Many companies don’t know how, or don’t take the time, to plan effective SEO strategies or develop top-notch content (original copy, photos, images, graphics, etc.) to improve their standing. More often than not, they simply scavenge it from somewhere else on the web.
When companies think they can shortcut to the first page of Google, they can do some crazy things to their websites. Keyword stuffing, automatically-generated content, and Sneaky Redirects are among the top culprits, but that seems to be just the tip of the iceberg.
The problem with that, and any type of cheating, is when they do it, they more than likely get caught. Often, those companies can be harshly penalized for bad practices – with Google even going so far as to remove their sites from indexing all together.
What bad site perpetrators don’t understand is that Google is not the the cruel taskmaster that it is sometimes made out to be. They simply stay the straight and narrow, with proper guidelines and complex updates (think Panda and Hummingbird), to ensure that great companies with great content succeed, and searchers find what they’re looking for.
“But what can my business do to get closer, or even on, that all-important first page?”
Great question. To help your site rise higher, Google prescribes some best practices to help you develop great content:
Originality: Offer up original, relevant content. Your landing page should always be useful to your potential clients, showcasing information about the benefits of your services through unique text, keywords, photos, graphics, and other forms of content. Be original, but keep the language simple and conversational, not jargon-heavy and technical.
Transparency: Be transparent and the trust will come. Don’t try and trick visitors to your site (or your affiliates) with irrelevant sales ads or nefarious contact info requests. Tell the people what you do, how best to reach you, and why you would collect their contact info. Befriend them and they’ll quickly become loyal customers.
Navigation: Make it easy to move around your site. Internal linking is incredibly useful in making a stroll through your site quick and easy (and it’s great for your SEO!). Make it simple for people to get to the information they need. Also, try and avoid annoying pop ups at all times, as it dampens the user experience.
By adhering to these principles, you will get the payoff of constant, positive engagement, which can do nothing but help you climb higher in the ranks of whatever search giant you are aiming for.
Aside from just avoiding the pitfalls and cranking out great content for your site, the most savvy companies are now investing more time and money into effective Content Marketing strategies, and carefully-cultivated SEO. By combining these additional steps with what you already know, the return on investment (ROI) through increased site traffic and customer engagement could, potentially, take your site straight to the top.