Cutting Corners in an SEO Strategy Will Backfire

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Business owners want to see the quickest possible return on their marketing investment. However, many marketing strategies are built for the long term- to build up brand recognition over time. A sale or promotion might yield results within a given timeframe, but a search engine optimization campaign doesn’t work like that. A white hat SEO campaign is a slow moving process and it takes time to see progression. Even though website owners can be told this again and again, they are still convinced that there must be ways to cut corners to speed up the process. Well, there isn’t!

If you are looking to cut corners in an SEO campaign and seeking out shortcuts, it’s a big waste of time because these shortcuts are essentially going to lead you into black hat SEO territory. Black hat SEO means that you aren’t following the search engine guidelines and your activity could eventually come back to haunt you in the form of a penalty or even getting your website removed from the search engine index entirely. Is it really worth it to spend the time scheming to try and get ahead quickly and then always be worried that the black hat tactics could come back to haunt you? There are plenty of better ways to spend your time on SEO activities that will actually be worthwhile and improve your search engine presence over the long term.

While every SEO professional may take a slightly different approach, overall a white hat SEO process looks similar across the board. The key to SEO success is to follow SEO best practice as written in the search engine webmaster guidelines to ensure that your site won’t get penalized or lose search ranking after a massive algorithm update. Follow the process step by step without cutting corners or skipping steps because you think they “aren’t necessary”. If you skip steps, there’s a good chance that the results won’t be what you wanted them to be.

Start your SEO campaign by dedicating time to researching the industry and market online, target audience behavior online, and the competition. Once you have an idea of where you stand, the next step is keyword research. It’s important to be thorough with the keyword research process. Don’t skip this step because you assume that you know what keywords target audience members are using to search. Conduct keyword research for every page of the site to generate a list of keywords to incorporate into existing site content and to use in future content like blog posts and guest posts. Once the website has been fully optimized, link building is the ongoing component of SEO. Build links from sites that target audience members visit in order to generate traffic back to the site in addition to improving search engine trust.

Straying from this white hat SEO process in order to try and get things done quickly will typically backfire on you. There’s a good chance that taking short cuts will mean that your SEO campaign just won’t have much of an impact. There’s also the threat that taking short cuts means using black hat tactics that will get your site penalized. It’s really not worth the risk.

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