10 SEO Tips for 2012

10 SEO Tips for 2012

Search Engine Optimisation gets harder every year. The demands for standing out in crowded search results, and being able to respond to Google’s algorithm updates, are making it difficult to develop successful marketing strategies and on-page optimisation that deliver results. Google’s most recent Panda and Penguin updates have particularly focused on reducing spam or irrelevant content on sites, and are also clamping down on bad inbound links and other ‘black hat’ SEO tactics. In this context, it’s worth briefly looking at some ways in which you can improve your SEO strategies for 2012.

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1 - Use Higher Quality Content

Gone are the times when sites could contain poorly written content with keywords randomly inserted to build links. Google Panda is particularly tough on this kind of content, with the result that sites can benefit much more from high quality, contextually relevant content from guest posts and bloggers.

2 - Adapt for Mobile

A mobile SEO strategy should combine specific campaigns for mobile sites, which can incorporate local keywords, as well as adjustments to designs and tags to make sure that the right information is showing up; this will ensure that sites are being caught by mobile searches.

3 - Focus on URLs

Google recommends avoiding long and overly complex URLs; instead, they recommend designing simple URLs that use dashes and punctuation for more precision. Doing so will prevent a site from being mixed up with similar results in a search.

4 - Get Suitable Inbound Links

The focus of Google Penguin has been on attacking multiple inbound and back links between irrelevant and spam sites. ‘Black hat’ SEO techniques like paying for directory farms are consequently no longer going to be relevant if web-masters want to get a site recognised by search engines.

5 - Use Robots.txt files

It’s now important to ensure that you use Robots.text files, rather than meta tags, with sites. Different search engines will respond to meta tags in different ways, and the best way to allow for better crawling and indexing is to use the .txt extension.

6 - Boost Keyword Density Through Longer Articles

Again, make sure that you’re producing great content for sites; this means having longer articles of 500 words or more, and articles that boost keyword density through contextual, rather than awkwardly placed words. Organic SEO is crucial to getting blog posts and articles posted on higher profile sites, so make this a priority.

7 - Use Sitemaps

Having a sitemap in place is important if you want to create a better index for search engines. If using a platform like WordPress or Blogger, you can also take advantage of plugins that will generate sitemaps for you.

8 - Use Social Media Properly

The best way to use social media is not to take things to an excessive level, but to ensure that you’re posting relevant content, and finding the right affiliates for distributing content. Keep the basics - retweeting, fan pages, blogging - but always make good content the priority.

9 - Use Header Tags

Another approach that Google tends to like, having header tags like H1 and H2 in place will make it easier for a site to be picked up.

10 - Quality Over Quantity

In terms of a general SEO strategy, and in the context of the impact of Panda and Penguin in 2012, the lesson going into 2013 is that quality over quantity is crucial for the future. Rather than trying to hit as many different sites and affiliates as possible when building links, invest in quality and receive more solid results and links on your keywords.

What SEO components have you seen change this year?

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  • avatar

    I also feel that SEO is getting more and more difficult now with Google constantly updating its algorithm. What may be relevant previously is no longer usable now. But the most important thing about SEO still remains and that is to produce good quality content. Even if Google doesn’t pick up the content, your followers and fans will read them. If you give good quality content that is both helpful and useful to readers, people will keep coming back regardless of whether your content or blog appear in the search engine.

  • avatar

    Of course it gets harder every year, but then again, doesn’t every competitive enterprise? The key is to find the factors that will keep you ahead of the rest. You are right when you say that serious marketers need to produce quality rather than quantity, put keywords where they count and use the sitemap wisely. These are less-obvious methods that will surely work and keep you above the every-growing competition.

  • avatar

    Thanks…., I really understood with all of your 10 SEO tips here Matthew
    It is simply a fair cap techniques that could truly help your site rank in the best position of Google.

  • avatar

    I definitely have to keep up with the latest changes and quickly adapt. And I have to keep in mind of prioritizing quality over quantity. I’m thinking of writing longer posts but I don’t want readers to get bored.
    After reading your post, I wouldn’t hesitate writing detailed posts as long as it is useful to the reader and accompanied by SEO strategies as well. Blogging is becoming tougher each year.
    Still I wouldn’t forgo writing simple thoughts in my personal blog. Isn’t that how blogging started.

  • avatar

    I read your blog very detailed and got very new points from it. First of all thank you so much for posting an awesome article for us to read and increase our SEO skills. i am personally a junior SEO expert and i am first time reading in your article that Google has updated a penguin update. Its mean the competition is going very tough. Good keep it up.

  • avatar

    Thank you for this post. I did not know that Robots.txt files could be used instead of meta tags. I think that nowadays, keyword density is not as important as it may have been in the past. As far as backlinking is concerned, I wonder what is the top ways to build links now.

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