One of the tricky things about getting your site to the top of Google is knowing which SEO tactics will help to keep it there. There are lots of search engine myths out there so we decided it was time to dispel a few.

Keywords 

Don’t panic – your keywords are still uber important. However, you no longer need a separate page for every one. We’ve all seen those crusty old websites that have hundreds of pages, one for every product – even several for the same product described in different ways. Google is smart enough now to know when a page is relevant for related terms. What really matters is how relevant your page is to people who might be looking for your stuff. So yes, have your keywords on the page but think more about what your customers want to hear than how many keywords you can squeeze into every inch.

Internal links

People still think they need to add lots of internal links to every page, so much so that they hide them in every corner. Some even add a whole string of them to the bottom of each page. Not only is this unnecessary, it could also lead to you being penalised by search engines. A relevant internal link on your page is still a good thing to do, if it genuinely helps your web visitor to find the information they need. Again, think customer, not search engine.

Directories

Do you still get business listing directories offering to include your business and a link back to your site for a couple of hundred quid? If so, put the phone down. Stick the email in your junk. Not all external links are equal. Generic directories, paid links in listings and links in articles that have been self-posted without any editorial review are dangerous and could actually do your rankings some harm.

Writing for search

Similar to keywords, writing for search is when content writers create text for a website that has been manipulated to include as many phrases as possible – at the expense of sense. Who remembers the customer? That old chestnut. The person who you’re actually selling your services to. Alert: They are not dim. They know when they’re ready a website that has been designed to hook them in and they will switch off. The good news is that Google has switched off from these practices too. Hooray, welcome back good writing.

Page titles and meta descriptions

Page titles are a place for subtle keyword use. They still help your rankings but if 10 people put “Estate Agent in Leeds” as their page title there would be little to differentiate them and nothing to help the customer decide. Make yours unique. Then use the meta description to really persuade them why they should click on yours.

Naming your website after a search term

There was a time when calling yourself www.yorkshireplumber.co.uk would capture all the traffic you could handle from people searching online for plumbers in Yorkshire. These days Google doesn't need to be spoon fed in quite the same way and an exact match name domain won't do anything for your traffic or SEO.