Search engine optimization (SEO) can be defined simply as the art and science of getting your website to come up at a higher ranking on search engines than do most or all other sites that have similar content and a similar target audience.
With the billions of web pages and hundreds of millions of web sites live on the Internet today – and more going live every day – if you want your site to be found it is going to take more than luck. It is going to take a solid SEO campaign.
Some people who dabble in search engine optimization believe that they can never really crack the SEO code. “After all, isn’t it true that Google and other major search engines do not share their indexing algorithms (i.e., secret formulas for how they rank websites)?,” you may have heard people ask.
Of course, there are always rumors floating around on blogs about what little tricks you can do to catapult your site to the top of the rankings in a flash. But, think about it: if it were that easy, those tricks would soon stop working since everybody else would be trying them, too. And, at the end of the day, there are only 10 spots on the first page of any major search engine site.
In reality, cracking the SEO code is not a matter of following fads and trends. And, it is definitely not a matter of tricking search engines into ranking your site well. Rather, good search engine optimization is about understanding how search engine sites “think” and then faithfully following a set of consistent best practices to get you where you need to be.
If you are looking for free search engine optimization tips, here they are:
1. Start with the end in mind:
You need to start any SEO campaign needs by first figuring out which keywords for which you will be targeting and optimizing your site. Proper keyword selection is a must. You need to find keywords that are relevant, experience a high number of daily searches, and yet have few other sites competing for those keywords. Yes, there are still good keywords left in your niche or industry, no matter what anyone else says.
2. Provide quality, useful content and refresh it often:
Search engines love to serve up the right content to the right people at the right time. If you provide good, relevant content and refresh it often, search engines will love you – guaranteed.
3. Leverage meta tags:
Most people in the industry say meta tags – those invisible bits of text on your site that only search engines read – are dead. I say that’s not entirely true. Every little bit helps.
4. Keyword-optimize your content:
Make sure that every page of your site is well-optimized. Choose one or two keywords per page of your site and make each page all about those keywords. But, avoid “stuffing” your site with too many keywords.
5. Build a tool or widget that people find truly valuable:
This is similar to #2 above. Create a useful, unique online calculator, game, dictionary – whatever. Make it interactive. If it’s good, people will link to it and use it often.
6. Get backlinks to your site:
Speaking of links: SEO is all about backlinks. The more high-PageRank, quality, relevant and popular sites that link to your site, the better your site will do in the rankings.
7. Measure, measure, measure:
Good SEO is all about being able to measure how you are doing, week to week and month to month. Install a good analytics package to track visits to your site. Check your rankings at least once per month and note if you are improving and where.