9 Tips for Improving Your SEO

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Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a bit of buzz word in the last few years.  This is a term that refers to all the different tactics used to improve a website’s ranking among the different search engines such as Google and Yahoo.  If a website appears at or near the top of the list on a search engine for a given phrase there is a good chance that the site will see more traffic and thus more leads from interested clients.  There are three primary ingredients to SEO

  1. Keyword Research – This is the leg work of finding out what terms people are using to find a particular site.
  2. Keyword Usage – Once the proper phrases and words have been determined it is important that those words are put in the title tag of the webpage and a couple of times in the content listed on the page.
  3. Links – Once the keywords are placed in the proper places it is necessary to get more links from other sites to your web pages.

Here are 9 tactics that website owners can use to also help increase their SEO rankings.

  1. Content – Providing good information that is easy to read and helpful will do a lot to improve the chances that people find your site.  It is important to understand your target audience and focus on them with appropriate phrases.  This will allow you to get more traffic from a niche search.  People that are looking for information in a niche are more informed and likely more prone to purchase.  For instance, the term “dogs” is a broad category that can encompass a whole world of information.  However, the phrase “Teach your dog to sit and stay” is much more specific.  Someone that types in this phrase obviously understands the information that they need and is more likely to pay for that information.
  2. Avoid hyped up scenarios – Some SEO experts will claim that they can submit a website to hundreds of different search engines.  In all honesty there are just a couple of primary companies: There are other search engines out there but none of them really stack up to the big two/three.  The promise that thousands of new search engines will be used to flood your site with a drove of new customers is just a lot of empty promises.
  3. Don’t be a copy cat – In the computer world some people have learned tricks and tips of copying a website to make their site look very similar to a site that is ranking high among the search engines.  This tactic is called Black Hat and can be costly.  Once the major search engines realize your site is a copy of another’s then your site will be removed from their searches all together and nobody will ever be able to find your site.
  4. Optimize everything – Search engines are becoming more sophisticated.  Instead of just looking at the title of the page, the searches look at the title, the page content, captions for photos and descriptions for video.  Everything on the website should be designed so that any piece of a site ranks well in the engines.
  5. Using Video sites and photo sites – The video site Youtube has been a great boost in helping a site rank high in searches.  Humorous, odd and just plain quirky videos of 2 or 3 minutes are a great way to make a lasting impression on people.  The videos can be made with almost any video camera or even a digital camera that has a video option.  Be sure to include a link to your site in the video and in the description as well.  Photo sharing sites like Flickr, Photobucket and Snapfish can accomplish the same goal.  Putting up photos of products with a humorous caption that includes your website can help people find you as well.
  6. Wikipedia is a friend – Post a detailed article about your company and list it on Wikipedia.  Many people have begun using this resource as their “go to” spot for finding information quickly.
  7. Proper titles – The title of your main page should not be the name of your company.  Instead, use the key words that were found in your research.  People don’t know the name of your company when they are searching for a product or service.
  8. Make sure variations on your website name point to the right direction – Sometimes different websites have what appear to be identical titles.  For instance, http://www.yourbusiness.com looks a lot like http://yourbusiness.com.  However, the search engines may see these as two different sites and accuse both of them of copying the other.  This will get the site banned to no man’s land.  Make sure both variations point to the right place to avoid the confusion and potential harm.
  9. Build referrals – Make it simple for people to tell their friends and online connections about your site.  Social site bookmarks and referral links are a great way to spread the news about your company and build up new clients with ease.

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