Easy essentials of SEO

You don’t need extensive technical expertise to make your content easy to find through Google searches. Try these timeless approaches.

Google’s algorithms are constantly shifting, the technical rules of search engine optimization (SEO) regularly changing.

That can be frustrating, especially for small-business owners who don’t have a technical background. Though details may vary, the big picture remains more or less the same: Google wants to provide value for search engine users, and if you do so for consumers, you’ll get decent rankings. That’s something that even a complete novice can embrace.

Specifically, three basic SEO principles will guide you toward a smart approach, and they don’t require extensive technical know-how. Here are those evergreen principles:

It’s always about the end user.

Google is a business, and it wants to deliver a great product. In this case, that means providing relevant and valuable search results to its users. A lot of small-business owners get caught up in writing for the search algorithms—but that’s backward thinking.

Don’t write for Google; write for the end user. Create content that is clear, well-structured, informative and full of takeaways. Writing for human beings will appease the algorithms.

Be one of the white hats.

Black hat SEO seeks to cheat the system and circumvent Google’s stated rules; white hat SEO abides by those rules. Black hat tactics can generate quick results, but they’re never lasting results. A solid, enduring SEO presence requires a white hat approach.

So, don’t try to game Google. You don’t have to resort to gimmicks or buy links. Just focus on providing valuable content that includes natural, judicious keywords and earns links from other websites. Skip the shortcuts, and do the real work instead.

Make use of every opportunity.

If you’re wondering how many keywords you can cram into your content, you’re thinking about it all wrong. The key is to use keywords organically. Optimize every square inch of online real estate that’s available to you. That means focusing not just on writing good content, but also writing strong title tags and meta descriptions.

Amanda Clark is president of Grammar Chic. A version of this post first appeared on Business 2 Community.

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