Stuck thinking about SEO and not sure where to start? Here is a list of tips to get you going

Search Engine Optimization is sometimes difficult to wrap your head around. It is not something you do once and leave either, the search landscape changes daily so you will need to work on your optimization constantly. If you at least use the web and have some basic knowledge these tips should be able to get you moving in the right direction without any problem

CONTENT

We have all heard the words ‘Content is King’ at some stage but I’m telling you it is true. Ensure you have unique and well-written content that incorporates your keyword or keyword phrase. This is an essential for SEO results

Adding fresh and useful content to your pages regularly will improve your rankings. Adding new content frequently makes the search engines see the importance of your site.

You can’t just rely on your content being unique it also has to be of quality. There is a very big difference between what unique content is and what quality content is. To get results ensure your content is both of unique and quality.

Jamming a page with a chunk of gibberish will not work either. Search engines view how many times a certain word or phrase is in your content. If it is un-naturally high it will actually do more damage than good. So don’t go thinking you can just jam your keywords into a chunk of text – it doesn’t work that way.

Adding viral components to your website or blog will boost traffic to your site. These can be reviews, sharing, functions, ratings, visitor comments, etc.

If some of your pages contain similar content and you are concerned about the search engines finding the correct one, place the URL of your preferred page in your sitemaps.

Add images to your site but endure you use keyword rich captions with them. Images can rank too based on the text that surrounds them on the pge. Pay attention to the keyword text and headings.

Use keywords and keyword phrases in properly in text links, image ALT attributes and your domain name!

Ensure you have a unique, keyword focused Title Tag on every single page of your site. I you have to have the name of your company in it, place it at the end. Unless you are a well-known name, your exact business name will probably get only a few searches. Use search phrases, not single keywords and ensure you use your location in your text to assist in getting found in local searches.

Instead of trying to optimize each page for several keywords at once, focus each page on a single keyword.

LINKS

Ensure you build up a network of top backlinks. You don’t want a backlink from a site if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you. It creates confusion and disorientation for your site.

Make sure that any links to your site and on your site use your keyword and phrase. So if your target is “lamb chops” then link to “lamb chops” not a “click here” link.

Check the link to your sites home page is consistent and correct throughout your site. Is index.html appended to your domain name? If it is you’re splitting your links. Outside links should go to http://www.domain.com and internal links go to http://www.domain.com/index.html. Get rid of the index.html or default.php or whatever the random page is and always link back to your domain.

Link building is all about quality not quantity. One terrific authoritative link will do more for your site than 20 poor quality links which could actually cause your site adverse results.

When thinking about a link purchase or exchange, check the cache date of the site page your link will be located on in Google. Search for “cache:URL” where you substitute “URL” for the page. The more recent the cache date the better. If the page isn’t there or the cache date is more than a month old, the page isn’t really worth much.

Some of the most beneficial links may not even appear in websites at all but be email communications like newsletters and zines!

Don’t be fooled into paying for links … other than a few clicks you will not get anything, Unless the links are embedded in body text and not obvious sponsored links that no one takes any notice of.

Use links from .edu domains, they are looked at favorably by the search engines and get a good response. Search for possible non-profit .edu sites that are looking for sponsors. You can also use links from a high PageRank site – they are gold! To the search engines a high PR indicates high trust, so the backlinks will carry more weight.

Any text around your links should be related to your keywords. Don’t go putting a link in the middle of a chunk of non-related text – it doesn’t work.

Ensure you use absolute links, it will make your on-site link navigation less prone to problems and if someone scrapes your content, you’ll get backlink juice out of it.

Don’t be stingy with linking out, it encourages others to link back to you.

Good global navigation and linking work better than relying just on an XML sitemap. It is always better letting your site pages be found naturally by the crawler.

If you use Java script menus, image maps of image links, make sure you put text links somewhere in on the page for the spiders to follow.

GENERAL SEO WEBSITE INFORMATION

Don’t be obsessed with where your PageRank is, it is only one bit of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR might actually outrank one with a higher PR.

If you want to have a website you need to consider SEO, there is no point having a website if no one can find it right? When having your website put together make sure you know how you are going to get organic SEO.

Put the words “image” or “picture” in your photo ALT descriptions and captions. A high amount of searches include a keyword plus one of those two words.

SEO on your site is useless if you have a crappy call to action. Ensure your call to action is simple and effective.

Use different ways to boost your SEO like video, podcasts, news, social media etc. It is not just about text anymore. Understanding and utilizing social marketing is a major part of SEO now. You need to understand how it works and what sites to use to boost your traffic. The more you understand and utilize the Social Media platforms the better you will compete in search engines.

Keep your site simple and easy to use. Making sure it is easy to use can influence your link building ability and popularity, hence improving your ranking. Simple – right?

Using videos on your site is a great way to boost your rankings. Creating a video sitemap and listing it in your Google Webmaster Central account gives you a great opportunity for your videos to be found by the crawlers. Don’t focus all your efforts on YouTube, be sure to submit videos to other quality video sites like Metacafe, AOL, MSN and Yahoo, as long as they are quality sites – list it. Just the same as with images, ensure your video content is surrounded with keyword rich text. The search engines look at surrounding content to define the usefulness of the video.

Enabling “Enhanced image search” in your Google Webmaster Central account can allow Google to find your photos and assist you in your SEO efforts. Images play a huge part in the new blended search results.

If the content on your site doesn’t change very often a great way to add fresh text is by adding a blog. Search spiders love fresh text and by blogging at least three times a week with good quality content can catch the eye of the crawlers.

If you have a new site and you want it spidered submitting through Google’s regular submission form can take weeks and weeks. The easiest and most efficient way to get your site spidered is by getting a link to it through another quality site.

Finally, what matters with SEO is good, fresh, unique and relevant content, links in and out of your website, the popularity and reputation of your site.

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