SEO for dummies: SEO tips that really work

 

Optimizing your website does not have to be a highly technical operation, but there are a few guidelines that can help you navigate the basics of Search Engine Optimization tactics.  Taking the time to read over these tips will help you ensure that when you start to organically alter your website that your changes are successful in upgrading your page rank and over search rankings.

Narrow your keyword phrase

Before you can begin any type of organic SEO you need to have a keyword phrase that is unique (ex. New York City domestic flights vs flights) but is descriptive enough to compete with your intended website content.  This will help users who have specific needs that you address to easily find your website.  It will also help you can compete with the plethora of websites already in creation on the web.

Freebie tip: Entering ideal keyword phrases into search engines will give you an idea of the current level of competition you will face on the web for top billing and can help you differentiate what will be most effective for you.

 

On-Page Website Optimization

On-page optimization plays a major role in search engine rankings. The most important things to remember are:

1. Title Tag – Title tag is the most important factor in google’s ranking. Almost all the search results that google shows for a keyword have that keyword in their title tag. Therefore, it is very important to place your best keyword in your page title.

2. Meta Description & Meta Keywords – It will be better if you keep your Meta description short and relevant. Also, Meta keywords don’t have any influence on your search engine rankings. But, it is best to keep the tags clean and relevant.

3. Keyword Density – There was a time when there was some magic percentage of keyword density that when used it was almost certain you will get top rankings. But, this is not the case now, keyword density still plays a role in your search engine rankings but the percentage may vary from one niche to another niche.

4. Simple loaded URL – While simple and loaded may present a contradictory meaning, this is the best way to describe how your URL should look for the best search results.  You want to keep your URL simple by displaying only words without symbols, numbers, or extraneous letters.  At the same time you want to try to keep as many of the words from your keyword phrase in your URL as well.  This will not only help your search result ranking, but since most search engines now display URL’s under the title tag it will make your website look more appealing as an informative source to users.

[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]Optimal: www.thebestflightURL.com/flightdeals/domestic/NewYorkCity

Not optimal: www.theworstflightURL.com/?local#%^’flightdeals[*/domestic/*R#flight+NYC

[/highlight]
Link Building is essential

One of the only ways to escape the three month ranking period on Google is to grandfather your site through another which is one form of link building which should tell you how important the practice is to proper SEO.  When used correctly link building can help you rise your website’s ranking dramatically.  In order for link building to work you should make sure all websites you link to are not only relevant since the spiders will look for similar keywords, but also current.  Article submissions, press releases, do-follow blogs, and directories are excellent places to being link building.

Freebie tip: For an estimate on how many links you will need to be successful enter your keyword phrase into Yahoo and look at how many links Yahoo notes the website has.

 

Access time

A little known SEO fact is that you can also be penalized by the amount of time it takes a user to enter your website so in your haste to perfect your website do not neglect the technical aspects of maintaining your website.  If your server is not reliable and your site is often down Google will note this and immediately drop your rankings since it determines you are not the best source for consistent information.  Load time may also play a role so if your flash is slow to load it may be best to go without.

 

Avoid the following at all costs:

The copy and paste syndrome- Tempting as can be, but you will be caught.  Never lift content that is not yours in any way shape or form.

Assume the more keywords the better– Overstuffing your website can deplete your ranking score because the site loses points in integrity and authority.

Let your site “go:” After all the hard work is completed to update your site do not simply walk away and assume it will stay ranked at the top. It won’t.  Updates mean that you offer the best information on a subject as it is released.  Ignoring a site is equal to doom and wasted efforts.