SEO Dos and Don'ts: Get Your Digital Marketing Content Up to Scratch

SEO isn’t going anywhere. It’s about time to start facing that as a cold, hard fact.

Your marketing content can be amazing in every possible way, but if your SEO practices aren’t up to scratch, you’ve got a pretty slim chance of making any sort of impact.

SEO is an essential part of any content marketing strategy.

If you want content that converts viewers into customers, we’ve prepared a few tips that might come in handy.

SEO dos and don'ts

What You Should Do

Use Blogs and Social Media

Making a blog, as well as signing up for social media pages on Facebook and Twitter about your business and its products and services will also help you to get more traffic to your main website. This is a great way to announce new products, talk about updates or anything that is coming soon in your business arena, etc. It also lets customers interact and can help your company gain popularity when they share the information with their friends. Be sure to monitor your social media pages daily and keep up the interactions with your customers, as the object is to get more popular and not answering their comments will do the opposite.

Use Backlinks

Be sure to incorporate backlinks into your website. Backlinks are when you use the URL from your pages to get people to click on them and go to your site. You can put these backlinks into articles you post in directories, on Facebook or other social media, on a blog as a guest writer, etc. It’s also a good idea to trade links with well-known authoritative sites like those with .edu or .gov if possible. You can ask them if you can somehow list your URL with them and vice-versa to help you to get better ranked by Google.

Always use alt text

Google's bots need help figuring out what the images on your website are, and the meta description typically defaults to the name of the image you uploaded. Don't be lazy here! It doesn't take long to change "mysupercoolimage.png" to "10 Reasons to Use Alt Text." Pro tip: use a keyword in your alt text for a small SEO benefit.

Optimize for relevant keywords

Take the keywords that you came up with, and make sure you're using them intermittently throughout your writing. Gone are the days that you need to bold your keywords. Your keywords need to appear naturally in your content. Remember, your keywords can go in your header text, your alt text, in your content, and in your meta description. Pro tip: look for long-tail keyword opportunities to capture the visitors searching for longer queries, similar to phrases.

Create an honest meta description

One of the most forgotten about and neglected parts of a web page is the meta description. This 165-character depiction of your page gives people an idea of what they will see when they visit that page on your website. Knowing this, you should describe your page honestly and simply. Of course, you want to make your page sound unique, but a unique meta description that over-promises a site's features can lead to high bounce rates. Pro tip: Meta descriptions are NOT ranking factors for Google's algorithms, but a good one will influence how often your site is visited.

What You Shouldn't Do

Publish duplicate content

If your website has a good amount of duplicate content, you may be penalized with SEO related errors. Duplicate content can be from your own website or an external website. If you want to repurpose your own content, be sure to use noindex tags on those pages. Those tags will tell Google's bots not to 'crawl' that page. Pro tip: Google will be able to tell if a website is taking your original content and using it on their website. Those people will be penalized, not you.

Make up irrelevant and erroneous keywords

This practice is more detrimental to a website's keyword rankings than most people think. It results in a negative user experience, and has been dubbed "keyword stuffing." Pro tip: don't try to rank for viral trends, as that kind of online traffic is typically uninterested in your business.

Create content for search engines

Sure, people use search engines to find your content. However, your content has to sound like a person wrote it. Too often I see online content written as if it came from a robot. Before your company is a B2B or B2C company you are an H2H, or human-to-human, company. You sell your products and/or services to humans, so be sure that you're writing valuable content that humans would enjoy. Pro tip: ask for a co-worker to read your content and ask them for feedback. Their edits will, more ofthen than not, help you.

The bottom line is that by properly using SEO you can get more traffic and customers and by using it wrong, you will lose them.