Thursday, April 19, 2007

12 SEO Tips (search engine optimization)


1) Content - Regular, frequent and high quality content produced by people with knowledge in the field, or people that you can trust to do their homework before jumping headfirst into writing it. This is crucial both at the search engine algo level and the PPC campaign design level. And its not just a fresh article once a month. If you examine your log files you will see how often the SERP’s comeback to visit. Once you are in good with them, they hit your site 1-3+ times a day. It will only do this if it sees fresh content, via your navigation. There is a point at which the bots will and won’t come back and crawl. They won’t if they don’t see fresh content. They will come back to your index (homepage) to find the fresh content, if they don’t find it they will leave. If they do find fresh content they will continue to navigate throughout your site via the ‘proper’ navigation mentioned in this list below. Fresh content throughout your entire site is costly and time-consuming, but will separate you and elevate you from the rest.

2) Inbound links to your site from relevant and trusted sites – Links from trusted sites; links from pages with a higher PR(4+) and less than 50 outbound links; links from pages with a lower PR and less than 10-25 outbound links (Keyword-rich anchor text as well). Preferably forums and blogs (or Viral Marketing) are some of the strongest referrers.

This needs to be a permanent, ongoing project, and the links should be in place for at least 12-18 months for optimal effect. Getting 50 or 1000 this month, then dropping to just a few next month is a huge red flag for all theSE’s. A steady link building scheme is required to earn top rankings. This means no link farm’s. Let me quickly explain about link farms and the way that the SE's see them. If you are actively and voluntarily participating in a linking scheme you are trying to manipulate their results. They value natural linking in their algorithms highly so they do not look link farms kindly now, or anytime in the future. It is one of the possible methods they have to value a website. This is why you hear so many of the pros say "content is king". One way or the other you need to attract traffic natuarally or the least make it look like you have.

3) Individual Title and Descriptions - The argument is alive and well, and continuing as it has and will for several years. Title tags are how the SE’s identify the relevancy of your page (compared to the end-users search query), not just in Organic ranking but in Paid Placement as well. Descriptions are how (organically) the SE’s place a relevancy rating on your page.

4) Site Architecture/Navigation – This includes menus, all the way to how each section on a site’s pages are interlinked with each other.

5) Keyword Terminology - In your content, use 2 or 3 word keyword phrases that are likely to be searched for by users. Don’t over-do-it, but be sure everything is in line and included - Keyword Title; Keyword phrase in description (1st line); Internal navigation keyword links; Fresh keyword rich content.

6) Universal XML Sitemaps - Providing an XML sitemap is one of the easiest things you can do to help search engines traverse your site. Google, Yahoo and MSN have all adopted this “standardized” tool. Having a sitemap and then submitting it through WEBMASTER Central will tell you not only when the crawl (usually 1-2 days) is complete, but also if there are any errors that the bots found.

7) Rich Media – Or concentrating on utilising video, image and audio search. Google is and I believe Yahoo and MSN will be offering big incentives to move into these areas, provided you can utilize this according to your current ad structure, demographics and product or service. Flash builders are a dime-a-dozen. Utilize them to create interactive ads.

8) Web 2.0 - Utilising blogs and forums more to improve search such as , ,,, and others. Also put these “public bookmarks” buttons (AddMe to Google) in your site and your articles.

9) Mobile Web - Google, Yahoo and MSN mobile are nearing and making your site accessible to all mobile web browsers is increasingly important. Remember when Firefox and Opera came out and everything didn’t work or look right? (kinda like today on a much smaller scale). That’s all there is to becoming mobile compliant.

10) Content Relevancy - ensuring everything is neat and relevant across a site. Irrelevant links and content could be detrimental. Map your entire site in a hand-written tree and link them accordingly. Then use this to create a sitemap, and add a link to it to your homepage, and/or your navigation.

11) Constant Monitoring of Paid and Organic Analytical Information - Re-evaluation and improvements based on user stats and new industry changes. Having an expert in this field is vital. (e.g. If you have a PPC account with a few thousand keywords that are working for you that is proving successful, great job. If you want to double the traffic whilst cutting your costs in half, then you’ll need an expert to know what these analytics mean)

12) Become a More Trusted Site – Links are great but links from trusted sites are KING. If you need to work 10 times as long writing articles, creating Charitable Ebay auctions, endorsing a football team or a fraternity, do whatever you have to do to get links such as from a .edu or .gov. This will almost instantly boost your trust and especially your organic rankings. Other potential trust issues include GeoTrust and HackerSafe certifications or even going to a secure server.

A Word About Website Popularity - Yes, this is measured by all the search engines, and always has been. (Remember when you open your Google PPC account and it asked you about providing behaviorally statistical information?) Whether you use analytical and tracking tools or not, all the SE’s do. This is part of the method they used to use before the more advanced algorithms of today. Unfortunately, you can’t directly control this, but with the rest of these tips you can definitely improve it.

SEO - search engine submission and optimisation

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