Solid SEO Strategy: 25 Essential Tips

We invite you to examine this list next to your current SEO strategy, and tell us in the comments how they compare. Let us know if you notice any advice absent from our list, as we intend to maintain it as an updated resource.

1. Start with a plan.

Study your competitors and look into potential keywords, then use your current web strategy to map out your own detailed plan for employing specific keywords and corresponding target pages.

2. Keep content original.

Copying content from another website will be caught by Google and have a negative impact on your rankings.

3. Keep keywords uncovered.

Attempts to hide keywords or content can cause your site to be penalized by search engines

4. Give your titles some variety.

Titling multiple pages identically puts them in competition with each other for title keyword rankings.

5. Frequently analyze your strategy.

Is your SEO plan bringing value to your bottom line? Keep tracking your rankings and traffic to measure the success of your tactics and tweak them over time.

6. Work toward making (and moving up) the first page.

Landing on the second page of search results is nearly as ineffective as being unranked, while the last spot on the first page receives a paltry 2.97% of total clicks. For comparison, see “How Many Clicks Does Being #1 on Google Get You?”:

http://www.internetmarketingninjas.com/blog/search-engine-optimization/click-through-rate/ctr Solid SEO Strategy: 25 Essential Tips

7. Keep page content keyword-specific.

Targeting several pages with matching keywords creates competition between them for rankings. Use different words for each page.

8. Avoid keyword overload.

Packing pages with keywords will cause search engines looking at “keyword density” to view them as artificial, and visitors will find them awkward to read. Aim for a post that is written naturally, and then go back through to be certain you’ve included your target keywords.

9. Limit reciprocal links.

Too many exchanged links will appear unnatural to Google and decrease your rankings.

10. Make presentation a priority.

If you push SEO text and links on a large scale while not maintaining appeal and usability on your pages, the strategy could backfire – with visitors leaving immediately. A user-friendly presentation should always be a goal.

11. Keep URLs consistent.

If a page is linked with different URLs, using “www” in one instance and not in another, Google will read them (ex. “www.mysite.com” and “mysite.com”) as different pages and perhaps as duplicate content. Canonizing URLs is key.

12. Keep them clean as well.

“Dirty” URLs do not provide information or description for a reader or search engine (ex. http://mywebsite.com/alc.aspx?pid=34&tin=*proddesc), while “clean” ones are clear and readable (ex. http://mywebsite.com/cell-phones/apple/iphone4).

13. Be selective in link exchanges.

Keep your site relevant by only linking to sites with applicable content.

14. Skip long link lists.

Listing too many SEO links at the bottom of your pages can give the sense that you’re a part of link farms.

15. Choose reputable sites when building links.

Sites with poor reputations will probably be of no help, or even detrimental, to your rankings.

16. Keep page titles short.

Google will not read past the first 65 characters of your title.

17. Take advantage of internal linking.

Incoming links are an important SEO tool, but internal links – the easiest, as you keep control on your site – are an integral part of a good strategy as well. Link to your target pages using keywords, with a page on the topic of custom web design linked accordingly (“custom web design”). Don’t forget, though, that only the first link to a target page within any one post (including your menu) is recognized by Google, so there’s no need to link to the same page multiple times.

18. Give it time.

SEO results often do not come quickly, sometimes taking a couple of years to show up. A well-researched strategy, strong keywords, and good ROI point to a plan that deserves a good chance to work.

19. Keep things new.

Fresh content and frequent expansion of information will bring results, as these updates make your site more popular with search engines.

20. Measure up your SEO company.

Study this list with their strategy in mind, to be sure that you can expect to benefit from their tactics. Surprisingly, the methods used by some companies can actually bring the opposite results.

21. Only use visible links.

Hiding links so they are neither visible nor usable for visitors may end up lowering your reputation, and will not help your site attract search engines.

22. Avoid deceptive redirects.

If you try to use a highly-SEO-optimized page as a doorway to simply redirect visitors to a more user-friendly one, Google will likely take notice. A site caught using deceptive redirects can lose some or all of its reputation.

23. Offer content valuable to humans as well as search engines.

One “black hat” tactic used by some sites is an attempt to attract search engines with optimized content that reads as robotic to a human visitor. Make sure your pages are friendly for human eyes.

24. Keep to one URL per page.

Arranging more than one URL to lead to a single page will give the appearance to search engines that they are different pages with duplicate content. This may cause your site to be punished, or one of the pages to be either ignored or assessed a lower score.

25. Trust experience.

A competitive market means that checklists and technical knowledge cannot stack up to the value provided by an experienced SEO consultant.

THE BIG QUESTION

Ask yourself the following question when looking at any potential SEO tactic:

Will this be helpful to people using search engines, so that they can more easily find what they seek?”

About the author:

Steve Schmidt is President and Web Strategist of Effect Web Agency. Steve has planned and developed over 150 websites since founding Effect in 2003. Effect provides web development services, as well as SEO consulting to small and mid-sized companies.

Related posts:

  1. 5 Essential SEO Tips and Techniques for Your Website
  2. 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
  3. How to Create a Solid Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Business
  4. 5 Black Hat SEO Methods to Avoid for Your Website
  5. How to Plan Your Local SEO Strategy
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