SEO Basics

Many of you have heard actions speak louder than words, but in the world of SEO “words” speak louder.  They are what drive search results.  In order to get your website to rank higher in search engines you need to use Search Engine Optimization. Businesses are growing aware of the need to implement SEO and understand it for their business to grow online.  The basic process of SEO includes creating content, building links, researching keywords and making sure your website is visible in search engines.

Search engine algorithms regularly change making SEO a more than one time event.  Last years tactics may not work this year, which may require long term commitments and outlooks.  You will need to commit yourself to this process.  If you were looking for instant gratification than you’ve embarked up the wrong tree.  You must be patient.  SEO results take months to build.

Content, content, content… Create unique and great content.  Target words that searchers actually use.  Content is a great way to get inbound links.  When linking internally use your keywords as anchor texts.  These texts help tell spiders what the linked to page is about.  When building links use trusted directories.  Submit your URL to sites in  your industry.  Submitting to random sites that have nothing to do with your site is a waste of time and the search engines may see it as spam which does not benefit you in anyway and will hurt your ranking.  Consistently create great content.  Blogs are a great way to do this.

Search engines love blogs.  There is no greater way to join in on the conversations about your industry.  Commenting on and reading blogs can help you acquire new links and increase your exposure.  Start a blog today and start participating in other related blogs.

When hiring an SEO company ask a lot of questions.  Always ask for specifics and if there are any risks involved.  It’s your responsibility to know what kind of approach the company uses.  Do some research of your own about the company to make sure they are legitimate in their approaches and not a scam.  SEO takes effort.  It is highly recommended that you start with clear goals about your SEO efforts.  Web analytic software is great to use because it can track what is working and what is not working.

I’m sure you want to be number one on the search engines right? Well then build a great website!  If your website needs work, make it better! A mediocre website won’t cut it.  Pay the extra money and make it stand out.  At the start of the project do keyword research.  They have free versions of keyword tools on the web.  Take advantage of these tools.  In your URLs and filenames use keywords.  Don’t waste your time on non SEO friendly URLs.  Site maps help spiders understand your site’s hierarchy and help spiders find all the important pages on your site. For this reason you should include a site map page.  Spiders can only index pages that can be crawled.

On every page use relevant and unique title and meta descriptions.  The most important on-page SEO factor is the page title.  Meta description tags don’t help you rank.  They often appear below your listing as text snippets.  It should include keywords that are relevant and should be written to encourage searchers to click on your listing.

Don’t ignore local search opportunities.  A growing trend is online research for offline buying.  Include your address and local phone number for local traffic. All major search engines offer free local listings.  Take advantage of the free local listings by submitting your site.  Write a detailed Location/Directions page using landmarks and neighborhoods in the page text.  List your site in social/local directories such as Yelp, Local.com, CitySearch, Manta etc.  Also, encourage customers to leave reviews of your business on these sites.

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