Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is widely used today to get the best and free online marketing for your website. Today, showing up on popular search engines is one of the most critical ways to increase your online traffic and expose your content, services and products to people who might be interested in what you have to offer.

Search engines like google, Yahoo or Bing uses an algorithm to determine a website ranking and position. The criteria are different for every engine, but all engines share several criterias. It all goes down to the type and amount of content provided on a given website, the amount of updates, the level of optimization done on the site, and the popularity of the website (link popularity/PageRank) to obtain good organic traffic.

Taking Advantage of Google

  1. Use Keywords. Google Keywords, a tool within the Google AdSense website, allows you to track keywords and find keyword suggestions. Browse the site and get familiar with how it works and then use it to your advantage. Find keywords that will help you maximize your website’s viewership.
  2. Use Trends. Google Trends tells you how searches in a subject change over time. You can use it to predict spikes and slumps as well as to know when you should update and change pages for the season or switch to using different keywords. You can look at and compare several different terms at a time, if you want to.
  3. Add yourself to Google. Google will reward Google Plus users and also businesses which are registered on Google Maps. Take advantage and join Google, as it is the most popular search engine by far.

Creating Your Content

  1. Have quality content. Quality content, in other words lots of original, error-free text organized well on a modern-looking website, is what matters most in terms of SEO that you can control. You’ll also want to be sure that you’re not misleading visitors, they should be getting what was advertised when they looked at the site’s description.
  2. Create original content. You also create quality content by making sure that your content is original. This means that not only should each page of your site have different content than every other page of your site, but it also means that you’ll be docked for stealing the content of others. Make your text original!
  3. Incorporate appropriate images. Quality images, tagged with good keywords, can also help your rankings with search engines.
  4. Use keywords. Find the most relevant and search keywords that relate to the content you provide and then add those keywords to your site text. Use the word a few times within the page in a way that relates to the rest of the text and is natural. Going over the top with the word-drops or pairing them with content that is irrelevant will get you punished in the rankings, however.
  5. Target niche keywords with low competition. This involves at least a little bit of figuring out what makes your business unique. Maybe you’re not just a clothing designer, but you’re a geeky clothing designer. Maybe you’re not just an auto shop but you’re an auto shop in Seattle. Try to use Google Adwords to check how competitive your keywords are before deciding on them. Be sure that the keywords have at least some searches. You will want to try using broader key words too.
  6. Have a site map. Create a site map that tells people where everything is on your site. You will get about a 1% click through rate to your site map. However, it will do wonders for those who know what site maps do, and the Search Engines will like it as well.

Creating Your Code

  1. Choose a good domain name. Keywords as the first word in a domain name will boost your traffic a little. Using a country TLD (top level domain) will boost your rankings locally but hurt you internationally so use that with caution. Avoid dated domain naming techniques like replacing words with numbers. Being a subdomain (like a something.tumblr.com) will also hurt you.
    • Keywords in your own subpages and subdomains also help. Your subpages especially should always have a descriptive title.
  2. Use descriptions and Meta tags. Descriptions are a tagged part of your website code which describe the content on the page. Having one at all will help your rankings and having one which contains good keywords will help even more. If your site is using the same tags for all the pages, you are not helping search engines figure out the subject or relevance of your individual pages. Regarding Meta Tags, there are 2 very important fields:
    • Title Tag – arguably the most important SEO tag for any website. Google supports approx. 60 characters in the title, while Yahoo allows for up to 110 characters in the title. It is important to target the most critical keywords in the Title. Every page should have a unique Title.
    • META Description Tag – These were once important but are no longer. Some engines do display the description defined, while others do not. Some search engines do read the description tag, and do utilize the content found within in the ranking process. Google, MSN and Yahoo give very little weight to no weight for these.
  3. Use headers. Headers are similar to descriptions and the same rules apply: having one at all helps and having one with keywords is even better. Use them!
  4. Keep it simple. Keep the structure, navigation and URL structure of your site simple enough for search engines to follow. Remember that search engines cannot parse your navigation if it’s using flash or javascript. So try to stay close to standard HTML when it comes to Navigation. URLs with dynamic parameters (?, &, SIDs) usually do not perform when it comes to search engine rankings.

Making Connections

  1. Create quality backlinks. Backlinks are when another website links to your page. It works in your favor if the website is one that gets more hits than yours does. The best types of “link building” are directory registration, text link advertising, and press release distribution, but you can also build links by doing a link exchange, cross promotion, or guest blogging for a relevant blog.
    • Try to offer valuable information or tools so that other people are motivated to link to your site. This will increase the chances of natural backlinks.
  2. Do NOT spam. Spamming comment sections and other website areas will actually make Google and other search engines dock you severely or remove you entirely. Do not spam people to build backlinks for yourself. Search engines will also punish you if your name is attached to spamming complaints or if you operate your website anonymously.
  3. Do that social media thing. Right now, social media share and likes are the activity which is most rewarded by Google and other search engines. especially for subjects that are currently relevant. Create social media accounts with the major sites and update them regularly. Avoid being spammy by not just posting ads: post pictures of customers, events that you attend relating to your business, and other content that your fans might enjoy.
  4. Update your site regularly. Most search engines reward websites which see regular or at least recent updates, google included.

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