The goal of SEO is, ultimately, to create content that Google’s users want to find. Simple in theory but more challenging in practice, especially with Google’s ever-expanding list of search algorithm upgrades:

  • Panda: penalizes low-quality sites
  • Penguin: demotes sites with questionable link-building
  • Hummingbird: identifies conversational terms and context, among other things, to return more results
  • Payday Loan: hones in on spammy queries

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the changes, consider these tips for creating successful SEO:

  1. Create high-quality content that is in-line with Google’s ‘white-hat’ guidelines. Provide useful, creative, interesting, and topical information that is easy to share on social media. (Avoid ‘gray-hat’ or ‘black-hat’ tactics, which often involve low-quality content, keyword-stuffing, questionable links, and so on.)
  2. Start blogging. A static company website only goes so far— adding a blog and refreshing it with new content (which Google looks for) makes your site more dynamic and boosts your rankings.
  3. Instead of worrying about the exact right keyword/s, pick a theme and use keywords that support it. Google has adapted to users’ increasing tendency to ask questions, rather than just type in related words. As such, Google can now respond to queries by delivering the top answer as the first ranking. By being a bit more general, you make your content more relevant.
  4. Maintain a strong presence on social medial. Sharing information on Twitter, Facebook, LinedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram is only just beginning to influence search ranking, but it is a trend that will surely continue. (Don’t dismiss Google+— it is the one place with data that Google can fully access.)
  5. Optimize your site for display on mobile devices. More people than ever use cell phones and other portable devices to conduct searches— adapting for their display will improve your rankings.
  6. Speed up your site’s load time. Just as Google favors relevant, high-quality sites, it is also expected the search engine will favor sites that load quickly and easily.
  7. Get a Google Places page to help cater to local businesses.
  8. Google likes Yelp. Aim for good Yelp reviews to rank higher on search results.
  9. Score credible links that have been earned legitimately. Buying ranks is considered shady practice by Google, and can do more harm than good.
  10. Make sure you have Google Webmaster Tools set up for your site. Check your Webmaster account regularly to ensure Google can accurately index your content.

Follow this advice, and you will have no problem creating successful SEO content that adapts to Google’s ever changing upgrades.