Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — three words that web marketers either love or hate. Some people love the challenge of getting on top of the latest search engine algorithm updates on Google while others are wary of such changes. Regardless of how you might feel about SEO, it cannot be denied that it is a crucial element of marketing just about any product or service on the web. Fortunately, no matter how technical it might get, there are rules and recommendations on SEO that will always remain true in the foreseeable future.

The rule of thumb in SEO

If there is one thing to keep in mind about search engine optimisation, it is this — never sacrifice user experience for the sake of SEO. Doing so almost always leads to trouble with search engines as black hat strategies like keyword stuffing and blog spamming make your website less useful and nullify the impact of your marketing messages.

Of course, there are plenty of legitimate things that you can do for SEO that also makes or preserves a good user experience:

Use keywords that people use to find products or services on search engines

It is unfortunate that there are still service providers doing web marketing in Sydney  using keywords that hardly make any sense. Keep in mind that the whole point of doing keyword research is to figure out what relevant words people can type into search engines to find your products or services. Do not do keyword research as if it is the other way around.

So how do you find keywords people type into search engines? There are some great tools, most of which are provided by Google itself. Remember that you are not limited to any search terms you uncover using your keyword research tools. If they make sense, then of course you can use them, but not to the point when it starts to sound awkward to users.

Entertain and respond to questions

If you want people to check out your website and spend some time there, then you have got to start answering questions. Most people go to search engines to find answers to questions or concerns. Why not help them with that? Business owners ought to know more about their niche than anyone else and leverage their knowledge to establish themselves as industry experts.

Create content that is as long (or short) as necessary  to make your point

How long should a piece of content be to make it effective? This is a question that people come to love to write about and over the years, there has been no real and definite answer.

What most reputable SEO experts in Sydney recommend is to stop obsessing about how long or short your content should be and instead focus on making sure that you cover subjects comprehensively. Some subject matter can be communicated quickly and effectively with short, punchy posts while others need detailed explanation.

Everything goes back to the rule of thumb of SEO which is again, never to sacrifice user experience for SEO. If you can make a point with just a few sentences but chose to publish long and drawn out articles just because you think it is better for search engines, then that is precisely what you are doing wrong.

Format your content in a way that it is easy for users to read and understand

If you are publishing your content in blocks of small fonts with no subheadings or images, then it will not matter how good your content is as most readers will skip reading it. This is rather unfortunate as you can make good content more accessible and attractive to users through proper formatting.

Ensure that the content on your website is easy to consume, whether it is through reading, watching or listening. This means using line breaks and bullet points whenever appropriate and breaking the monotonous task of reading through long blocks of text with images or infographics.

Do not depend entirely on SEO

Last but not the least, it is important not to rely on SEO alone to market your business on the web. This might sound strange and counter-intuitive. After all, the whole point of this article is to present some useful tips on how to do SEO.  However, it makes sense not to put all your eggs in one basket by turning to search engines as your sole source of web traffic.

Think about it — relying on one supplier for the products that you offer is too significant a risk to take. Well, you are practically doing the same thing if you are relying on Google for your web traffic. Hence it is prudent to keep your options open and pursue other traffic sources such as guest posts and social media networks.