Successful organic SEO is not magic, a secret formula or even a sure bet. However, it is attainable with lots of research, ethical SEO practices and rich, pertinent content. The organic SEO rankings that my clients have obtained have been extraordinary. I won’t say I haven’t been stumped on occasion when a website isn’t ranking fast enough or as high as I planned on. For the most part though, the rankings my clients have attained have made them very happy and often it has been the deciding factor of success in many of their businesses. As any SEO can tell you…when sites we’ve worked on climb the Google Ranking ladder and find their way to page ONE, we are THRILLED. Often people who may be outside my home office will hear me shriek with joy when I discover a website I’ve babied and cared for has made it to the 1st page of Google.
So what are some SEO practices that can assist you in attaining your SEO goals?
RESEARCH, RESEARCH AND MORE RESEARCH
Keyword research, competitive research, industry research and the list goes on.
- Finding your keyword phrase niche is not as easy as it sounds. Using the Google keyword tool, or Wordtracker to find the actual search terms people are looking for is invaluable. Make sure it is relevant to your industry and your geotargeted location.
- Do searches on Google for those keywords/phrases to see what competitors are doing, how MANY competitors you have and realistically consider how long it may take to compete with them for a 1st Page Google Ranking.
INSTALL SEO EXTENSIONS ON CHROME OR FIREFOX
These tools are essential when doing your research. When you find competitors who are ranked number one on the first page of Google, these tools will tell you everything about the site. How long in existence, who they are linking to, who is linking to them, their Google page rank, etc. It will help you see why they are number one and educate you as to what you can do to attain that goal.
CONTENT BABY. Oh ya, did I mention CONTENT?
Often I am blessed to create friendships with my clients. One of which was approached by a pushy person claiming to be a webmaster and sent her some sample sites which were made in flash by Wix (big red siren blaring!!!!). I advised my client to tell her that content is king along with strategic SEO. The pushy uh…webmaster’s reply was “…content is king but too much content will knock you out with keyword spamming.” I guess she never heard of Wikipedia or About.com. If anyone says this to you, please do me a favor and run the other way. Relevant content not only tells the SE’s (techy talk for search engines) that you have taken the time to gather relevant information for your audience, it is also created to educate, inform and assist your Internet audience who are researching/searching your industry.
CREATE PRETTY URLS
Use WORDS in your URLs. URLs with words included that are relevant to your site’s content are friendlier for visitors navigating your site and also creates a more SEO friendly URL.
CREATE UNIQUE PAGE TITLES AND UNIQUE PAGE DESCRIPTIONS
Each page of your website should have a unique META title and a unique META description. The title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. A page’s description meta tag gives search engines a summary of what the page is about
OPTIMIZE YOUR IMAGES
NEVER neglect assigning ALT tags to each and every image on your website! Look at an alt tag as a way of incorporating your keywords into your site in the backend. If you don’t know how, check out the plethora of resources on ‘how to add alt tags to images‘ to find out how.
THINK INTERNAL LINKING
A compadre in the SEO field has stated very eloquently the importance of the internal linking structure of your website. Relevant linking of keywords to articles that contain the keyword subject matter within your site are ways of mapping out your website, kind of like the life veins so-to-speak. IE: Page 2 on Gizmos is relavent to Page 3 about Small Gizmos, place textual links to and fro so an end user can see the relevancy between the two.
SUBMIT YOUR SEO’d SITE TO SE’s
I personally use http://www.freewebsubmission.com/ for an easy to click on links to the major search engines. And YES you must do each one by hand. I usually pick the top 10.
DO NOT USE FLASH BASED SITES OR DOORWAY PAGES
Did you know that you shouldn’t use ‘doorway’ pages anymore? Many moons ago when Flash was all the rage yet not searchable by the SE’s…webmasters created doorway pages that were basic HTML pages with relevant content that would ‘explain’ the gist of the site and incorporate all the necessary meta tags with a CLICK HERE TO ENTER link to the Flash content. Many photographers still incorporate this practice (please stop). Google is very specific with regard to this practice which often becomes ladden with blackhat SEO techniques that will get your website booted off the Google search index. So as pretty as flash is, if you want to attract an internet audience forego the animation.
Granted these are just a few things you can do to begin to incorporate Search Engine Optimization, but it’s a start. And don’t forget to install Google Analytics on your website to track all your hard SEO work. Give your SEO time to settle and get indexed in the search engines, think of it like wine…the more time the better it will get. 4 months is the typical timeline I use to START seeing any substantive changes in a website’s ranking.