Getting to the top of the search engine results pages is a process that can be fairly accurately described as ‘half calculated action, half voodoo.’ Thanks to the closed, private nature of Google’s ranking algorithm and the contradictory advice of SEO bloggers, learning ‘how to do SEO’ is often a frustratingly tough process.


Despite the ever-changing algorithms and ambiguous advice, however, there are a variety of ‘search engine truths’ that are universally helpful for website owners. If you would like to enhance your search engine optimization efforts and rank your website higher in the search engines, make sure you try these three simple tips:


  1. Keep your keyword usage natural.


We’ve all stumbled across a keyword-stuffed website once in a while. Usually, it’s a bizarre experience that leaves us wondering whether we or the website are making sense.


Websites that overuse keywords occasionally reach the first page of Google’s search results, but they rarely stay there for longer than a few months. With search updates being rolled out frequently with keyword overuse one of their key priorities, it’s no longer a good strategy to stuff your website with search keywords.


  1. Give your website a social presence.


Google’s recent developments seem to hint that the search engine is increasing its focus on social networking. From Google Plus to YouTube’s new ‘use my real name’ feature, Google’s network of web properties is moving towards real life identities.


Give your website a social presence by creating a Facebook profile, a Google Plus page, and a YouTube channel for promotional efforts. While you won’t score any valuable dofollow backlinks, you will create valuable social signals that can help Google recognize your website’s legitimacy and value for searchers.


  1. Avoid ‘dumb’ link building.


‘Dumb’ link building is the link building of yesteryear – automated links, mass links from forums and blog comments, and other ‘quantity over quality’ linking methods.


A few years ago, dumb SEO worked surprisingly effectively. After the Penguin and Panda search policy updates, however, it’s a fantastic way to drop your position in the search engines. Focus on building links that have real value and leave the dumb link building for your less capable competitors.