Tuesday, November 11, 2008

20 Unique & Handy SEO Tips

There are thousands of tips available to the Do-It-Yourself webmaster who wants a boost in SEO rank. Unfortunately, only rarely do any of these “insights” turn into ideas that actually work. And, if they do, it could take ages to see any visible effect on search rankings! The other alternative is to hire someone — who’ll likely charge an arm and leg to get a visible boost in SEO rank and who’s strategies may do as much harm as good.

1) Be Prepared. The first thing you need to do is make sure and be sure that your site is ready for Search Engine Optimization. You do not want your visitors to arrive to an unfinished and incomplete site. “Coming Soon” and “Under Construction” pages will repel them to other more useful sites.

2) Avoid Javascript.
If you absolutely MUST use Java script drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the spiders to follow.

3) Content is King. Be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

4) Build Backlinks.
If content is believed to be king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality back links using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

5) Don’t obsess over PageRank.
It is just one isty bitsy part of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR can actually outrank one with a higher PR.

6) Focus on Titles.
Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

7) Keep it Fresh!
Fresh content can help improve your rankings. Add new, useful content to your pages on a regular basis. Content freshness adds relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

8) The Key to Good Links.
Be sure links to your site and within your site use your keyword phrase. In other words, if your target is “blue widgets” then link to “blue widgets” instead of a simple detail lacking “Click here” link.

9) Phrasing it Correctly.
Focus on search phrases, not single keywords, and put your location in your text (“our Palm Springs store” not “our store”) to help you get found in local searches.

10) Don’t Design in a Vaccum.
Don’t design your web site without considering SEO. If you’re not the web designer then make sure this person understands your expectations for organic SEO. Doing a retrofit on your shiny new Flash-based site after it is built won’t cut it. Spiders can crawl text, not Flash or images.

11) Keep Adding Keywords. Use keywords and keyword phrases appropriately in text links, image ALT attributes and even your domain name.

12) Don’t Split Your Link Juice. Check for canonicalization issues - www and non-www domains. Decide which you want to use and 301 redirect the other to it. In other words, if http://www.domain.com is your preference, then http://domain.com should redirect to it.

13) Ditch the Long Names. Check the link to your home page throughout your site. Is index.html appended to your domain name? If so, you’re splitting your links. Outside links go to http://www.domain.com and internal links go to http://www.domain.com/index.html. Ditch the index.html or default.php or whatever the page is and always link back to your domain.

14) Forget About Frames! Frames, Flash and AJAX all share a common problem - you can’t link to a single page. It’s either all or nothing. Don’t use Frames at all and use Flash and AJAX sparingly for best SEO results.

15) What Really Counts. Your URL file extension doesn’t matter. You can use .html, .htm, .asp, .php, etc. and it won’t make a difference as far as your SEO is concerned.

16) Get Indexed Quickly. Got a new web site you want spidered? Submitting through Google’s regular submission form can take several grueling weeks. The quickest way to get your site spidered is by getting a link to it through another quality site, as well as submitting your site to several free search engines which submit your site to 100’s of others on one simple submission. For Example: Fast Submit SEO Site

17) Start a Blog. If your site content doesn’t change often, your site needs a blog because search spiders like fresh text. Blog at least three times a week with good, fresh content to feed those little crawlers.

18) Quality Counts. When link building, think quality, not quantity. One single, good, authoritative link can do a lot more for you than a dozen poor quality links, which can actually hurt you.

19) Don’t Abuse The System. Search engines want natural language content. Don’t try to stuff your text with keywords. It won’t work. Search engines look at how many times a term is in your content and if it is abnormally high, will count this against you rather than for you, due to the fact that there are many web developers that try to abuse SEO keywords.

20) Guilt by Association. If you are on a shared server, do a blacklist check to be sure you’re not on a proxy with a spammer or banned site. Their negative notoriety could affect your own rankings.

And there you have it! 20 tips and tricks uniquely fit for many if not all of your SEO needs!

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