I work with websites on a daily basis and it still surprises me what people don’t know about SEO. This isn’t the 1990s anymore, folks. What worked back then doesn’t necessarily work today – for good reason. Technology has evolved in the past 20 years (yes, 20 years!) and it’s high time we all caught up.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It’s a process that search engines use to find and crawl websites to rank them according to how relevant they are to users. And, since search engines are always making changes and updates to their algorithms, page rank and relevancy are changing, too.

What Makes Good SEO?

Content, content, content! To be found by searching engines, you need to have quality content. Having quality content isn’t enough, however. You also have to update your content regularly. How? Blogging! Your blog is a great way to increase your SEO if you post to it regularly. It used to be that meta keywords and a meta description were needed but that’s not the case today. In fact, Google no longer uses meta tags in search rankings and hasn’t since 2009. This is particularly important if you’re on WordPress, as so many of us are.

Social media is also a great way to increase your SEO. How often are you posting to social media? Exactly. If you were to Google your name, your social media would be in the top of the search results. Why? Because it’s constantly updated. You don’t have to post to your blog as often as you update your social media, but you should update it at least once a week.

Tactics You MUST Avoid

I hear so many tactics being used that leave me shaking my head. Here’s what you must avoid:

  • Keyword Stuffing – if you can’t use your keywords organically, don’t use them! Don’t fill your pages full of your keywords because that’s just dumb. Trust me when I tell you that you are not smarter than the search engines.
  • Buying Backlinks – if you want to be known as a spammer, by all means, use this tactic. Otherwise, put your money into much better things like Google Adwords, social media, or another productive tactic that will increase your business.

Genuine SEO takes about six months to produce results so don’t think what you’re doing isn’t working. If it’s been more than six months, it’s time to rethink your strategy to maximize results. If you took nothing else from this post, please, please don’t do anything listed in the tactics you must avoid section. It’s just not worth it.