Getting Started with SEO

By: Jake

Despite the mountains of information available online, Search Engine Optimization seems doomed to remain one of those concepts forever shrouded in mystery, like theoretical astrophysics (huh?), or the Loch Ness monster (it’s real). Due to all this confusion, SEO tends to be a pretty frequent blind spot in a company’s online strategy. This past summer, we told you about the Google Panda SEO engine and its potential wrath towards people who try to trick the system. This time, we want to build on that by going past the mountain of bull straight to the core of what you need to know about SEO.

Three SEO myths:

Repetition is everything.

While making sure to occasionally mention your keyword helps search engines correctly classify your site, it is a complete misconception (or moronism, if you will) that repeating the phrase over and over will get you higher rankings because the engines somehow think that your site is more about the keywords than everyone else’s. The engines aren’t stupid. Neither are people, who will leave your site when they see your atrocious, keyword-laden content.

Meta keywords help SEO.

While title and meta descriptions do make a difference, the meta keyword field is practically useless for SEO. Stop trying to stuff every permutation and synonym of “cat food” in there and go do something useful instead.

If I’ve done SEO once, I don’t need to do it again.

You wouldn’t believe how many people get a one time SEO service, dust off their hands, and think they’ve “handled it”. Look here, buddy. Even if your site content is completely static, SEO is an ongoing process. Keywords that were trending last year (hell, last week) might have been replaced by others. Search engine algorithms change their ranking rules all the time. A little SEO done often works better than lots of SEO done once and forgotten.

Three things that do matter:

Links, links, links.

Everyone always talks about having quality, clear content for SEO. Unfortunately, they tend to completely ignore the fact that the single most important way engines rank your site is by checking who links to it. If a popular website links to yours, your site automatically gains legitimacy points and goes up in the rankings for your keywords. So do some outreach and get other sites to link to yours (offer to do the same in return).

Content uniqueness matters.

Search engines like diversity of content. They analyze how similar your content is to other content on the net. If you steal content from a well established site, you can get flagged for distributing unoriginal content and get penalized in rankings. So think twice before you “borrow” from your successful competitors.

Grammar Matters.

You would think that the quality of your writing does not make a difference to simple keyword counting. SEO algorithms are complex and rely on things like the position of words in a sentence or paragraph to determine relative importance. Good grammar leads to clarity, which makes the work of the engines easier. Trust us, robots are lazy.

Now go forth, my child. Use this advice and get found.