SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a buzzword that is around for a long time. There are as many misconceptions about SEO as there are webmasters. Some webmasters are afraid of SEO, thinking it is too complex and not worth the effort. Others believe that SEO will get your website banned from the search engines and there are the few that actively practice SEO.
Fact #1: SEO can be complex if you want to compete with the big guys. SEO is all about outperforming your competitors. That means the less competitors the better your success rate will be.
Fact #2: SEO can ban your website from the search engines if you break the rules. I will not tell you the dark tricks of SEO that will ultimately get you on the blacklist of the search engines. This way you will not be able to break any rules and keeps you out of trouble.
Fact #3: SEO can be simple and effective. I will show you a few easy steps to increase the ranking of your website. You will be amazed about its simplicity.
Ok, here we go.
1. Choose your niche keyword phrase
SEO is all about being a little bit better than your competition on a single keyword phrase. You need to focus your website on a single keyword phrase. 2 or 3 words in a keyword phrase work best. Make sure that people are actually searching these phrases as well. Wordtracker and Overture are just two methods out of many to check for usability. If you optimize your website for the wrong keyword phrases you’re wasting your time.
2. Set your html tags right
Your keyword phrase has to be in the –title tag. You can ignore the keyword and description meta tags for now. They are not as important anymore as they were a few years ago. Make sure to have an h1 tag with the keyword phrase. Avoid having an h2 tag with the keyword phrase. Take control over the look and feel via cascading style sheets (CSS). This way it is much easier to control your website’s appearance and keeps the html code clutter free.
Sprinkle your keyword phrase throughout the webpage. Place your keyword phrase 2-3 times closer to the top, once within the first 25 characters and once in the last 25 characters of your text. Change the style variation of the keyword phrase. Make sure you have at least one underlined, one bold and one italic variation of the keyword phrase.
3. Check for errors
Spell checking is a must. Search engines don’t honor spell errors on your webpage very well. Check for broken links as well. Nothing hurts your ranking more than broken hyperlinks.
Well, here you have it. The 5 minute drill to improve your website’s search engine rankings. Ok, I admit it, it’s not this easy. On-Page SEO is only half the battle, maybe only one third of the battle. To really dominate the search engines you need to practice a well planned and executed linking strategy. This is also called Off-Page SEO. Off-Page SEO is your most important task as a webmaster.
The details of a successful Off-Page SEO strategy are too much for the content of this article. But here’s a little example on how effective Off-Page SEO is: Logon to Google and type in the keyword ‘click here’. To your surprise you will see that Adobe holds the #1 position for this keyword. Now analyze the Adobe page for a minute. There is no ‘click here’ anywhere on the page or within the html code. How in the world can they be #1 for ‘click here’? Millions of other web pages have a link to Adobe with the title ‘click here’ to download the Acrobat Reader. That’s why.
Nothing makes me happier than if you can improve the search engine ranking of your website by just a few positions by following my simple advice. 90% of all webmasters don’t bother and that’s the window of opportunity for you. Of course a short article cannot explain the total picture of SEO. However it is meant to give you some ideas on how to approach SEO. Have fun while practicing SEO with your website.
About the author:
Peter Dobler is an active real estate investor and successful internet business owner.
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