Most people are unaware of how much SEO has evolved in recent years. The acronym ‘SEO’, which stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, now encompasses nearly every aspect of a website’s design and delivery, from layout to coding techniques to content development.

Unfortunately, not all website developers are well-versed in SEO techniques, so when they build a site, it’s often heavily focused on aesthetics, not SEO. The result is often a site that looks great but doesn’t have the same SEO chops as its competitors, who are more focused on an optimized product.

If you’re wondering how long it will take for your business website to rank in Google, Yahoo!, or Bing for certain keywords after it goes live, there’s no way to tell with certainty. Ranking depends on a variety of factors, including the specific keywords you’re targeting, the strength of the competition for those keywords, and your optimization efforts.

How Often Does Google Update the Algorithm?

Currently, Google makes about 3 changes to its algorithms every day. And, those are often just for maintenance. That doesn’t include the major algorithm changes it makes throughout the year. For example, in 2021 alone, there were 3 major core algorithm updates that wreaked havoc for many websites that saw dramatic decreases in traffic for failing to prepare and comply with the change.

One such major planned change (which actually began rolling out incrementally in 2019) was emphasizing a mobile-first indexing policy. What this means is that the sites that are highly optimized for mobile visitors would start to dominate the SERPs. However, because this proposed change was such a big deal, Google decided to postpone the change. Just because they postponed it, though, doesn’t mean your site doesn’t need to worry about it anytime soon. Quite the contrary, actually.

In 2022, it’s estimated that more than 60% of all web traffic will be from mobile devices. The unfortunate fact is that many sites either ignore mobile optimization or optimize for it but don’t do a very good job.

What this means for your business is that there’s no time to spare in developing a robust mobile-friendly site, if you don’t already have one. And, not just for Google – but Bing and Yahoo! as well – since they both use Google’s algorithm as the basis for their search results.

Is Website Mobile-Optimization Simple?

Of course, if you’re building a new website from scratch, mobile optimization is something you can work on from day one. But what about older, non-mobile-friendly sites? Can you change an existing site to make it mobile-friendly?

Yes, but it may not be easy and could require a complete overhaul of the site. It can definitely be done, though. This is something to discuss with your website developer. Just realize that it’s one of those things that will require a lot of time and money to upgrade on an existing site.

If you already have a mobile-friendly website, that’s definitely something to be proud of. You’re ahead of the curve in 2022 when it comes to SEO. However, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile visitors yet, well… it might pay off to get started sooner rather than later. To find out your current PageSpeed Insights scores, use Google’s page speed tool. Simply enter your URL and it will show you how your site performs on mobile and desktop. Then, follow the recommendations Google lays out to boost the speed of your pages.

What are the Different Types of SEO?

When it comes to SEO, there are three different types of optimization. The first is on-page or onsite optimization, the second is off-page or off-site optimization, and the third is technical optimization. Some of the best practices for each kind of blend together.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves the onsite elements of your website. It also includes how those elements are organized within the site itself. For example, a visitor should be able to navigate a site easily with no unclear or broken links. To analyze your on-page SEO, analyze and follow the best practices in these areas:

  • Content and Headlines – Optimize your page titles, copy, and content with keywords.
  • Headers and Page Formatting – Optimize the H1, H2, H3, etc. tags. Many developers will use a header style because it looks nice. However, the point of headers is to help Google and accessibility features understand the important parts of your content. Because of accessibility issues with screen readers, if you’re using an H3 header as a substitute for an H1, you’re hindering your SEO efforts.
  • URLs – The URLs of your pages should be optimized for SEO. They should contain keywords, but not at the expense of readability.
  • Links – It’s important to use target keywords in your link text so you don’t lose ranking potential. But, also remember that over-optimizing links with exact match anchor texts will hurt your
  • Image Optimization – Technically, this also coincides with technical SEO. Images should be optimized with alt tags and file names. Additionally, the file size should be as small as possible without degrading the image. Large file sizes make the page load slower. As a result, this can quickly kill your mobile-optimization efforts.
  • Title Tags – The title tag is like the headline for an article. It tells visitors (and search engines) what they can expect to find on that particular page. Make it descriptive enough so people can tell at a glance what your site is about, but don’t over-optimize! Google may see that as spammy and penalize you for it.
  • Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions are those short blurbs of text under your link on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). They’re often overlooked by many novice developers and businesses, but they can help with ranking potential and click-through rates. The rule is, the closer a meta description matches the content on your page, the more likely people will be to click through to it.
  • Internal/External Links – Your site should have a healthy mix of internal and external links that are relevant to the content of your site. These will help Google crawl through your website more efficiently, leading to better SEO results. However, don’t overdo it. Too many links can be detrimental.
  • Structured Data – Use Schema markup to mark up your content and have it parsed by search engines. This can help with SEO, especially for big brands that have a lot of information on a single page.

 

Off-Page SEO

Off-page optimization is more about obtaining backlinks from reputable authority sites and promoting your brand through social media and other platforms. The more you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, the better.

When people mention you outside of your own site, it helps with off-page SEO and consolidates trust among customers/visitors who will search for you using specific keywords. That’s powerful because when someone does a Google search for those keywords, the first few spots in the SERPs will be your website and reviews/testimonials from reputable sources that won’t risk taking advantage of their relationship with their readers.

Here’s a few off-page SEO best practices:

  • Social Media – All businesses should have social media profiles for their brands. Not only is it a great way to promote your products and services, but it’s also the best place to drive traffic back to your website.
  • Thought Leadership Guest Blog Posts – Guest post blogging can have an impact on SEO because when you post new content that pertains directly to what you do on another blog, the author of that site is likely to allow a link back to your website. With this strategy, you can also help to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, as well as promote your personal brand.
  • Press Releases – Press releases are an excellent way to promote your brand outside of your own website. They’re typically done through PR Newswire or similar sites. You can then post these on other blogs or news websites that aggregate content in that industry or niche.
  • Building Useful Tools – One of the most effective ways to get people to backlink to your site is to build useful interactive tools. When others write their own posts, they can link to your original content and give you the credit. Examples of helpful online tools would be calculators, quizzes, or even interactive maps or infographics.

 

Don’t Fall for a Skewed Perspective on Backlinks

When it comes to backlinking, a lot of SEOs have a skewed understanding of the value of no-follow links, and often suggest that you only pursue backlinks from sites that offer do-follow links. While it is true that no-follow links don’t pass any PageRank or authority, Google does pay attention to them.

Think of it this way: Does it make sense for Google to pay more attention to 50,000 do-follow links from low-authority, spammy sites than to 200 no-follow backlinks from major, high-authority sites? Not really.

So, the key to backlinking is to focus on quality over quantity, regardless of whether they are do-follow or no-follow. You want to maximize the value of your backlinks, not just get as many links as you can. Quality off-page optimization takes time and patience, but it’s more than worth it in the end.

 

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is a massive topic, and there are dozens of technical aspects to it. So, here I’ll only touch on some of the most important ones that can have an immediate impact on your site’s search rankings.

If you want to excel with SEO then you need to learn as much as possible about how Google sees your website. Remember, while Google does have a team of humans that manually check sites to determine how to rank them, most of the work is done by robots. Therefore, your site needs to “talk” to the robots effectively. Having a strong technical foundation with your website is key.

The most important technical SEO guidelines include the following, but these are just a few of the technical issues that can hinder your SEO efforts:

  • Optimize Robots.txt – Placing this file on your site tells Google what pages you want to block them from crawling. This is important because it prevents the search engine from getting distracted by unnecessary content that’s not relevant for ranking. Examples of pages you may want to exclude from results pages include paginated areas such as your main blog page. If you’ve ever clicked on a result on Google, thinking you were heading to the article you wanted to read, only to be directed to the main blog page where you can’t find the article, that results in a bad user experience.
  • Fix Broken Links – One of the main reasons why Google sees a site as ‘not trustworthy’ and therefore doesn’t rank it highly, is because it’s seen as not useful to the user. If your site has broken links or outdated content, Google will see that you’re trying to be helpful but you haven’t succeeded in doing so.
  • Fix Your Canonicalization Errors – Using the canonical tag is a great way to tell Google that you want all these pages indexed and linked to as if they were one. For example, you might have three different versions of a product page: one for desktop users, another for mobile users, and a third for tablet users. You’d use the rel=canonical tag on each to indicate that you want them all to be seen as one and the same.
  • Duplicate Content – If Google believes you have duplicate content on your site (such as similar products with only slight differences), it may choose to only index one page. In this instance, you will see on Search Console that Google chose a different canonical URL than the one you specified. It’s important to go in and review the canonical URLs of all your products, blog posts, etc., to make sure they are set up correctly. Additionally, be sure to have unique content on each page, even if there are only slight differences between products.
  • Avoid Using NoFollow on Internal Links – By no-following internal links, you curb the flow of PageRank within your site. You want PageRank flowing between pages because it’s a measurement of how much Google trusts and values those pages. If you don’t want to pass PageRank between pages, there’s no reason to have those links on your site in the first place.
  • Fix Your Site Errors – This is not only important from an SEO standpoint but also for the general user experience as well. Google takes note of every error on your site, which makes it look unstable and untrustworthy.
  • XML Sitemap – The XML sitemap is where all of your website’s content can be found in a centralized location. It’s important to submit your sitemap to Google in Search Console as well as Bing and Yahoo. You can also ask Google to recrawl your sitemap manually using their ping tool every time you make a change to the site. To do this, simply add your *sitemap URL* to the end of this: https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=FULL_URL_OF_SITEMAP then copy/paste the whole thing in your browser, hit enter, and it will send the request to Google automatically.
  • Optimize Your Image Alt Attributes – The alt attribute tells Google what an image is about and also allows those with visual disabilities to use screen readers to understand the content of that page.
  • Do Not Use Too Many Plugins – Plugins, interactive features (such as a live Google Map), and other dynamic elements that you add to your site can slow it down. Google has a limit on how many scripts they’ll run on your page, so use them sparingly.

 

Other Types of SEO

 

Content SEO

Whether it is the page copy (main pages that describe your business and its services) or blog articles (pages that consist of content meant to inform, entertain, and/or inspire visitors), the main purpose of all published pages is to leave a good impression on search engines as well as users.

To achieve this, Google wants websites to follow a very simple (but not always easy) principle for planning content: E-A-T. Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trust. Google serves up the most timely, fast, relevant, and helpful content it can find to users.

This is where keywords come into play – they’re the foundation of search engine optimization. Finding targeted keywords that receive enough monthly searches while having low or medium competition, then building pages to target those keywords, is the ultimate goal. However, Google does not want to show off your site for just any old random word; it wants to see you publishing pages that are truly useful to visitors.

Content must be useful, actionable, informative, and correct for Google to consider your site valuable – not only for the particular keyword(s) you are targeting but also in general. If it isn’t useful or helpful to the user (including the possibility of their ever needing to return), they will not hang around for long, and Google won’t rank it well.

Content Strategies that Follow the E-A-T Principle

  • People Also Ask Strategy – Throwing a few keywords in your content simply won’t cut it nowadays as there is simply too much competition for them. So, Google has devised a way to help multiple sites rank at the top for any given keyword. You’ve likely seen it yourself when searching. Take a look at Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ section. Many of the questions are simply variations of basically the same question. What this section does is offer other questions that may be related to the original question. Google pulls this information from other sites around the web. So, if you want your site to rank for keywords like this, include variations of targeted keywords (especially in the form of questions) on your own site so Google can see it. This will not only help visitors find answers they are searching for but also gives Google signals that your page is trustworthy and authoritative.
  • Build Unique Content – Google requires content that is unique, useful, and trustworthy for all of its users. Duplicate content is terrible for rankings. This means you cannot post the same blog posts on several different pages or include the same product description in three different categories. Unfortunately, while Google states you can’t violate copyright laws and plagiarise content, you’d be surprised at how often different sites will copy content verbatim and end up ranking higher than the original creator. So, it is best to be aware of this.
  • Build a Balanced Site – Google wants your website to be a balanced one. It doesn’t want you to have only two pages of content and the rest of the site consisting of affiliate links, adverts, and more. This will likely not get ranked very highly for any keywords at all because it isn’t a useful or trustworthy website. You need to offer your visitors real, fresh content. If you’re not the best writer (and most people aren’t), simply get a professional blog writer and post an article each day or write articles in collaboration with other users or businesses. Just make sure it is useful and well written so Google knows your site isn’t just an ad farm.
  • Build a Content Tree Strategy – A content tree consists of a long-form post (like this one) that provides a general overview of a topic, then crosslinks to shorter posts that go more in-depth on the related topics. A good example of this is FAQ pages that give a brief synopsis of the answer, with a link to a longer article that explains the answer in more detail.
  • Linking to Useful External Resources – Linking to other websites is a great way for Google to understand what your site’s content is about. If you’re linking out to interesting and related resources, it shows that you know where the information comes from and that your website isn’t just spamming keywords in order to attract search engines. Whether you link to an external blog post or product page, Google will see that you’re a valid website with real content on it. So, link out to related websites where possible and be sure not to overdo it on sites with poor content as the ‘link juice’ you pass along will bring their site up higher in rankings too.
  • Content Upgrades – A great way to get people from your website is to offer them something of value for free that they can download immediately. This could be an e-book related to the topic your site covers (such as how to build muscle or lose weight), a template, checklist, guide, etc. Give your visitors this freebie in exchange for their email address and you’ll begin building follower lists.
  • Repurpose Existing Content – If you have existing content, such as blog posts, repurpose them into other forms of media, such as video, audio, or infographics to make it easier for customers to consume in their preferred format. This will show Google that your site is relevant for a wider array of keywords and give potential customers more avenues through which to find your business online. Additionally, it can help you rank in different areas of the search results as Google offers different forms of media, depending on which it thinks will be most relevant to a user’s intent.

 

Local SEO & Website Localization: There is a Difference

First, I want to point out there is a difference between Local SEO and website localization. Local SEO is optimizing a local business for local customers, while website localization is simply making your site readable in other languages or geographic regions.

Local SEO

Local SEO is important for sites in a single area in a way that is different than for sites that cover multiple geographic areas. Google has access to your IP address and this means that if you’re physically located within the borders of one city, they will assume you’re interested in learning about things specific to that city.

People are increasingly looking for businesses online before they pick up the phone or head to their location. As such, Google is tailoring its search results to give local businesses higher priority in certain areas. This means your site needs to be optimized for this if you want it to appear in the top few spots when someone is looking for a business like yours that is near where they are at the moment.

If Google is able to figure out that your site is relevant to a certain geographic area, it will boost its relevance in those results. For example, if you own a coffee shop and a person searches for ‘coffee shops’ or something similar, then Google may show your website even though it isn’t the first result because they know that someone searching for that term is probably located close to you and so your site should be prioritized. This may seem like common sense, but it’s worth pointing out that this strategy only works if you’re actually situated within the city Google believes you are targeting.

Local SEO best practices include, but are not limited to:

  • Create a Google Business Profile page and add your products to it. Also, be sure to occasionally post updates on your Google Business Profile to engage with your audience.
  • Include your business’ address and phone number on your website.
  • Have an interactive Google Map on your site that is linked to your Google Business page. (Be careful with this as Google Maps actually slow your site down significantly. If this becomes a problem, you can use a static image of your location on Google Maps that is hyperlinked to the interactive version.)
  • Add local business schema markup on your main pages and product pages.
  • Setup a Google Merchant Center account if you sell products online.
  • Add a geotag to your site. Geotags show your location on a map within the code of your website. Here is a simple geotag tool you can use to add this code to your website’s header section (the same place you add your Google Analytics code).
  • While online local directories (such as Yelp, Angi, etc.) can be a tremendous help, be sure that you only set up profiles on trusted directories. Some are pretty spammy and will rate your site poorly to other directories which will affect your overall ratings. Also, try not to pay for advertisements on local directories if you can avoid it; these are often rated very poorly by Google and so they may actually cause more harm than good.

 

International SEO & Website Localization

Many sites will use landing pages that target specific geographies, without having a physical presence in those areas. This is known as website localization, and this strategy can be hit-and-miss depending on your business type and how it is executed. The advantage of website localization is that you’re targeting a specific group of people in a way that they can relate to.

For example, if you’re running an online flower shop in the EU, then you can optimize your site for people in different regions of the EU. This may include having several versions of your site in different languages, targeting each populace you wish to reach.

Similarly, if your business operates only in North America, you could have versions of your pages that are in English for the US, Canadian English/French Canadian for Canada, and Spanish for Mexico.

Additionally, you may operate only in a localized area, but the demographics of the area may require you to market in a way that reflects that demographic’s cultural influences. For example, a law firm in Los Angeles (where certain areas of the city and surrounding areas may have pockets of people from various cultures) may want to create content in multiple languages such as English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Mandarin.

Website localization best practices include, but are not limited to:

  • Having a site with multiple versions in different languages.
  • Using geo-targeting and concentrating on keywords that relate to your specific location(s).
  • Create separate landing pages for the new regions and demographics you’d like to target.
  • Offering clear and concise contact information, such as your mailing address, phone number(s), etc. on every page of the site; this is a good SEO practice in general but is especially critical when you offer multiple language options.
  • Posting high-quality and relevant content on your site; this is mandatory for good SEO, but it’s even more important when languages are involved.

 

Mobile SEO

As I discussed above, mobile-friendly SEO can be quite tricky but is definitely worth every ounce of effort you pour into it. The mobile market is growing larger every year and the number of people using mobile devices to access the Internet will only increase.

Your site should be responsive so it can automatically resize its content for smaller screens, without causing any formatting issues (i.e., images and text should not overlap). If you’re struggling with this, don’t worry; there are many responsive web design templates you can buy for your site, or you can hire a developer to customize one specifically for your needs.

When improving Mobile SEO, be sure to keep these best practices in mind:

  • Start off by running the mobile-friendly test to see where your site stands. The drawback of Google’s testing tools is they only analyze one URL at a time. So, just be advised you may need to run this tool for every page you’d like to inspect.
  • Alternatively, you can go to the URL you want to analyze, right-click on the page, then select “inspect” from the menu that pops up. In the screen that comes up, you can click on the >> symbol to see the “Lighthouse” option. Click on that, then set the parameters you’d like to check. Lastly, click on “Generate Report” to run the analysis. You can even change the device type by selecting it from the dropdown in the upper-left corner of the screen. Keep in mind that this test should be done in “Incognito mode” for best results. Aim for 100% on all tests, if at all possible.

 

eCommerce SEO

SEO for eCommerce is an absolute must, especially if you want to stay in business. You can’t afford to ignore search engine optimization for your online shop or you may find yourself with no customers.

Today’s SEO techniques are much different than they were just a few years ago. If you want to be taken seriously as an eCommerce seller, then you need to have a strong online presence. In other words, people need to be able to find you via search engines or risk just going elsewhere for their shopping needs.

The following best practices will help you optimize your eCommerce site to the fullest extent possible:

  • Make sure eCommerce has a “Mobile-Friendly” label in Google’s testing tool.
  • Optimize your homepage and category pages. You will need to determine whether you want Google to index the paginated URLs. In some instances, it is a good thing, in others, not so much.
  • Your product pages should all have unique product descriptions, even if they are very similar products. This is because, while Google’s algorithm is mostly smart enough to understand that these are variations of the same product, it can help you avoid duplicate content errors and help you rank for more keywords.
  • Create an easy-to-use navigation menu on every page of your site so users can quickly move from one section to another. This is especially important for mobile users, as they tend to do more shopping on their phones than on their computers.
  • Use Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool to check the markup for all of your products to make sure it looks okay and won’t get you penalized.
  • Optimize all visual elements including images, videos, etc.
  • Use the proper product schema markups.
  • Use a blog to expand on the value of your products, how they’re used, why they’re better than other products, etc. Showcase some of your best customers and give a bit of their backstory and experiences with your products.
  • Monitor competitors’ sites to stay on top of changes they make to improve your rankings.
  • Make sure all password-protected parts of your site work flawlessly for all visitors.

 

Social Media SEO

This is the process of optimizing your site and social profiles so they work better together. If you have a strong online presence, especially on social media, then it can improve SEO for your site as Google’s algorithm includes many things in its ranking formula.

The following best practices will help you optimize your social media sites to the fullest extent possible:

  • Create branded social accounts and link them to your website; for example, your website’s Facebook page should have the same name as your business.
  • Include a social cross-promotion widget on each page of your site so you can easily spread content from one place to another.
  • Use videos and GIFs to help capture attention and convey a message or idea quickly and efficiently. This is especially true for Twitter, where you are limited by the number of characters each post can contain.
  • Link your site to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to increase the likelihood of people seeing it organically (i.e., without spending money).
  • Join relevant groups on LinkedIn Groups specifically tailored to your industry or market niche.
  • Make sure you have the proper social sharing buttons on every page of your site so users can easily share any piece of content to their favorite networks. Make sure they are easy to see and are above the scroll.
  • Forums can help with SEO but should be used in moderation because they are a good place for spammers to congregate. Posting your website links in forums may send a signal to Google that you’re spamming, even if you’re not.

 

What are the Different Types of SEO Content?

Now that you’ve been given a crash course in some of the foundational aspects of SEO, it’s time to move on to the different types of SEO content. There are a number of ways to categorize your content and each type can be used in conjunction with another for maximum impact. Here are some basic categories:

  • Evergreen Content – This is top-level content that will remain relevant for months or years at a time. This is content that will always be helpful to your target audience and should include some kind of educational or informational aspect.
  • Contemporary Content – Also known as “fresh” or “newsy” content, this type of content is more short-lived in terms of relevancy but it still provides value to your website visitors. Fresh ideas on a hot topic can work well here, even if it’s something you’ve already discussed before.
  • Topical Content – This type of content covers very specific ideas and issues related to your industry or niche. It doesn’t usually go in-depth because there’s only so much you can say about a single topic. Specific ideas like this are great for link building because you’re sharing your content with people who search for these kinds of ideas.

 

Planning Out Your Content Type Strategy

In general, you’re going to want to include various types of on-page and off-page content in your strategy. To do this, you’ll need to first decide what your overall goal is for each piece. Do you want to drive traffic? Are you trying to build links and gain authority or trust? Are you focusing on conversions or other specific actions?

Once you know the goal, it will be easier for you to match up content types with your plan. Here’s a general breakdown (notice that some types of content work well for both categories):

On-Page SEO Content

  • Blog Posts
  • How-to Guides
  • List Content
  • Video Content
  • Visual Infographics
  • Questions and Answers
  • Case Studies
  • eBooks
  • Micro-Blogs
  • Interactive Tools
  • Webinars

 

Off-Page SEO Content

  • Guest Posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Press Releases
  • Social Media Posts
  • Link Reclamation
  • Brand Mentions
  • Commenting
  • Forums
  • Influencer Outreach
  • Broken Link Building
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Webinars
  • Questions & Answers
  • Paid Ads
  • Newsletters

 

White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little about white hat vs black hat SEO tactics. When Google was still a fledgling search engine, people used a lot of tactics to fool the algorithm into finding and ranking their sites. They would outright lie about their sites’ content, buy links on other domains to increase their website’s search engine authority, and just generally do whatever they could to gain more traffic or generate leads.

This has raised the ire of many search engines because their goal is to provide people with high-quality results that are relevant to what they’re looking for. Google is very particular about the kinds of sites that are given preference in their search engine.

They don’t want to give preference to sites that have been built up by spammy tactics, so they’re constantly chasing down these sorts of tactics and eliminating them from their results. This means that there’s a benefit right now for websites that play strictly by the rules and don’t try to “game” the system.

The Google algorithms (which include Google Panda, Google Penguin, and others) are constantly getting more advanced at detecting black hat tactics and penalizing sites that use them. This is why it’s so important for legitimate marketers who want traffic from search engines to play by the book – and for you, as a business owner to recognize black hat tactics when you see them.

While there are still plenty of sites that are skirting the system and using these terrible black hat tactics, their days are numbered. Google is out to get them and if you’re caught trying to play this game, it could mean the end of your business (or at least a really steep drop in traffic).

 

How to Recognize Black Hat SEO Tactics

There are a few major red flags to watch for when trying to spot black hat tactics. If you see any of these warning signs, it’s time to cut your losses and find yourself a new SEO strategist:

  • Shady Link Building Tactics – Buying links with the sole purpose of increasing search engine authority or rank is a big no-no. It looks really bad to Google and while they might not penalize a site right away, eventually it’ll catch up with them.
  • Keyword Stuffing – This refers to the practice of filling a page with certain keywords or phrases in an effort to fool search engines into ranking you higher. Keyword stuffing isn’t going to work anymore, so don’t even try it.
  • Creating Thin Content – If you have hundreds or thousands of pages on your site, but not much unique content on any of them, Google isn’t going to be a fan. Good SEO means creating tons of high-quality content that will provide real value to your readers.
  • Cloaking – This is the practice of showing search engines spiders one type of content while users are shown something entirely different. Cloaking is another tactic that will get your site penalized if you’re caught doing it, so don’t even try it.
  • Selling Links – Link sales are the practice of selling links on other sites that link back to your website. It doesn’t matter if the links are contextual or not, it’s just a bad idea to sell links on other sites. If Google catches you doing this, they’ll hit you with a big penalty.

There’s a lot more to learn about black hat tactics, but this should be enough to give you an idea of what they are and why Google is so upset with people who use them. You can avoid these problems by working with an ethical search engine optimization company.

 

What are White Hat SEO Tactics?

White hat tactics are the safe, ethical way to increase your search engine rank or generate more traffic from search engines. This type of strategy is usually much better for business owners because it involves creating valuable content that others want to share with their readers and link back to your site. This is the essence of search engine optimization, so you can see why Google would be in favor of it.

Google’s algorithms give preference to sites that are well-respected by other writers and publications, so sharing content on social media or participating in forums is a great way to get noticed by the search engines.

 

Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2022

Whew! It’s been quite a dive into the world of SEO, hasn’t it? Hopefully, this guide has given you strong foundational knowledge on SEO best practices to help you get the most out of your SEO strategy for 2022 and beyond. But, we’re not done yet!! While the foundations discussed above are critical to your overall plan, 2022 is going to prove to be a pivotal year in which SEO evolves once again. Here are some important content marketing trends to be aware of:

  • Google and other search engines will be continuing their assault on bad actors in the SEO space. Success in 2022 is going to mean following the rules and playing it straight.
  • The practice of content marketing will become even more important with time. As long as you’re not trying to game the system, Google will reward high-quality, useful content with higher rankings
  • Video and other visual media marketing strategies are going to continue growing in importance.
  • Marketers must continue to take risks and get creative with their content. Success in 2022 will mean experimenting with new media, formats, and distribution methods. Artistic, interactive forms of storytelling in your content are going to replace boring, long-form content.
  • Make your content a visible part of your sales funnel. This means making a commitment to using content marketing as a serious sales tool and seeing it through.
  • Focus on keeping your current audience engaged. It costs much more to acquire new customers than retain old ones. You’ll save money, gain loyal readers or viewers, and improve your brand’s reputation by keeping the content coming.
  • With Google continuing to change its search algorithms, you must be ready for anything. The key will be staying informed about updates before they happen so that you can react quickly when they do come out. You can subscribe to the Google Developers newsletter to help inform your SEO strategy decisions.
  • Pay attention to new technology entering the battlefield. As the internet continues to grow and expand, there will be new opportunities. Think about how you can use technology to help improve your content and build your brand online.

 

Wrapping It Up

Google’s algorithms give preference to sites that are well-respected by other writers and publications, so sharing content on social media or participating in forums is a great way to get noticed by the search engines. The practice of content marketing will become even more important with time as long as you’re not trying to game the system Google will reward high quality, useful content with higher rankings This type of strategy is usually much better for business owners because it involves creating valuable content that others want to share with their readers and link back to your site.

Success in 2022 will mean experimenting with new media formats and distribution methods while maintaining an active presence online through blogging, email list building, webinars, etc. With Google continuing to change its search algorithm’s you must be ready for anything. The key will be staying informed about updates before they happen so that you can react quickly when they do come out. Subscribe to the Google Developers newsletter to help inform your SEO strategy decisions.

While the foundations discussed above are critical to your overall plan, 2022 is going to prove to be a pivotal year in which SEO evolves once again. As a seasoned SEO and thought leadership strategist, I understand how overwhelming all of this information can be. I truly enjoy helping pioneers of the 4th industrial revolution navigate through these complex challenges. If you need help building a strong online presence in 2022, reach out to me anytime!