In the past, a lot of the most common methods used for climbing the ladder in SEO avoided techniques that were designed to trick the system. Frequently, some of the top websites seemed like depositories for keywords and useless backlinks, rather than valuable online destinations.

However, the world of SEO as we know it today has changed drastically. Those who simply tried to trick the system can no longer compete with people who are ranking for real, helpful content. Still, as Google continues to focus more than ever on delivering the best experience for searchers, some businesses are still searching for the “easy solution” to higher rankings.

To help you keep up with SEO, we’re going to share 5 simple “do and don’t” tips that every business should follow.

1.     DO: Create valuable, long-form creative content

Original and valuable long-form creative content is fantastic for SEO purposes. Creative content is much more likely to be shared on social media, and it’s also better for making sure that you stand out from the crowd. Rather than simply stuffing pages with keywords, a more effective strategy for modern SEO involves picking a relevant topic and writing about it.

If you’re not sure what to write about, check out what people in your industry are already talking about and take some ideas from there. Once you’ve got an idea, you’ll be able to start searching for relevant keywords to match it. Just remember, those keywords should be used naturally throughout the piece, not stuffed in for ranking purposes.

2.     DON’T: Copy Content

Back in the old days of SEO, it used to be that simply publishing ANY content was good enough. No matter what you published, you could boost rankings, which is why content farms were some of the first search results offered for basically every topic you can think of.

Unfortunately for some, you simply can’t get by on the same strategies today. Google isn’t interested in seeing the same article strewn across various websites, nor does it want you to deliver a host of pointless keywords in a single paragraph. Search engines today want to keep users happy, so value comes first.

3.     DO: Make Things Shareable

For quite a long time in the world of SEO, the link meant everything. If other pages linked back to your website, then Google generally considered your content to be pretty high quality, and as such you would end up with a higher ranking for whatever keywords you were trying to get attention for.

However, today, sharing is more important. Content that is shared across social media isn’t just an excellent form of free marketing – but it’s also a great way to ensure that you make an impact in the search results. Algorithms, not people, are deciding which content is worth reading, so make sure that your posts are shareable.

4.     DON’T: Pay for Links

While links into your website can still be incredibly useful, and great at raising the quality of your website in the eyes of Google, it’s important to remember that today’s search engines will aggressively remove any links that are delivered through bad-quality websites and link farms.

A link back to your website can be great, but it’s only as good as the website that’s linking to you. If you start paying for your links or signing up for services that will link back to you, then you could end up causing some serious problems with your results.

5.     DO: Consider Using Guest Posts

Finally, one of the great things about modern SEO is that you can achieve better results if you have varied content. Asking someone else in your industry to get in touch or write a guest post on your behalf is a good way to start changing up your content styles.

Guest bloggers that offer a unique insight into a new topic or industry can help to improve your website’s visibility, and ensure that you’re ready to connect with a whole new audience!