Have you tried velaterapia? That’s the Instagram sensation that involves twisting hair and then singeing it with a candle flame. In theory, it sort of cauterizes split ends, and gives you healthy hair with no loss of length. In practice, it’s a lot like that latest SEO tip people get excited about — a weird idea with unpredictable results.
Here’s one we just found: “Use heading and subheading for each paragraph.” Others we’ve seen around: “Use Pinterest.” “Title tags plays a great role in SEO over past decades.” “Use plural keywords on the homepage and singular keywords on the product page.” All these Killer SEO Hacks and Tricks for #1 Google Page Ranking that turn up in your Twitter stream, your Instagram feed, your email inbox, and conversations at the Chamber are basically the SEO equivalent of velaterapia.
Let’s make this simple. Here are the most important factors for communicating well with search engines and showing up well in search:
- Great content, frequently updated at your website — a blog, landing pages, e-books, infographics, and other valuable, original content that answers your customers’ questions
- A good website, meaning a modern, up to date website that’s mobile friendly and fast loading
- High-quality links from high quality websites that show people find your website entertaining and/or useful.
And here’s the most important SEO rule of all: give your visitor a great experience.
When you hear some super clever new SEO trick, ask yourself whether it fits with these rules. Will using a heading and a subheading for each paragraph improve your user experience? The answer is no.
Will using plural keywords on your homepage and singular keywords on your product pages cause other webmasters to link to you? No, again.
Does using Pinterest improve the quality of the code and usability at your website? That’s another no.
Just as burning split ends with a candle can lead to unfortunate results (ouch!), picking up and dropping SEO tricks and trends can cause bad results for your website. Make good use of your resources by focusing on the long-term strategies that work.