Immutable SEO Fundamentals: Are You Doing It Right? In recent years, SEO has gone through many tumultuous changes. From the Panda update, which uprooted many sites to implement social metrics, it’s clear that SEO ranking factors aren’t staying stagnant. However, despite all these changes, the underlying fundamentals of SEO haven’t changed.
These immutable fundamentals have been the same from the early days of SEO until now. In fact, they’ve only become more and more important as search engines have gotten smarter and smarter.
These are the four immutable laws of SEO.
==> Law #1: Content Is King
Google’s goal since day one has been to help the best content on the web find its way to the top of the search engines. As Google gets smarter, it’s only going to do this better and better.
Trying to game the system is not a very good long-term strategy. It’s extremely, extremely rare for people to be able to game search engines for any real length of time.
Instead, the best way to get ranked in the long run is to provide content that people genuinely like and want to share. This will generate organic backlinks, which Google loves.
==> Law #2: Think Long Term
Short-term SEO thinking is not only ineffective, but it’s also extremely unhealthy.
People who try to get ranked in weeks rather than months inevitably get burned.
The methods you employ when you think long term versus short term is different. In the long run, you’ll lay much more solid foundations with long-term thinking than if you were trying to get ranked as fast as possible.
Get in the habit of thinking in six months to a year in terms of your SEO goals.
==> Law #3: Understand the 80/20 of On-Page SEO
It’s easy to get sucked into on-page SEO. When it comes to on-page SEO, it really comes down to doing the 20% of work that’ll give you 80% of the results.
Web admins can get fixated on many of the little things on their websites. Should you use bold or strong tags? How much effort do you need to put into your alt tags? The list goes on and on.
Realistically, there are really just a handful of on-page factors that will make most of the impact. Your keyword selection, your title tag, your H1 and H2 tags, and your internal linking structures make up that 20%.
Understand the best practices for each of these things and implement them. That’ll take care of 80% of your on-page SEO.
==> Law #4: Have a Scheduled Link-Building Plan
Don’t just build links when you feel like it or when you want to boost your rankings. Instead, keep building links all the time.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. A couple of hours a week is enough. Keeping your link-building engine up and running at all times will help you look more organic in your link-building. The results also add up very quickly.
Create a weekly action plan for link building. Use the plan to keep up your link building, even when you have other things going on.
These are the four immutable laws of SEO. Follow these laws, and you stand a strong chance of winning the search engine contest in the long run.
Mobile SEO Explained
Ever since smartphones began taking off, mobile SEO has been getting more and more attention. Today, with over 200 million smartphones in circulation, mobile SEO is more important than ever before.
Throw in the Apple 4S and the Siri, which pulls most of its results from local searches, and the picture becomes quite clear: if you operate a local business, you can no longer afford to ignore mobile SEO.
What exactly does mobile SEO entail? How can you improve your mobile SEO?
==> Traditional Factors Matter
Mobile SEO uses some of the traditional SEO factors, as well as quite a few non-traditional ones.
You need to get a lot of backlinks to your website. These backlinks should be from well-established websites that already have solid reputations.
Unlike regular websites, however, you want to get backlinks from websites based on your geographical area. This tells Google (and Apple) that you really are a local reputable business.
==> Citations and Google Places
Local searches don’t just depend on backlinks. They also depend on citations and your Google Places results.
A citation is information contained on other web directories like the Yellow Pages or CitySearch. Your address, phone number, website information, and so on should be the same across all these websites. This helps Google verify that you are who you say you are.
You should have a complete Google Places listing. Ensure you have photos, descriptions, times of operation, and as many positive reviews as possible.
==> The Keywords Are Different
The keywords you want to optimize for on mobiles differ greatly from traditional SEO.
In traditional SEO, you’re typically targeting broader keywords that get more volume. However, on mobile SEO, your traffic will come mostly from short keywords that people come up with on the fly.
For an Italian restaurant, you might get searches like “Italian food,” “Pasta,” “Italian Restaurant,” and on a Siri device, “Good Italian food.”
==> The Mobile Website
Having an easy-to-navigate mobile website is a crucial part of a good mobile strategy.
Your mobile website should be simple and easy to use on any mobile screen, big or small. Break up large segments of information and try to provide just bite-sized bits of information on each page.
Ensure all the buttons on your site are big enough to be “clicked” on by a finger on a touch screen.
==> Is “Mobile SEO” the Same as “Local SEO?”
By and large, yes. Mobile SEO and local SEO are very similar, except that mobile SEO also requires a user-friendly mobile website. Apart from that, the core techniques of ranking for local results and mobile results are the same.
As smartphones get more prevalent, mobile SEO is only going to get more competitive. If you own a local business, now is the time to get in the arena and take the edge before your competitors get in the game.
Three Traffic-Building Tactics That Are Dead
As the web evolves, certain traffic-building tactics will fall by the wayside, while others will rise to prominence.
Yet, many web admins will continue to employ old tactics even once they stop working. Why? Because Google doesn’t announce when they change their algorithm.
Here are three previously popular traffic-building tactics that are now dead. If you’re using any of these tactics, it’s time to pick a fresh approach and move on.
==> Marketing with Low-Quality Articles
Article marketing used to be one of the most popular tactics on the internet.
Web admins would write articles on just about any topic, whether they had the expertise, and hope they could get that article to rank.
Once they ranked the article, they’d point a link to their website and get traffic from people who click through.
This tactic is very definitely dead today. Sites like EzineArticles and Article Alley have taken enormous hits in traffic since the Panda update. Even eHow.com, a relatively high-quality website, took a hit.
If you must use this tactic, stick to higher quality content directories like Squidoo or HubPages with community verification of content quality.
==> Link Wheels, Linking Schemes and Structures
Linking schemes have existed ever since Google introduced PageRank. It started with simple reciprocal linking, where web admins linked to one another to boost rankings. Then it moved to three-way linking and soon into fully-fledged link wheels.
Today, Google has pretty much shut down all these linking schemes. Even the most complicated linking structures involving many layers of link juice flow will not do the job.
Google has implemented sophisticated detection technologies that make this tactic more or less null.
==> Directory Submissions
In the past, getting your website into various internet directories could be a simple way to boost PageRank and increase rankings. Today this tactic doesn’t really work at all.
There are still a few directories that can pull some weight. The DMOZ community-sourced directory and the Yahoo! directory can still lend you some link juice.
That said, the amount of effort and money it takes to get into a quality directory isn’t worth the effort. At the same time and money could be put into other tactics that result in a much higher ROI.
Basically, the overall search engine scheme is changing. Low-quality links are being phased out more and more, to where they have virtually no impact.
The best way to get your name out there online today is to actually put out high-quality content, then build links using connections with genuine people.
This takes longer than using instant gratification tactics. But it’s what works. It’s been said that in business, the one who wins is the person who’s willing to do what his competitors aren’t willing to do.
In SEO, creating high-quality content with high-quality backlinks is what it takes. If you spend your time and energy doing this while your competitors are looking for shortcuts, you’ll come out ahead in the end.