How to SEO is constantly changing, but there are certain principles that remain the same. With the right tactics and patience, it is possible to gradually increase the rankings of a website and add value for visitors at the same time.
For those looking for good, long-term rankings, it is always better to go with methods that are considered legitimate. While these methods, known as white hat techniques, will not deliver quick results and require time and resources, they work the best as a sustainable business model. Be wary of promises of easy links and rankings. These types of links are of extremely low value if they count at all and can potentially damage a site’s ranking.
Starting on site
When learning how to SEO, it is best to start with what can be done on the site. These SEO methods will create a better site that will attract more natural links over time. Furthermore, they are factors the site owner is in total control of and can change quickly and easily.
Before getting started
On-site SEO must be started before construction of the site has even begun. Sites that rank well are properly organized around themes with researched keywords that go with them. First, do keyword research and plan out the structure of the website. Find keywords without too much competition to target. For larger sites (and building larger sites with more content is a good long-term SEO strategy), the content needs to be carefully categorized into themes. Make a diagram of how the site will be organized with the different categories with the keywords under them.
Content is king with SEO. Good content will attract links naturally and keep visitors coming back for more. The search engines have ways of measuring how good content is, and this plays a critical role with what sites make it to the top. Make articles as informative and engaging as possible. Furthermore, keep in mind that search engines favor longer articles of at least 500 words or more.
How to SEO on-page
While the following on-page SEO points will only be covered briefly here, be sure to understand each one thoroughly before building a website.
- The title and meta description tags are important. Make sure that these are of the proper length, contain the targeted keywords and appealing to potential visitors.
- Keyword placement is also very important. The keywords should be in the title, tags as well as in the beginning, end and throughout the article. However, they must not be overdone. Generally, around 2% is considered a good keyword density.
- Header tags and bolded text should be used to highlight keywords where practical.
- Use internal links within the article with keywords in the anchor text to link to other articles in the same category when appropriate.
How to SEO off page
Off-page SEO is a lot trickier and takes more time. It should be thought of as a constant process that is never fully complete. Here are some of the main techniques that will gradually bring a site to the top.
While it is not as effective at it once was, article marketing is still a great way to get both direct traffic and higher rankings. By writing and submitting articles to article directories, webmasters can get direct links from article directories and from other sites that publish these articles. Well-written articles can sometimes rank high on their own and will provide both a good link and direct traffic from those who follow the article link. The main drawback of this method is that it takes time to produce articles only to publish them on other websites.
This involves bookmarking websites to different social bookmarking sites. It is relatively easy to do, but this links are often of very little value. Still, it can be a good way to get content and sites indexed in the search engines and noticed. In addition, when done properly with the right content, such efforts can make content go viral.
Social network marketing
Social network marketing involves creating a reputation for oneself on sites to include Facebook and Twitter and then using this image for promotion purposes. While it usually takes a deal of time and work for these efforts to deliver results, it can be quite rewarding when they pay off, and search engines are increasingly looking for these kinds of signals.
With this type of SEO, sites gain backlinks either when links are directly posted in forums or from the link in the signature profile. It is not a good idea to spam this way. Become a good member of the forum contributing meaningful content before ever posting links. Use the forum to gain knowledge on the niche to create better content for the website being promoted.
A similar method can be used with services such as Yahoo Answers to gain links.
Like forum posting, blog commenting can be a great way to get links while learning more about the niche. After finding good blogs which have boxes to leave the URL, comment with thoughtful posts about the content. This will create a link for search engines and people to follow.
Getting links from related websites
This method can be frustrating, but those who want to learn how to SEO need to utilize it. The best links are those from related websites. A good, natural-looking link from a ranking page on a related website can count for more than a thousand low-quality links. Contact ranking websites with related content. Request a link to a particular page and offer something in return. This could be an article for their site (guest blogging), money or some kind of return link, preferably from a different site than the one the link will be for. While the majority of these requests will not bear any fruit, the ones that do can pay off handsomely.
Attracting links naturally
Search engines consider links to a site as a kind of vote of confidence for that website’s content. Creating some kind of unique, fun or informative content, be it a game, video or whatever, that people want to naturally link to, will create the best links possible. Of course, this is hard to do, but always keep it in mind and there is no telling when inspiration might strike!
Directories links still do count, although it usually takes a lot of them to make much of a difference.
Learning how to SEO is a never ending process, but the basics do not change too much. Always look for ways to build great content and natural looking links from related sites. Any site that does this is almost certain to rise in rankings and visitors over time.