SEO

Search Engine Optimization defined by Wikipedia:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

How to improve your SEO

  • SEO is accomplished from two basic components. There is onsite SEO and offsite SEO aka on-page and off-page.
  • You need both of these components in place to get the best results.
  • Onsite SEO is just what it implies, anything that is on your website that can be improved upon for optimum search engine ranking.

The search engines look for a combination of items on your website.

Title Tag

  • The title bar of your website should include one of your keyword phrases.
  • Keywords should be to the left – not your business name (unless you have strong branding).
  • Each page of your website should have a different title.
  • The title should be less than 70 characters.

Description

  • Each page should have a separate description
  • Include keyword phrases in your description.
  • Make your description enticing to the reader,
  • Your description should be less than 160 characters

Keywords

  • Choose the appropriate keywords for your website. Don’t reinvent the wheel or try to come up with something fancy – use what is being searched for.
  • Use different keywords on different pages. One to two keywords on a page. Don’t confuse the search engines.

Images

  • Search engines cannot read images
  • Use alt-text with each image

Analytics

  • You need to pay attention to your bounce rate.
  • A high bounce rate will indicate to Google that visitors do not find your content relevant and your rankings will drop.
  • Google Analytics is a must.

Content

  • The search engines reward frequent, relevant content.
  • After the Panda Update in early 2011, this is even more important. About 15% of websites saw a drop in their rankings.
  • You do want to use Internal linking on your own site
  • The bulk of offsite SEO comes from building backlinks. Backlinks are when another website has a link to your website. This gives your website a “point” in the search engine’s eyes.

OffSite Factors

The bulk of offsite SEO comes from building backlinks. Backlinks are when another website has a link to your website. This gives your website a “point” in the search engine’s eyes.

Not all  backlinks are equal.

  • .edu, .gov. and .org carry more weight.
  • Sites with a higher page rank (PR) also carry more weight.
  • Sites relevant to your industry are better.
  • If you sell locally, sites in your local area are good for you as well.

Do not use link exchanges – this will harm you. You cannot link to one site and ask them to link back to you. This is dangerous. There are exceptions, such as if you belong to a chamber or other organization and want to mention that on your site.

Where do backlinks come from

  • Directories
  • Blog Posts
  • Forum posts and profiles
  • Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Article Directories
  • Video sharing sites
  • Status sites
  • Podcast Directories
  • Authority Sites
  • Press Releases

 How many links do you need?

  • This is dependent on your reach and your competition.
  • If you are local, you need less than regional. If you are national or worldwide you will need much more.
  • If you have a competitive local niche you will also need more.
  • You need to outwork the competition.

Other

  • Local SEO needs to take Google Places into consideration.
  • Reviews also play an indirect part.
  • Social Media presence also counts.
  • A brand new site will not necessarily get ranked as easily as a site that has been around longer. Not impossible though.
  • You will have to outwork your competition in order to catch up to them or to get ahead.
  • Look for secondary keywords you can rank for while you are waiting to improve rankings on more competitive keywords.
  • As a general rule of thumb, you want to look for keyword phrases that have less than 500,00 competing pages in a broad match search.
  • Look for less than 30,000 in an exact match search.
  • You can get more than just your website ranked. Pages within your website, as well as blog posts (which are pages) can be ranked as well.
  • Other content also ranks such as videos and articles. All of your content should point back to your website.
  • Don’t expect results overnight. You need to have a consistent campaign and continue your Internet marketing strategy month after month.
  • It is not ok to work at it one month and not the next.
  • Check out the competition. You can check their keywords, their meta data, their backlinks, their social media presence and more.
  • For competition in Google Places, you also want to check out those listings. Do they have pictures and videos? What categories are they listed in. Use this to your advantage.
  • The longer you waited (or put off) getting started with your SEO efforts, the more work you will have to do.
  • The more strategies you have the better. It is ok to build slower but it will take more time. Do what your time or your budget can handle.
  • The search engines frequently change. In 2011, Google had more than 500+ changes to their algorithm.
  •  If you can’t keep up with the changes, you need to be working with someone who can.
    You need to implement best SEO practices for maximum results

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