You and me both! For a new webmaster, trying to run your own SEO campaign can be a daunting task. What words do I pick? Where should I put them? I should use them an unnatural amount and have at least 50 Meta keywords right…? (no, by the way) There are a lot of questions and very few answers out there (plenty of speculation however). Sure someone from Google like Matt Cutts might let a little something slip and send the SEO community into a frenzy every once and a while, but that is like giving you one piece of a 500 piece puzzle and saying “Go!” So where do you start? With a solid footing in the common sense basics because they can do a lot of good for you and your web site.
Pick a Keyword
Don’t come up with a list of 50 keywords and phrases and decide you’re going to own all of them… with 1 page of content. If that’s what you want to do save yourself a lot of trouble and sign up for Adwords and forget about SEO completely. In fact you should sign up for Adwords anyways (SEO & Adwords are part of a balanced breakfast), because you can use the data collected from it to see how popular your keywords are. Remember just because you’re first on Google for something it doesn’t mean anybody searches for it.
Title Your Page Appropriately
A good title makes both the search engine and the searcher happy. Don’t stuff it full of keywords to create an unintelligible string of garbage. A short focused appropriate title will do the trick.
Support Your Title
When you are formulating headings and writing copy make sure it relates to the title you made earlier. Don’t go crazy repeating your keyword over and over and over, that’s not going to do you any favors. But if it is a natural appropriate spot drop it in. A well optimized page shouldn’t look optimized. Remember you don’t want to make them read unintelligent sounding keyword stuffed copy.
Write Good Content
This seems to be the part that everyone wants to get out of. Creating content is hard work, no doubt, but it is worth it to you for a few different reasons:
- 1. Search Engines love good content
2. People love good content
3. Good content gets links
Good Links to Your Site are More Important Than the Code on Your Site
If you meet someone that is going to magically send you to the top of Google by only manipulating the code on your site, the desired result is unlikely. To really boost your rankings you need to gain authority in the form of links. Not all links are worth the same, a link from a site with a high authority will have more positive impact on your site. In general the more good links you have to your site the better. However Google will not give you credit for purchased links and when they catch you it’s going to hurt!
To see who is currently linking to you go to Yahoo and do a search that looks like this:
Wow, Is It Really That Easy?
Nope. It’s fair to say there is a lot more to it; these are just some common sense basics. But by employing a strong set of fundamentals you can practice by gaining rankings for lower traffic words, and eventually you can take what you’ve learned and chase the high traffic words and phrases. Also I would like to stress that taking a more holistic approach to Search Engine Marketing using PPC, SEO, Social Media, Print, etc will drive more traffic over time than picking just one tactic.