Search engine optimization is constantly changing and evolving. Once we consider ourselves at least semi-proficient in basic SEO, we tend to stop worrying so much about the fundamentals and focus more on the latest updates and changes within the industry. We’re all familiar with the rush to read up on Google’s latest update and what all the industry experts are saying about it.
The 5 principles listed below are things you probably already know. Rather than being new information, they’re meant to remind you of the basic pillars of SEO.
Search engine optimization is not a one-time deal.
Your site should never be stagnant for long and neither should you. To keep rankings high, your content should be fresh and your site should be updated regularly. Don’t be afraid to delete things, either. If you have blog posts from two years ago that no one ever visits, delete them and fill that spot with something new and interesting.
SEO is better explained as “making it easier for search engines to find your site.”
The acronym “SEO” is deceptively simple. You’re not in any way affecting the search engine itself. You’re affecting your site, which Google will then take notice of. It’s important to remember that you play by Google’s rules, not the other way around.
SEO should never be focused on getting traffic. It should be focused on getting the right traffic.
If your SEO strategy involves getting your site in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible, you’re doing it wrong. You’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money reaching out to people that aren’t right for you. Always work hard to target the correct audience. “Anybody that uses Google” is not an acceptable target audience.
Content is king.
While links will always be an essential part of your SEO, Google is looking for relevant content. You’ll want to keep your content fresh so search engines will have something new to look at. Make your content relevant and interesting to your audience.
Black hat SEO is on its way out.
It’s been prevalent for a long time, but thankfully it looks like the end is coming for black hat SEO tactics. Cheap tricks and shady practices may have seemingly nice results early on, but they rarely last. Plus, it’s been proven time and time again that it is much better to be friends with Google than enemies. Google is cracking down harder than ever to try and stamp out sites that are ranking in a way they deem unethical or unnecessary.
Whether these principles were old news or not, it can be valuable to take a step back and look at the fundamental SEO principles once in a while.
Am I targeting the right audience? Am I keeping my site moving and changing? Is my content relevant? Never stop asking yourself these questions and you’ll likely find yourself with an optimized site that Google is drooling over.