Read these 17 Search Engine Optimization Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Content Marketing tips and hundreds of other topics.
An exciting, dynamic SEO-optimized website helps the organic growth of your business by drawing customers in, building a relationship of trust, and establishing your company's executives as experts in your field. What kind of SEO content makes visitors want to return to your site again and again?
Many people think they can write. Ads on the Internet selling courses to “become a writer overnight!” perpetuate this myth. But the truth is, talented SEO writers are specialists in a particular writing genre. The skills cannot be taught overnight, and quality SEO writers command good pay for what they do.
If you go through a job listing service or site like Craig's List, you don't know if you're getting an SEO professional. But here are some red flags that may alert you to less-than-professional SEO writers.
Would you rather have peace-of-mind that your SEO writer is experienced, knowledgeable and ethical? SEO content agencies like IdeaLaunch pre-screen writers so you know you're getting the best of the best.
Your business has a website, but you're not an SEO marketing expert. What can you do? Your best bet is to hire a reputable agency that will:
Start with Google.
Websites that seek to inform visitors about SEO best practices that rank well on Google prove they know their stuff. (They didn't get on the first page of Google using poor SEO strategies.) Read as much as you can on the topic. Make sure articles are current. SEO standards change so fast, best practices yesterday may not apply today.
Go back to school.
Your community college may offer night courses on SEO marketing that will help raise you from the status of “SEO beginner.” If time is at a premium, consider a convenient online course that will let you learn at your own pace.
Study other websites.
Study the layouts, content and images on top-ranking sites within your field and outside of it.
Though tracker identification of links can help measure conversions and sales, the best links to your site are direct links with no tracker ID in the URL. Spider bots can quickly detect likely "profit measurement" from the link, lessening the value in comparison to natural links. In order to get a positive result (more organic traffic from the search engines), you may have to relinquish something(accountability of your links).
One often overlooked opportunity is to build link strategy within your site that can support the optimization strategy of the landing page. Make sure you have keyword-rich, contextual links to your internal pages. Contextual validation can start within your own website.
Essentially a listing of all of the pages of your website, a sitemap is definitely a "do" in SEO. Usually contained in your robot.txt file on your home page, sitemaps enable the search engine to crawl all of the pages of your website quickly and efficiently. Scan your sitemap for broken links, however, because they can prevent search engines to exit your website before scanning the rest of your pages.
According to research, link power is diminished as the number of links off a web page increases. When competing websites receive links from the same site, link power is further reduced. The best links are the exclusive links to your website--links your competition doesn't have. The secret to improving your search engine listing positions? Find links that are off the beaten path.
One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. Link exchanges should be approached with caution. If you link to a company that does not comply with ethical linking standards (or they link to you), it can hurt your website. It can never hurt, however, to get the facts and perform some tests before you agree to a link exchange. It is important to note that link exchanges in general are further down the link power chain. They are less influential to your listing positions in the search engines.
Much like you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, you can't determine the link value of a website by its Google Page Rank status, either. Take a look at several factors: check the Alexa rating of the site, the number of pages indexed at Google, MSN, and Yahoo!, as well as the back-link popularity. Use free online resources such as Yahoo! Site Explorer at SiteExplorer.Search.Yahoo.com and browse sites like Suma-Tools, SEO Book. Get back [links] to the basics!
Novice optimizers often make the mistake of not taking advantage of keyword variations, synonyms, and family keywords in optimization practice. Though may achieve high keyword density by repeating the same keyword throughout your article, it is also worthwhile to replace a few of the original keywords with variations. It is a good idea to do keyword research to find out which keywords are popular in search engines, but remember that not all internet users think alike. Check out a website with keyword variations for keyword derivatives or keyword deviation for more terms that may be used by internet searchers. Varying your keywords will seem more natural; your website will appeal to both readers and search engines.
Having the right meta keywords is no longer the key to SEO success. As search engine ranking techniques have grown more complex, meta keywords have taken on less importance in good SEO. On the contrary, it is still important that they be used wisely and effectively. Though more than 30 meta keywords are allowed, best practices narrow it down to five to eight keywords per page, choosing the most relevant to the content on the page. Google has published documents stating that its algorithm does not factor in meta keywords when determining listing positions, but every inch counts!
Also the debate of effort vs. reward: descriptive tags. But creating meta descriptions along with all meta data is imperative to SEO. Though search engines may disregard meta tags in their search algorithms, there is no penalty for optimizing tags. And evidence show that Google publishes meta description content in the actual search results on the display page.
One common mistake of writers with new SEO tools is overworking SEO for a website. Keep it simple for success in the search engines. Content on your website should be related to your website's overall theme, written in straightforward language that is easy for readers to follow.
Keyword density practices are highly debatable. The range agreed upon by many SEO experts is between 2 to 20%. Anything above 20% is usually considered overuse of keywords and is not an effective strategy for SEO success. If your website is caught using keywords illogically (most search engines can detect it), you may be banned for using keywords unnaturally. Overstuffing content with keywords will look unnatural to readers as well. Make your keyword usage proportionate with the size of your content, and use a keyword density tool to confirm that you're not using a particular keyword excessively. Easy does it.
Join online forums and emails lists where users exchange SEO information to learn a lot about SEO. This is an excellent platform for novice website owners to ask questions about SEO strategies. The responses you receive can be insightful. If you choose an active forum, you're more likely to receive multiple opinions on any given topic and by privy to debates on differing strategies.
If you prefer face-to-face learning about SEO, set up a consultation with an SEO firm at one of the free trade shows in the industry. Many trade shows are free, and you'll be exposed to dozens of SEO firms that can offer advice right on the show floor. You can learn a great deal about the process of website optimization simply by listening to the pitch of an experienced SEO firm.
Take advantage of conferences and seminars as well, as some trade shows offer. Though many SEO seminars may be too detailed for those with no SEO knowledge, there are seminars specifically for novices. Pay attention to the level of difficulty of the material to be covered. when choosing a seminar. For those who understand the basics, choose an intermediate level. Several shows in the search engine marketing industry includ Search Engine Strategies, PubCon, ad:tech, and others.
Searching for phrases such as, "SEO strategies," "SEO techniques," "SEO tips," or similar phrases will yield overwhelming results. When researching SEO on the web, pay attention to the date the information was written, as SEO has changed throughout the years, so information from just a few years ago may be outdated. The upside to researching SEO online is that websites ranked high in the search engines are apparently skilled at SEO and are therefore likely to provide quality information.
It's still up for debate in the SEO community whether or not popular search engines have a penalty for duplicate content. While some argue that it is a myth, others testify that they experienced a tremendous boost in ratings when they replaced any duplicated content in question. The main reason search engines may impose a penalty is to avoid serving nearly identical pages in their rankings, which could cause people to opt for different search engines.
To be safe, create original content for your website with a copyright notice to restrict others from using your content. Next, filter your website's content with duplicate content checking technology. You can also perform periodic searches for duplicate content on your website. Take action if you find issues. If other sites have copied from your website, use Google's archive dates to help determine publishing dates.
Increase your search engine placements by keeping your content fresh. Some website owners obtain high search engine rankings and then refuse to change their website out of fear that it will negatively impact their rankings. But it's fresh content that keeps visitors coming back to your website. Add fresh content at least once per month. By the second month of deployment you should see the impact of a steady stream of new content, and this can easily be tracked.