One of the most important tools in the digital media world is search engine optimization. This is when people try to get a specific website to show up in top search results based on keywords used in a search. There are good, bad and downright unfair ways to achieve this, which can really affect how well your social media pages are portrayed to the world.
White Hat Techniques
Content is king. No matter how well you promote your work online, the only thing that really matters is the quality of the content provided. Overusing keywords just to show up in a key word search won’t do any good if there is no useful information provided to the reader. A search engine examines a page to see how visible it should be in a search, and a website with pages of content, pictures, videos discussions, etc will have more quality content that a few paragraphs on one page.
First impressions are everything. Headings and titles are especially important, since that’s usually the first thing someone sees when they visit your page. The heading of your page is crucial for a search engine because separating design elements and content makes a page look more aesthetically pleasing and ranks higher. The titles gives the reader an idea of what the content will be and draws them in to the page for further investigation, and the longer someone is on a page the better ranking it can have.
Having links on your page is just as important as some of the other white hat techniques, and adds some legitimacy to your page. Once you link to sources, news or important for credible sources, your page becomes just as influential as the links you choose. Another tip is to have the link open in a separate window, so that viewers can still see your content and return to reading it.
Black Hat Techniques
There is such a thing as having too many links. Posting some content with a link to a credible source is a good idea, but don’t overdue it. The process of adding a bunch of unrelated or unhelpful links to a page is called link farming and can get your page banned from search engines for good.
The same can be said for doorway pages, which are fake pages stuffed with content of highly searched keywords just to try to get the page ranked higher. Search engines are programmed to pick out these pages and toss them out, so it’s not worth the risk of adding them.
Meta is bad. Meta keywords and meta descriptions are ways for a search engine to find relevant content for a specific search, but overuse is a problem. If a page has too many meta tags in its code or too many keywords that are used incorrectly on a page, then the search engine sees the page as spam and discards it. Descriptions should be at maximum three sentences to describe content before going into depth, but anymore than that and keyword overload will happen and the page will be flagged as spam.
Keywords are very important in the social media world, but using them correctly is just as important. Not overusing them is key to making sure you get prime search engine optimization coverage. White hat techniques are the best way to go to ensure your page has a long life as a high-ranking page even though black hat may give you more immediate results. Not cutting corners will be better in the long run and give you a better social media footprint and track record for the future.