Using effective SEO techniques on a website isn't always as easy as it sounds. In fact, it can be downright frustrating. Some people even get obsessed with it; spending a disproportionate amount of time for diminishing returns on their efforts. While spending time on SEO is usually time well-spent, you have to be careful that it's not done at the expense of what's really important. Here are some things you should be doing, no matter how intense your SEO efforts are.
1. Write for humans first, search engines second.
This is probably the most common mistake people make when doing SEO. They get all of their keywords on the page, use good anchor text, internal linking, and do everything else correct from an SEO point of view. However, when visitors arrive at the site, it doesn't make any sense. What happens next is that they leave. In effect, all of your SEO may have got your site ranked higher, but it means absolutely nothing if people leave your site just as quickly as they got there. The trick is to always add content with the end user in mind, then make sure any SEO isn't noticeable to your visitors.
2. Keep your code clean.
The more you utilize different SEO techniques, the more you run the risk of your site's code getting sloppy. While this may not matter all that much, there is the chance that the search engine's bots may get confused. When that happens you won't rank as high as you otherwise could.
3. Don't overdo it.
That goes for every aspect of your page and SEO campaigns. If your site is too busy with flashing images, people will leave. If you use your keywords too many times it will look like you're stuffing, and the search engines will penalize you. If you get too hung up on any of it, it can cause more stress than it's worth. Try to keep a good overlook on things, maintain a good balance and enjoy the process.
4. Black or white?
There are two main camps within the world of SEO; black hat and white hat. The black hats do whatever it takes to increase their rank and don't mind of the bend or break the rules if it gets them ahead. The problem is that any gains they see in rankings are artificial and temporary. Sure, it could help in the short term, but as a long-term plan it takes too much work and isn't worth the risk. On the other hand, there are white hats. They do their best to play by the rules. While it may seem like they are at a disadvantage, over time they always come out ahead. They are more likely to have natural rankings and not likely to be penalized for any SEO that they do. In short, white hat SEO is the better choice for long-term success.
If you are still unsure about SEO best practices, then here's an article from Google themselves which gives you all the advice you need getting started with SEO. Click here to read the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide