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SEO dos and don’ts rather depend on the day.  The field is continuously shifting, and today’s white hat techniques are sometimes tomorrow’s black hat no-no’s.  It has always been good strategy, however, to provide quality content and keep your focus tight and concentrated.  The following tactics deal with just this.

The first issue deals with content and domains.  Often our brand or message can become diluted.  This happens when:

  • You have pages and pages of shallow content solely for the purpose of having those pages indexed.
  • You have created separate websites that could instead be integrated into your main domain.

In both of these cases, SEO techniques (or more accurately, what some perceive to be good SEO techniques) are placed ahead of offering valuable content to visitors.  Small brands often try to appear larger or have a more visible presence by creating pages with “shallow” content, which could be irrelevant, uninformative, or unentertaining.  This not only alienates users, it alienates Google since the Panda Update took effect.   The message: don’t create content just to create content. Have something to say.

Likewise, instead of creating distinct domains to highlight events, seminars, or products, make them part of your existing website.  When your efforts are spread out too far, they can become less effective and detract from your goals.

If content is king in SEO, links are queens.  They are essential to businesses, but they can also get you into trouble, as JC Penney and can attest to.  These links need to be organic and naturally created.  That is, they need to link to something of value to your readers.  Visitors that are directed to your site need to be greeted with valuable content.  Reciprocal linking (link to me, and I’ll link to you) deals are not effective, and what’s more, they can backfire and actually harm your SEO and branding efforts.

Another link-related don’t: do not build links to your homepage only.  This, too, can lead visitors to somewhere they do not necessarily want to go.  If they click through on a link for “herbed dip recipe” and they get your homepage – through which they could get to that recipe – they are not going to be enamored of your site.

These are just a few of the strategies to avoid in your SEO campaign.  There are, of course, many more to avoid.  In general, though, keep your focus on quality over quantity in regards to both links and content.

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