Tips for effective search engine optimization
|Author: Edward Gal|
January 3, 2012
5 simple time-tested SEO principles
Just a few short years ago many of the core algorithms used by the main search engines were a complete mystery to most. Today, although leaders such as Google don’t necessarily publish the details of their exact algorithms, many people and companies have made a living studying and experimenting with SEO, and largely through trial and error, come to logical conclusions about these algorithms and how to increase search engine ranking. There have been countless blogs, articles, and books written by those who have studied SEO extensively.
In general, it’s been a constant battle between the search engines who for the most part try to come up with a fair system that cannot easily be misused, and those who try to misuse and abuse for malicious or unethical intent.
As one example of this, roughly five years ago many tried to beat the system by implementing a technique now referred to as keyword stuffing, piling as many keywords into a page’s meta tags as possible to try to gain a keyword positioning advantage. Over the years, as developers tried different techniques, the search engines, particularly Google, also refined their strategy in an effort to reduce the likelihood that the system could be misused. Today, you can no longer gain an advantage by keyword stuffing and in fact will punished for it by being ignored by the search engine. This is just one example of the ongoing battle.
Although the algorithms have changed and evolved, the core principles remain the same today, centered around creating relevant content.
So, here are some simple and effective tips for search engine optimization that have stood the test of time in recent years and likely will continue to do so:
1. Create relevant content
In today's SEO world, a saying that is often heard (and perhaps over used) is Content is King. You must have relevant, well-written content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase. If your website content does not change often, consider adding a blog. Fresh content can only help to improve your search engine ranking and relevance.
2. Develop relevant keywords
Develop a short list of between 5 and 10 relevant keywords for each of your web pages. As mentioned previously, too many will be ignored so focus on the main ones that relate to that page. Make sure you repeat those keywords in as many elements of the page as possible: title, meta tags, headings, and body (content).
3. Build a network of relevant links
Try to build a network of quality links to other websites, perhaps to client or partner websites which have good search engine ranking. The more links you have to websites that are recognized and highly ranked, the better for your website and the higher you will be ranked.
4 Avoid elements that search engines don’t like
5 Perform analysis and monitor your progress
It’s one thing to try to do all these things right to improve your search engine ranking, but the key is to perform analysis and gauge your progress. Google Analytics is the premier analysis tool which can provide you with a wealth of information and help you to monitor your progress with SEO. Google AdWords can also be used to help you to refine the best keywords to use for your purpose.
In general, if you don't have the time or the expertise to be able to do these things yourself, ask for help. Hire a professional to help you to achieve your goals, but make sure that they have analysis tools in place so that you can accurately measure the success of the initiative. Yes, I can paint my house myself, but to be honest, I don't have the time and I likely won't do a very good job. Sometimes it's best to hire an expert and get it done right.