Compliments of the season! Hopefully you’ve had some time to relax and enjoy the holidays. But as we leap straight toward a bright and shiny new year (4 more days, can you believe it?), you might be wondering what easy strategies you can adopt in 2012 that gets your website SEO ready.

In August I came across a blog post entitled, Google Kicked Me So Hard I Cried a Little Bit. The name was intriguing enough to get me reading and the story is one you might have heard before –black hat SEO seems tempting, but it’s enough to get your butt kicked right off Google’s radar. Incidentally, the post is awfully funny and I encourage you to give it a read.

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO does not work

Over time, search engines will change their algorithms and parameters, but I think the lesson to be learnt is that some tactics –black hat in particular -are just not acceptable. Instead, if you’re planning a new website or want to revive yours in 2012, here are 3 points to consider:

Quality tops quantity: While top bloggers recommend you post daily, you might not realistically speaking be able to. What you can guarantee is the quality of the posts you put out there! Include your keywords and your links –sure. But also know who you’re writing for and why you’re writing the article. Google monitors your pages (check out this article How to Use Google Crackdown to Your Advantage), but so do your fans and followers. Think of how Google + 1’s and Facebook’s Likes work.

If you’re struggling to stay on track, consider creating a blog editorial calendar. Here’s an article, Why Creating a Blog Editorial Calendar Should be a Priority, which shows you how to design one.

Establish your true worth: It’s easy to copy/paste posts off other sites or get guest bloggers to write for you. But if you are going to establish yourself as an authority in your field, you really need to know your stuff. So go the extra mile and spend some time researching and writing detailed posts.

I’ve come across plenty of ads where the client asks the writer to complete 2-3 blog posts per hour. But check with any writer worth his salt on how long it really takes, and you’ll get answers ranging from one hour to three hours per post. Some long posts like the ones Avinash Kaushik frequently writes probably takes even longer.

When you’re writing for your own blog, you might be tempted to churn out posts quickly, but invest some time to research relevant topics and get it right.

Indulge in social interaction: Social interaction and social sharing involves participants going through blogs and articles and sharing, discussing and commenting on them. Social interactions can improve a brand’s visibility drastically if maintained consistently. Thanks to tools like ‘AddThis’, it’s easier than ever to share posts and subscribe to RSS feeds.

Think of the ways you can make your website more interactive and social media friendly.

What do you think? How do you plan to increase your rankings in 2012?

Written by Usha Sliva