How Your SEO Techniques Could Impact Your Internet Reputation

You most likely already know that SEO is vitally important to your business’s success. But if you stop and think for a moment, you’ll quickly realize that the way you practice those SEO techniques can quickly make (or break) your online business.

While some SEO methods will help your website gradually earn a high page rank that sticks, other methods can hurt your site, decrease your traffic, or send you straight to the Google sandbox. Let’s take a look at some common SEO practices and discuss how they may affect your online reputation.

Keyword Stuffing
In the past, this was a quick, easy way to get an article ranked by search engines. You couldn’t make a move online without tripping over article after article that was stuffed full of keywords.

Google quickly caught on that the average internet user doesn’t want to read an article that’s stuffed full of unrelated keywords and phrases, and along came the Penguin and Panda updates. We waved goodbye to hundreds of health articles stuffed full of “remove acne quickly” and waved hello to a new content plan.

Now, if you want your website to rank well in the search engines, it’s absolutely crucial that you have high-quality, well-written content that reads like it was written by a human. Shortcuts no longer pay, so skip the article spinners, skip the writing software, and buckle down and write your own content. If you can’t or don’t have time, hire a ghostwriter. The myth of quick, easy content will destroy your site if you let it.

Black Hat SEO Techniques
When the keyword stuffing hit the bricks, most other black hat techniques weren’t far behind. Going forward, you’ll want to avoid anything that seems even slightly fishy – don’t buy backlinks in bulk, don’t submit articles in bulk, and don’t think you can get something for nothing.

If an SEO technique seems too inexpensive to be legitimate, it probably is. Stick to strictly white hat techniques – we’re talking Western movie hero on a noble steed here, folks.

Guest Posting Content
One great SEO practice to get into the habit of, however, is guest posting. If you have colleagues in your niche, ask them if you can write a post for their blog. If you don’t have colleagues in your niche, get to know some people and then ask them if you can write a post for their blog. Provide them with a high-quality post with your byline, bio, and headshot attached, and include a link back to your site somewhere in the post.

While you won’t be paid upfront for your efforts, guest posting will go a long way toward building backlinks in your niche and will help you brand yourself as an expert.

High-Quality Email Marketing
Another excellent way to market your website is to practice excellent email marketing. Don’t send out one email every three months and expect your list to remember you. Instead, take the time to send out well-written email blasts at least once a week.

Post the content on your blog, as well, and you’ve taken care of at least one blog post for the week. Email marketing is crucial to business success, so practice this skill until it’s perfect.

Social Networking
Well-educated marketers know that social networking isn’t just about being the mayor of your favorite local joints and tending your crops on Farmville. Instead, leverage your social networking time so that it helps you as much as possible. Link to relevant blog posts. Talk about events in the news that relate to information on your site. Spend as much time as you can actually interacting with your followers.

When it comes to SEO, it’s important to remember that everything you do can affect your overall online reputation. Don’t attempt to take shortcuts or to play fast and loose – you’ll only end up damaging your site and your reputation. Instead, be willing to put in the effort it takes to build a high quality site and rank it in the search engines. You’ll be glad you did.

Sandi Lilly is a freelance writer who covers a variety of topics and companies such as Billfloat..