What is SEO?
In short, Search Engine Optimization is a way of telling Google, Bing, and other search engines what content you want them to show when someone searches for a given term. For example, let’s say I just started an online pet shop.
If I know that people will search Pug puppy or French Bulldog Puppies when they are looking for pet supplies or pets for sale, then I will optimize my site so that it shows up higher than other websites with similar content when someone searches one of those terms.
If you want your website to be discovered by more people who are searching for things related to your business, then SEO is an excellent strategy for gaining visibility.
The keyword here is visibility because all SEO does is increase your chances of being found on major search engines. It won't do anything to improve customer loyalty, brand recognition, or conversions on your site once someone has visited.
That's where traffic-driving techniques like email marketing, social media advertising, etc. come into play. When used correctly, both SEO and non-SEO traffic strategies can help you effectively grow your company's presence on the web.
Now let's dig into some basic strategies...
What is Black Hat SEO?
If you’re just getting started in search engine optimization, it can be tempting to try every method available. However, not all methods are kosher.
Black hat SEO is a term used for unethical techniques that manipulate rankings or violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and creating multiple pages to rank for identical keywords).
If Google discovers your site engaging in these activities it can result in serious consequences like banning your site from its index or lowering its ranking positions.
To avoid problems like these, focus on white hat techniques that boost quality content (like writing quality posts that users want to read) rather than trying to game Google’s algorithm with manipulative tactics. What follows is a look at some of the biggest no-no’s of black hat SEO
5 SEO Techniques to avoid in 2022
SEO is all about gaining traction from natural searches on Google, Bing, and other search engines. This can be a competitive environment to create visibility for your brand new site.
If you're looking for new customers who are interested in what you have to offer, it's always best to look at proven tactics that have been tried and tested by other companies rather than trying out something new with an uncertain payoff.
Below are 5 ways of performing SEO that could seriously harm your results
Although keyword stuffing is pretty much useless today, some companies are still trying to get away with it. Some time back, Google announced that it'll stop ranking websites on SERPs that rely entirely on keywords.
Sure, there are ways around it, but you’ll probably just want to focus on getting real traffic through social media and other organic methods that don’t require hiding anything from your visitors.
The risks aren’t worth it—nor are they necessary anymore! Skip keyword stuffing and focus on building a site visitors will want to stick around for. It’s more effective anyway.
Clients don’t always notice poor-quality content, but Google does. If a site contains a significant amount of pages designed to deceive search engines and users, it’s going to suffer an immediate hit.
Search engines have gotten smarter over time, and they now have ways of checking that sites aren’t being deceptive.
For example, instead of just looking at what appears on your site or where your link is placed on each page, search engines also look at whether or not that link follows normal patterns—that is, most links point outwards towards other websites and away from yours.
A couple of years ago, Google released an update known as Penguin 2.0 which places even more emphasis on quality signals when calculating rankings. Cloaking can no longer be used successfully for boosting your SEO efforts in 2022.
Avoid cloaking when trying to grow traffic in 2022 by ensuring all links are pointing incorrect directions with natural anchor text rather than click here. Using cloaking will only hurt you in terms of rankings if done incorrectly or too aggressively because algorithms are smart enough to catch anyone trying to exploit them with tricks like these anymore.
Invisible keywords are unnatural words that users cannot see but search engines can.
These invisible keywords (otherwise known as long-tail keywords) aren't necessary for your content, but they help boost your visibility. Using them will help increase your click-through rate and enable you to grab an even bigger share of internet traffic.
So look for words related to your business that don't appear frequently on search engines (think synonyms and abbreviations), and make sure you include them in your content.
After all, what's written on Google's first page is meant for humans—not bots! This trick works best with e-commerce stores or with companies that offer B2B services. It will surely attract more prospects looking for similar products/services because it seems like there's just another company trying to catch their attention.
Also, doing so helps make users feel like it's much easier to navigate through your site because they don't have to spend time figuring out how it works, but instead only get answers directly from product descriptions and how-to articles.
It also takes less effort on their part since browsing pages from top to bottom isn't exactly ideal when using computers at home.
Search engines have gotten more sophisticated at recognizing duplicate content. Sites that plagiarize or scrape from other sites will often get dinged by search engines and your rankings will drop, sometimes dramatically.
If you want your site to be successful in five years, avoid these tricks. One of them—or a site with a similar design, tone, and subject matter—is bound to come up on page one above yours anyway.
The last thing you want is for Google’s crawlers to think you’re copying them outright. Not only could that result in a penalty but it also has an associated cost: potential customers may think you’re not unique enough to invest time into. So avoid plagiarism if you want your site to grow.
Don't recycle someone else's idea. Ever.
Spammy Link Building
Perhaps one of the worst techniques out there is buying links. There are way too many businesses that will sell you links on their site, so buyers beware. The strategy used to be safe because search engines would penalize sites for unnatural linking patterns.
But, all it takes is a few hundred dollars and suddenly your backlinks are no longer unnatural—they’re just spammy! If you want your site to grow, avoid buying links like they are candy; especially now that Google has machine learning built into its algorithm, which can determine whether or not your link building was natural.
Don’t risk having your website dropped from its rankings! Focus on content marketing instead. It's more cost-effective and useful than any spammy shortcut.
That said if you do decide to purchase some outside traffic, focus on high-quality platforms that help ensure user experience rather than low-quality networks where users bounce immediately after arriving at your page.
Best SEO Practices to follow in 2022
There are many things that you can do right now to get your website off to a good start. These include: Optimizing for search engines; proper coding; improving user experience (UX); optimizing internal links; optimizing internal pages; optimizing images; and backlinking.
Many of these practices are great for early-stage sites, but it’s important to know when it’s time to let go. For example, backlinking is generally considered one of the best ways to rank in search engines, but having too many irrelevant links could hurt your site instead of a positive one.
Even so, some techniques should be avoided at all costs regardless of how well they've worked in previous years or even months. Let's review some popular SEO tactics for new websites:
1. Content marketing – If your content provides value to readers, then you're likely to generate an audience through content marketing—and attract people who find what you provide helpful enough to link back to you as well.
2. Social media – Advertising has changed over time because people don't trust advertisements anymore and will typically engage with content from their friends and family before marketing messages from brands or businesses.
3. Guest blogging – Again, building relationships is key in any industry. And writing guest posts for blogs relevant to your niche is another way to network with others within your field while also establishing yourself as an expert who knows what he or she is talking about!
4. Commenting on blogs – This takes quite a bit of patience, but commenting on blogs that aren't yours can help grow traffic just like regular guest posting since you're usually leaving insightful comments related to what has been posted online to answer questions directly asked by your target market!
To Sum Up
The most common mistake made by businesses is publishing duplicate content across multiple domains—such as listing multiple best places to eat pizza near me articles across different platforms owned by the same person or company (like multiple Yelp profiles).
This doesn't serve any purpose aside from lowering rankings for specific keywords.
Whether or not you agree with such a move, it would make sense for Google to keep tabs on what people say and share on every platform possible; you can only imagine how useful it might be for potential advertisers!