The ever-changing nature of SEO can make search engine and content marketing difficult to conquer. To improve your odds, it’s better to embrace long-term improvements than to jump on trends that could be a detriment to your brand. What are some simple changes you can make to appeal to the new system of SEO?

DON’T worry about keyword density

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Keyword density could easily be the death of your content marketing strategy. Although most people and brands have abandoned this technique, I still occasionally stumble across a keyword density offender. What keyword density lovers fail to realize is not only does it make the content difficult to read, it makes the reader doubt the authority and expertise of the writer. Rather than jamming as many instances of a keyword or keyword phrase that you can in hopes of ranking higher, focus on creating natural sounding, informative and authoritative content focused around that keyword topic.

DO write with your audience in mind

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Writing for search engines is so five years ago. Instead, create content with your target audience in mind — content that appeals to them in its tone, presentation and subject matter (not just keyword count). A search engine can’t really recognize your expertise, but a reader (a potential customer!) can, and will return to you regularly once that level of trust is established.

DON’T take the anonymous route

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While we’re on the topic of expertise and establishing authority, putting a name to the article, and a face to the name, goes a long way. Don’t create content and then keep yourself in the shadows. Instead, give readers the assurance that there is a person behind the post and start establishing that trust you need. At best, staying anonymous gives readers the impression that the content could have been written by a copywriter with no association to the brand. At worst, it gives readers the impression that the writer doesn’t have enough confidence or authority to be associated with it. Take the extra step and include writer names and photos prominently with content and, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, add author and publisher link relationships with Google+ accounts.

DO write press releases with a point

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Press releases can be great. Not only do they give news and media outlets the opportunity to cover your new announcement or product, they also give you an instant increase in your search engine presence. That said, use them sparingly. Instead of writing press releases every time you introduce an update or discover a new stat, save them for large announcements, study releases and partnerships.

What else do you need to know about the new SEO? Check out our helpful SEO guides and articles and give your brand the edge it needs.