Search engine optimisation is (for lack of a better word) a nightmare. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a powerful and endlessly valuable method of digital marketing that you must not overlook, however, it’s neither simple nor easy.
That being said, amidst all the noise and the chaos, SEO can be rather straightforward. All you need to do is learn to tame the chaos. Here are some “unwritten rules” that can help you along.
The unwritten rules of SEO
OK, so these are not so much “unwritten” as they are rarely practised. They are relatively well-known, however, far too many people make the mistake of ignoring them.
1 – Avoid keyword stuffing
This is arguably the most important rule in all of SEO…
Stop it! There’s no need to shovel dozens of keywords into an article for the sake of it. Google doesn’t appreciate it and neither do your readers.
As long as your content is concise, well-structured, and has a clear purpose, there’s absolutely no need for it. Here’s an example of what not to do:
Search engine optimisation agency in Australia
“Are you looking for a search engine optimisation agency in Australia? Perhaps you need an SEO agency in Perth? Or maybe you need SEO services in Brisbane? Or perhaps you are Sydney-based and need SEO agencies to help you increase your brand awareness online? Whatever the case, the team at We Do SEO AU would be delighted to help you with your SEO in Australia needs”.
Clearly the above example was exaggerated somewhat for comedic impact, but you’d be surprised by how many websites actually do this – particularly in their blog posts. A better example of what to do would be:
Full-service SEO agency, Melbourne
“When every man and his dog claims to be the leading SEO specialist in Australia, figuring out who you can trust can feel like a towering impossibility. This is why we prefer to let our results do the talking for us; if you are looking for a reputable SEO agency in Melbourne, feel free to check out our client case studies and decide for yourself.”
In the second example, both Google and the reader can clearly see what the website is all about. Forcing in keywords to the detriment of the copy is a shortcut to failure.
2 – Don’t “hide” text
If you think you can outsmart Google, you’re wrong. Some people try to avoid keyword stuffing by typing them out at the bottom of the page and then changing the text colour so that they’re invisible to the naked eye.
Don’t do it. Unless you want to end up having your website banned.
3 – Don’t duplicate copy
Can’t write and don’t want to pay an expert to do it for you? Don’t copy and paste from another website because it will not turn out well for you. This is a lazy approach to SEO, a bad way to manage your business, and it will end up costing you more in the long-run.
4 – DO improve your website’s user experience
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that driving more traffic to your website will invariably result in more business.
As the saying goes: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” What you can do however, is create an environment that will make them far more likely to want to.
The same applies for your website visitors. By improving your website’s functionality and overall user experience, you’ll significantly increase the chance of converting those clicks into customers.
Traffic means nothing without compelling copy and a banging U.E.
5 – Don’t get too comfortable
Be prepared to pivot and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. The goal posts are forever on the move and it’s your job to remain ahead of the curve, keep up to date with current trends, and implement all of the necessary changes to keep your business relevant in an ever-shifting digital market place.
If you get too comfortable, or set in your ways, you will fall behind.
These are just a handful of the many unwritten rules of SEO. You could study SEO intensely for the next year and you will still be learning new things. The key is to remain flexible, keep your mind open to new innovations, and focus on creating people-first content that will bring genuine value to people’s lives.
Tame the chaos, follow the rules, and watch as your online presence thrives.