(1) Good Content:
Shoot for having good solid content on your site. You’ve probably read
this 100 times before, but that doesn’t make it any less important. You
see, the search engines need content to index, and content is also key
to attracting visitors, encouraging them to share your pages on social
sites, and encouraging them to link to your Web pages. Too many sites
try to shortcut the process with thin content, or simply underestimate
the time and effort it takes to create quality content. They are
missing out on an opportunity to differentiate their websites, engage
visitors and improve search position. Make sure you have a great
“About” page, with your company’s story and team bios. Create
interesting videos showing the use of your products, testimonials from
satisfied customers, and/or a quick tour of your headquarters.
(2) One Domain Name:
Some small businesses and entrepreneurs make the mistake of creating
multiple separate websites for projects, events, initiatives, interests,
etc. That isn’t the way to go. You’re better off creating a separate,
dedicated section on your site for the content to appear on, but still
“under one roof.” That’s because it’s easier to build brand recognition
and authority for one domain, than for multiple domains
(3) Text in Conjunction with Images, Videos and Audio:
If your homepage consists of a large photo and an “Enter Here” button
or a video, the search engines have no text (content) to identify with.
To the engines, this is a blank page. Make sure all of your site pages
include text on them. Add text beneath the image. For videos,
consider adding a transcript of the video on the same page, below the
video player. Same goes with audio.
(4) Links Pointing to Many Different Pages in Your Site:
You’ve probably heard it said that links are like votes for a Web page,
in the eyes of search engines. The more votes (links to your pages)
the better. Notice I said pages, not site. Too many bloggers and small
businesses make the mistake of seeking links just to the home page.
But your homepage may not be the most relevant place for all visitors.
If visitors are looking for something specific, why not point them
directly to where they can find what they want, instead of letting them
wander around aimlessly.
Keywords or key phrases are the words
and/or phrases that a visitor searches on in search engines. Use such
words or phrases in your website to increase the chances that people
will find your site when searching for same in a search engine. Also
use keywords when placing pay-per-click ads, to get your ads to show up
when someone searches for such keywords. Put yourself in the shoes of
your customers or audience. Focus on the words and/or phrases they are
likely to use, not industry lingo that your team uses internally. If
you’re not sure which keywords to target, start by inputting your
industry keywords and/or phrases into Google’s Keyword Tool.
Don’t just look for popular keywords; look for ones with lesser
competition, as it is typically easier to rank for those keywords and
cheaper to buy ads for them.
(6) Links to Other Sites:
If another site has created a
legitimate link to your site or blog, it’s perfectly acceptable to link
back to that site. But be careful. Those emails that everyone
receives “Link to us and we’ll link to you” – steer clear of those.
That type of “reciprocal linking” mostly is not useful – the sites
wanting links are usually low quality sites with little traffic. The
subject of the sites is often completely unrelated to your business, so
any traffic they drive is nontargeted or worthless. And in the future
you may wake up to discover they have redirected the page you’ve linked
to, to some undesirable page you don’t want to be associated with. Not
to mention… engaging in reciprocal linking schemes or “circles” could
get you into trouble with Google.
(7) Using Keywords In Article Titles/Page URLs:
can really give your site a boost. Make sure when you’re crafting
titles for blog posts, for example, that you have keywords in mind. I
know that sometimes it’s much more tempting to create a headline that’s
“catchy.” But the catchy headline may not reap rewards in the search
engines if the article’s title words are meaningless to a relative
search. Here’s an example: “Hot New Offers!” versus “Embossed Leather
Belts.” A URL that reads “Hot New Offers” will not yield you the
results that “Embossed Leather Belts” will. Why? Because there’s
nothing relating to belts in your URL or title for Google to identify
you with and cause them to display you in the search engine results. On
the other hand, using “Embossed Leather Belts” will work for you in
several different ways. “Embossed belts” and “leather belts” and
“embossed leather” are keywords that will now all be working for you if
contained in the article’s title and page URL.
(8) Three Targeted Keywords Per Page: When creating
content for your site, don’t just think of creating a long list of
keywords and scattering them willy-nilly throughout your site, or
repeating the same keywords on every page. Instead, associate
individual pages in your site, each with a shortlist of specific
keywords. A consensus among some SEO experts is that 3 targeted
keywords per page yields a good result. So, choose your keywords and/or
keyword phrases wisely and intersperse them naturally through your text
so that the content reads well – but no more than 3 keywords per page.
(9) Avoid Black Hat SEO Tactics:
certain tactics to be “black hat” tactics and they will quickly penalize
you for them. Let’s say you would like your site to rank highly for
the search phrase “document storage.” So you put the phrase “document
storage” 50 times on a page. And you put the words in white font against
a white background so that your visitors to the page do not see them.
But guess what? The search engines will see that repetition of the
keywords and recognize that you are trying to not only game the results
by “stuffing” keywords, but hide it, too.
(10) Education, education, education:
educated small business owners and Internet marketing managers are, the
better equipped we are to position our sites to achieve real business
results. That means you and/or your staff, are going to have to invest
some time, money and effort into learning enough about SEO to find your