SEO Tactics That (Still) Work In 2017 – Forbes

For a non-expert, it can be hard to keep up with fashions in search engine optimization. One minute a particular tactic — like industrial-scale link building or keyword stuffing — is all the rage. Two years later, it’s as if the whole craze never happened. Many people end up dismissing fashion as frivolous, and it can be tempting to do the same with SEO.

But that would be a shame. Like good fashion, a strong search engine presence can make you look good. Tactics in SEO do change as search engines tweak their algorithms, but the basic principles are timeless, and they’re essential to understand.

Quality Content

It used to be easier to game the search rankings by stuffing web pages full of keywords you wanted to rank for. The resulting pages were easy for bots to crawl, but ugly for people to look at.

But while keyword stuffing was a fad, good content is timeless — it’s the white T-shirt or little black dress of SEO.

Creating quality content isn’t about flair — it’s about creating a match between what you say, what your audience wants and what their intentions are when they make a particular search. If content is in the right form, meets your audience’s informational and emotional needs — and, yes, uses the right keywords naturally — it’s quality content.

The beauty of having strong content is that you can promote it on social media, adapt it to sales collateral and be proud to show it off. Keyword-stuffed content, on the other hand, dates you almost as badly as your Hypercolor T-shirt.

Meaningful Relationships

It’s still true that getting links from other websites improves your site’s keyword rankings, both for the specific pages that are linked to and site-wide.

In the past, SEO practitioners took this to the extreme. If one link was good, 50,000 were better, and it didn’t particularly matter where they came from. But those days are over. Nowadays, large numbers of poor-quality links will do little good and may get your website hit with a painful penalty.

But like great content, meaningful relationships are timeless. Quality links still improve keyword rankings significantly, but they should be earned. That means establishing relationships with bloggers, influencers and media who might mention you or give you a link. And that, in turn, requires having something to offer them — whether it’s an excellent product to try, a relevant and timely pitch, or a compelling story.

Getting real placements takes work. You have to give to receive, and you can’t take a short-term approach. But the benefits extend beyond SEO — you get genuine credibility and real brand lift from the right kind of placement.

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