When developing content for your website and other online platforms, it is always important to keep in mind that you have multiple goals. Besides making sales and gaining new affiliates, you should also be working to increase your search engine rankings, build credibility, and improve your online reputation.
The good news is, a carefully planned SEO strategy can help you do all of these things. The bad news is, using unethical SEO methods can result in a damaged reputation as well as lowered rankings with search engines. Many affiliate marketers have suffered these consequences when they unknowingly (or knowingly) used the wrong SEO techniques.
To avoid this potential business disaster, it is wise to steer clear of using the following SEO techniques.
Keyword stuffing is the overuse of a keyword or phrase. The content you use should be written for the readers -- not for search engines. When you provide valuable content for readers, you will almost always please the search engines. Include keywords as they naturally fit; never force them in.
In addition to using keywords in a natural way, it is also a good idea to use other words that have the same or very similar meaning as your keywords. This ensures that search engine spiders can easily detect what your content is about.
Plagiarism refers to using someone else's content as if it is your own. Unless you have permission or unless you are giving credit to the person in some way, it is not okay to use work created by another person on your site, blog, or in an article or other document. Obviously, doing so can reflect poorly on your integrity, and it can damage your reputation.
Some affiliate marketers have been tricked into thinking that it's okay to add invisible text to their sites in an attempt to attract the attention of search engine spiders. For example, the marketer may add white text to a white background or black text to a black background. This is a black hat SEO technique that can definitely hurt your search engine rankings and ultimately result in a damaged reputation.
SEO methods are necessary strategies for building a successful online business. However, if you use unethical SEO techniques, you can be in for some dire consequences. Take the time to use white hat strategies. They work.
Black hat techniques may offer faster results, but they are high risk and eventually (usually very quickly), the search engines will catch on to the unethical methods you are using. Avoid the risks and go with a sure thing -- use ethical SEO strategies!
Debbie Allen is an online writer, blogger, and marketer. She likes to focus on information that is helpful to small business owners, such as tips about online reputation management and marketing strategies.