SEO: Pushing It to the Edge
There are numerous SEO strategies and tips available to web publishers, but that doesn't mean a web publisher has to incorporate all of them. There is such a thing as over-optimizing a website – pushing it over the edge. When this happens, the website could lose ranking rather than gain it. While strategies abound, the best advice may be "Keep it simple, baby."
Consider the basics by doing just enough to push it to the edge without forcing it into the muck and mire of bad SEO practices. Bad SEO practices include keyword stuffing, link-building from unrelated sites, as well as link-building too quickly, and link farming. Other bad practices include adding poor quality content that relies only on keywords to lure the search engines, as well as duplicated content. Using tricks like hidden text and doorway pages will push the site back in the rankings. Spamming hundreds of directories all at once is also a big no-no in terms of SEO. These tactics may work initially, but once the search engines weed out pages that were optimized to trick them, the website's ranking will fall off the edge.
Basic SEO Tips
The search engines, Google especially, prefer websites to grow naturally due to the sites' quality content with good links. This indicates the sites are worthy of ranking, and worthy of ranking well.
- The best SEO begins with good quality content that is geared to the site's visitors, not the search engines.
- Build links naturally from niche or related sites. Avoid directory submitters and be patient.
- Understand the importance of keywords, including long-tail keyword phrases.
- Pay attention to keyword density. 2% to 6% is a reasonable keyword density, but 20% will be considered keyword stuffing. It could do more harm than good in terms of SEO.
- Interlink "related" articles naturally within your site.
- Refer to high quality sites via related links within your articles, or elsewhere on your web pages.
- Avoid linking to spammy or poor quality sites that have low ranking.
- Utilize social media to market your website.
- Join forums related to your site and make it a habit to post regularly. Look for sites that allow signatures in posts. Offer value in those posts, and the readers will come.
- Offer free reports, a newsletter for subscribers, or a free e-book. These are things that draw your readership.
These are some basic approaches to SEO known as "white hat" methods. White hat methods build traffic slowly, but they get the seal of approval from all the major search engines. Generally, anything that promises a fast track to high ranking is usually a fast track to the back pages in the search engine results.