If you’re one of the thousands of websites which got the Panda / Penguin penalty, then you’re still probably reeling from the trauma of losing your long-held first page ranking to the wastelands of Google.
Now it’s time to rebuild and give your website a fresh start with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) again. The question is, what method works? Is there really an SEO agency who knows what it’s doing?
SEO is not a strict Science. We understand that Google makes changes to their algorithms almost nonstop. Understanding the principle behind Google’s changing algorithm leads you closer to your SEO methods that will stay consistent with Google.
Here are 7 SEO methods that no longer work – if you catch your SEO agency doing these – ask them to stop right away before you dig yourself into deeper trouble.
1) Automated Link Building.
It’s true that Google counts links to your site as a vote. The question is, did you earn this vote, or did you buy it?
There is a huge difference between a website that’s just so good that other websites would want to associate with it and link to it, and those websites which skyrocket to the top because they bought 10,000 links in one day.
This sudden surge of links can make you popular and rank well temporarily but it will not be long before Google can detect this and banish your site for good. Natural link building works. It takes time, but it works.
Natural link building means you produce top-notch content that are truly helpful, you engage people to your website in a genuine way, and they love you so much that they want to link to you.
2) Article Submissions.
An outdated way to generate links is to submit articles to content farms, which are places that accept articles in exchange for exposure or free links.
You will rarely find good quality articles from content farms, and because of this, you can’t reasonably expect that the quality of the link you will receive will be any good. Content farms like Ezine Articles are still around even after Google Penguin or Panda.
If they have not improved their guidelines for what quality content is then it’s best to approach them with caution if you ever are still thinking of getting links by article submissions (even if we say it’s an old method that doesn’t work).
3) Press Release Submissions.
This is a close relative of article submission, only that you will need to have an actual news item about your company for you to be able to write a press release. In fact, that is the very source of the problem – when websites write press releases without sharing anything newsworthy! Think about it this way – when something you write just doesn’t feel right, then it most probably isn’t.
4) Creating Content for Search Engines.
Are you writing for search engines or are you writing to build your market? Remember, writing SEO content shouldn’t be exclusively for search engines or for people whom you are attracting to buy for you. In fact, if you are ever confused which “audience” to satisfy first, make a choice for the people. Again, your content must be engaging enough to drive traffic to your site which the search bots can detect. Because of this massive traffic – you can potentially get leads even if your website isn’t even coming up on the first page.
The best scenario for you is to have content pieces which are sales-driven and also SEO optimized. That is hitting two birds with one stone, so to speak, and is highly achievable if you have a seasoned SEO content writer at your beck and call.
5) Not Going Social.
Whether you like it or not, social is in. Web 2.0 is no longer a revolution, rather it is mainstream. If you do SEO without sharing then you are missing the arm of the SEO limbs.
It’s not that difficult to go social. Simply ask your web designer to make sure to create a social media sharing button and place it somewhere conspicuous on your website. Create accounts for these social media sites and manage them as regularly as you can. Now, if you can manage only three social media sites, so be it. What you don’t want to do is to join 12 social sites and be absent in 9 of them.
6) Focusing On Ranking Only.
Google Analytics is a very important website performance tool, use it.
This is what usually happens with most SEO providers: they offer a ranking report to show you your movements in terms of page ranking in Google. This ranking report usually takes the place of Google Analytics.
This shouldn’t be the case. Google Analytics gives an in-depth analysis of your visitor’s behaviour while on your site. It also gives you an idea of how ill or healthy your individual pages are so that you can act upon it and rank in the top sooner.
Remember, even if you are consistently at the top three positions on page one, you might wonder why you are not getting any enquiry or lead. Well, look at your Analytics and. Perhaps the page that ranked in the first positions on Google has a link error – when people click the link, it diverts to a 404 error page. This is something that only Analytics can help you see. So be sure to install analytics.
7) Finally, ignoring website design.
A great website design goes hand in hand with SEO in making a mad rush of leads flow until you can’t breathe anymore attending to enquiries and closing sales.
It’s a bad idea to ignore website design, and it’s also not a good idea to do the design yourself if you’re not the pro. Provide your ideas to your web designer and leave them to do the work from there. There is this saying that goes “too many cooks spoil the soup”. Furthermore, you are not the professional “cook”. So, have faith in the web designer whom you have carefully selected to develop your website.
While you’re at it, hire a professional SEO company to work in tandem with your good web designer. Investing on your website this way will make it a virtual online salesman for you – the kind that closes a deal even while you are sleeping. You would want one like that, won’t you?