies that are not based on quick fix solutions. For example, regularly adding high quality, relevant and unique content which adds value to the Internet community and, more importantly, your customer base or target audience. There is no such thing as “set and forget” in terms of search engine optimisation - adapt or die. You will need to make a conscious effort to stay educated so that you are always updated and able to react to, and work with, the latest ranking algorithms. 2. Never try to “game” Google There is simply no point trying to get around Google's ranking algorithm - it requires a lot of work to try and, sooner or later, they will detect all new spam tricks. The risks far outweigh the short-term benefits - ultimately, your website could be penalised and you will then lose money, credibility and you will subsequently have to invest a significant amount of time to get your website re-listed and your previous rankings back. It is far better to abide by the rules - you get better results that last, even if it takes a little longer to get high rankings. Anyone who promises you overnight results for little money should be regarded with caution; this is simply not possible. A successful SEO strategy involves time and effort and there are no short-cuts. 3. Make the most of aspects you can control You may feel frustrated by all of the factors outside of your control, but which continually affect your website’s success - what your competitors do; what Google and other search engines do; how the market and Internet landscape shifts. However, take comfort from those aspects that are within your control and proactively work on those. A prime example is your website! For instance: optimise navigation and layout  make your web pages look good to ensure that your landing pages have a high conversion rate regularly post new, relevant and unique content, which offers value to your visitors don’t let your site become “stagnant” - it is your most important asset, so treat it accordingly. 4. Content is still king We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - content is king and that hasn’t changed. Not only does it assist your rankings, it also means that when you do get traffic to your site, people stick because the search results have accurately identified your site as a relevant resource to help them with their query. In other words, they aren’t disappointed. High quality content means higher rankings, increased traffic and a lower bounce rate.   5. Allocate your resources wisely Most businesses have limited resources at their disposal, both in terms of time and money. It is therefore essential to devise an SEO strategy that is effective and sustainable. It is all too easy to become distracted by the latest marketing trends, like Pinterest, microblogs, foursqaure, tumblr, twitter and Facebook. Don’t get us wrong - each of these can be incredibly useful marketing platforms in their own right and can have a positive effect on sales, but the key is to ensure that you are only investing your time in those that actually lead to conversions. There is no point spending all your time on Twitter, for example, if your target market isn’t there. Do your homework - identify your key demographic; find out where they are hanging out online and then concentrate your efforts there.  Half- hearted social media campaigns can have a negative effect, so it is important to get it right if you are going to go down that route. For your conversion rate, it is often better to do one thing right instead of juggling too many balls at once. Similarly, don’t forget about your key asset - your website. It can be a full-time job maintaining social media and this could be at the expense of your site.