“I want us to be ranked number one in Google.”
Work in content marketing for at least 24-hours and you’re likely to encounter this statement; the mekkah for businesses who want to stand out in an increasingly crowded space. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become such a common-place part of content marketing, a tech-term now bandied as a fix-all solution to low website rankings and poor audience engagement.
While it certainly pays to invest in a content marketing strategy for your business, SEO is often adopted as a quick-fix approach; a handful of simple tactics that will magically shift your business from page 102 to the top of Google’s list. Not only does this fail to engage audiences in any real and action-orientated terms, it can also lead to negative consequences for the indexing of your business.
If you’re thinking of embarking down the golden path that is SEO, here we outline a few simple tips and tricks that can help ensure content is working for – rather then against – the online reputation of your business.
Go beyond a token statement
When creating material for your business, don’t let the pursuit of keywords become the key driver of your content. While keywords are of course important to categorising material and helping improve its search-ability, if Google suspects you of ‘keyword stuffing’ it will penalise your website accordingly.
Write your own material
Keeping a steady flow of content on your website takes time, and is often a task that many businesses don’t have the capacity to focus on. One alternative to this is re-posting material from other websites on your own. Right? Wrong. Posting duplicate content is a big no-no for SEO.
Keep the linking to a minimum
Building up a network of referring links is one of the most powerful ways you can contribute to your SEO. Rather than put in the hard yards, however, some businesses work together in a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ arrangement. If Google suspects you of ‘link farming’, however, your content (and theirs) will be penalised.
Forget the hidden text
Another favourite method of improving SEO is using hidden text, which is invisible to your audiences but is stuffed with keywords that help drive traffic to your content. Again, you can’t sneak a trick past Google, and if it sees you are using hidden text, it will red flag your website.
Don’t let SEO overtake the importance of quslity content
All this might make it seem like the search for SEO is some kind of wild goose chase. And in some ways, it is. Rather than employing a series of tricks that will soon become updated, try focusing on creating a stream of regular, original and engaging content, and watch as SEO naturally follows.