Once upon a time you could definitely get away with doing a little SEO once in a blue moon. I know because those were the days when I first started out in SEO. However times have changed and SEO is no longer as simple, nor easy, as it once was.
There are more and more businesses fighting for the top spots in the search results and bigger, established companies have dedicated staff making sure they have the competitive advantage.
It has become essential for any business to dedicate time and resources to creating and building an online presence. If you neglect to promote your business and do little or no SEO, you risk losing to competitors who ARE taking the time to win customers online.
Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.
The Dangers of Unnatural SEO
Not only do we have to be aware of what good SEO is, it is also essential to know what can cause your website to receive a dreaded Google penalty! If you browse around general business forums you’ll see that many people will have you believe that a penalty can only be dished out if you’ve got ‘spammy links’ (e.g. leaving spam comments on other people’s blogs, in forums etc). However Google’s algorithms are a little more sophisticated than that, and they’re even kind enough to sometimes point out what we should be doing in terms of SEO (take a look at their Google Webmaster Tools for further information).
One of the things you should NEVER do is buy SEO services once in a while, in order to give your site an ‘instant’ boost. If you make your way over to Fiverr.com you’ll find a whole array of SEO services that you should NEVER buy for your business e.g. buying thousands of incoming links to your homepage. Your website will very likely be penalised and lose rankings by doing something like this.
The search engines can see how quickly your website is attracting incoming links and you need to avoid them seeing an unnatural amount of incoming links within a short space of time. Incoming links build up naturally over time and that’s exactly what you need to be actively encouraging.
Being Social is Good for Your SEO
The general opinion within expert SEO circles is that social media efforts are slowly becoming one of the key ingredients to successful SEO. It is believed that Google considers social signals such as mentions of your site/products/blog to be a natural indication of your website’s authority. It’s the consensus among SEO experts that social signals are used in Google’s ranking algorithm, and that we will see a general trend towards making social media mentions more important in the near future.
To keep your site ahead in the search engine results it’s really important to set aside an hour or two every week to dedicate to promoting your business website.