Are you trying to figure out your SEO strategy for the rest of 2012?  Thus far we have had two major scares with Panda and Penguin.  Panda and Penguin were algorithm updates that penalized low quality content mills, and rewarded higher quality blogs and magazine sites.  So let’s say you’re a small business just venturing into the SEO world for the first time.  What is your first move and how are you supposed to react to all the latest changes?

1.    Focus on local content

Here is one of the smartest ways you can separate yourself from content mills.  Write for your local audience.  When you localize content, you can focus on specifics that no other company would touch – unless of course, they’re also geocentric to the market.  In fact, the Google Venice update focuses on rewarding sites that feature high quality local content.

2.    Write for people…don’t even worry about robots

Yes, this is the new trend for 2012 and onward.  The new Google algorithm change allows search crawlers to find keywords, regardless of high densities, and to focus on intelligent content with natural repetition.  That means using 5-10% keyword density is most likely a waste of time.  Now is the time to start writing for people again.

3.    Make sure all of your pages and links are of high quality

Article directory sites are feeling the heat because they have thousands of pages and “cheap links” (links associated with poor quality content).  The newest trend is that Google seems to be discriminating against websites that have a lot of low quality pages.  That explains why even Google’s own has reported a slight traffic decrease.  The best way to optimize your website’s SEO is to scrutinize all of your pages and your links.

4.    Remember to focus on quantity as well as quality

Now here’s the biggest mistake small business owners are bound to make.  They’re going to invest lots of money and hours in a few quality blogs every few months.  It’s not enough; you have to strive for excellent quality AND high quantities.  Don’t become a content mill…but work hard to ensure you are painting yourself as an expert – always with something to say on the subject.