SEO Habits: Don’t waste time doing SEO badly – Part 1
Search Engine Optimisation is essential for any online business. Granted, it takes a long time before SEO starts to rank your pages. But it is the most durable way to promote your website.
In this series, I will discuss all the things you should and shouldn’t do to optimise your website for Google. To the best of my knowledge, because Google stays pretty vague on how its search algorithm works. As a consequence, most of the advice is the result of years of trial and error.
What Is Essential According To Google
Google provides us with some Webmaster Guidelines that are very useful and clear. In short, here are some of the most important guidelines:
- Make sure your website has useful, informative content that adds value. If your pages only show syndicated content; which is content that comes from other sites, you are not adding any original value.
- Google likes in-depth content, which means you want to use a lot of words. I would suggest at least 350 per page. Make sure the content is relevant though, don’t repeat things unless it makes sense to duplicate. For instance, to drive a point home.
- Write content with your visitors in mind, not with search engines in mind. Your content should be usable, clearly defined and functional.
- Make sure the web crawlers can find your website. There are a few ways to do this. For instance, make sure all your pages have links from another page. And making sure your site provides a sitemap.
One thing that is super important and that will drive your traffic is what is known as backlinks. But before you can even think of building these backlinks, you will first and foremost need some excellent content that people are willing to mention on their webpages.
- Never under any circumstances should you spam links to your website into comments on other websites. (for instance on YouTube)
- Don’t buy backlinks; it is a dubious practice. Rather than giving you better ratings in search results, you will get penalised as soon as Google catches you out.
- Stay away from cheap SEO companies that claim to be able to help you get to first place on the SERP in no time. They will revert to black hat practices which will inevitably damage your reputation.
Become An Authority
Important to note upfront that this is something that will not happen in the short term. To become an authority means that a lot of people feel you are the number 1 reference in your field or subject.
However, if you don’t abide by the rules from the start, you will grow a long beard before you are ever considered an authority.
Why Being An Authority Is Essential
I won’t assume to know how the Google Algorithm works, but by testing through trial and error, it is common knowledge that Google has ways to grant websites a Domain Authority score.
That score has a direct impact on the ranking of your site by an unknown but significant factor.
How To Become An Authority
At the risk of sounding like a broken record and repeating myself, some of the principles that I have already discussed are at the base of becoming an authority: relevant, in-depth content that adds value. It is what it is.
If Google finds a lot of content on a subject that is relevant, engaging and original, it will grant you a high Domain Authority score. Google will compare your content against that of other websites on the same subject, and it will form an opinion about the validity and the value of the material.
So one essential part of acquiring a good score is that your site does not switch context. You need to stay in your domain. Stick to your subject and refrain from venturing into off-topic blogs and articles.
The best way to stay on topic without running out of ideas is to do some exhaustive keyword research upfront. That is the topic of part 2 of this series.
Where to next?
Nothing is stopping you from starting your new website. Start generating genuine content and tell your audience everything you know about your favourite subject. Write about the things that you know will add value to your readers.
How will you provide value to your readers?
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