When it comes to SEO (a.k.a. search engine optimization – the art of ensuring your website is user and search engine-friendly), there are so-called “black hat” practices of driving traffic to your website. These practices often involve the use of spam content and websites, which are unethical and in some cases illegal.
The problem with using such unethical methods of driving traffic to websites is that search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing will effectively penalise any websites that have dodgy content or are known to be linked to unorthodox SEO methods. Black hat SEO methods are typically chosen by those who wish to get visitors to their websites quickly and without much cost, usually because the target website is involved in some kind of scam or fraud.
There are the occasional few who use such methods for legitimate websites, but when they are penalized by search engines they may as well shut the website down as they won’t get traffic through organic search methods!
Therefore, it is better to follow white hat SEO methods instead; these are the ways that are encouraged by SEO experts and search engines alike, and on the whole will result in a better long-term result than the dodgy quick and easy methods used by the rogue elements of society.
Focus your efforts on long-tail search phrases
Everyone always wants to try and get to the magical top spot on search engine results pages for singular keywords or phrases with three words or less (i.e. “boiler repairs london”), but even those with little in the way of SEO knowledge will tell you that this isn’t going to happen overnight.
Instead, focus on niche phrases that people still search for, as you are going to have a better chance at being #1 for those.
Write guest posts on authoritative websites
If you are an expert in your field, then why not write an article relating to your industry on someone else’s blog and link back to your own website? These link-building techniques aren’t considered spammy if you’re writing something relevant to the audiences of the blog’s and your websites.
Be in it for the long haul
One of the factors that search engines take into account is how long a website has been around for. Don’t expect huge results after being around for just 3 weeks; it takes months and even years before you can expect to get significant amounts of traffic to your site from organic searches, despite what some “experts” will tell you.
Make sure your website is up to scratch
Part of your SEO strategy should be to have a website that looks and operates like it’s worth a million dollars! You can either hire a professional web designer or use a nifty site builder service to help you come up with the website of your dreams.
Find out what people are searching for
There’s no point optimising your website for 56k dial-up modems if people only search for ADSL or cable modems! Make sure that you understand your audience, and find out what people are searching for.