SEO, when done well—with quality in mind—doesn't just help increase your search rankings; it also improves your entire website from the viewpoint of search engines as well as your visitors. And that, rather than a cheap shot at fooling search engine algorithms, should be the ultimate aim of your SEO campaign.
So here are 10 tips that won't just knock you up a few places in search results pages for a couple of months; rather, they'll help turn a visit to your website into a better experience and help your site to naturally grow in popularity.
>Tip 1: Create incredible content
The most important aspect of your website—and the most important part of all your optimization efforts—is your content. You can't get around that fact in the long run, even with the best of SEO tricks. And why would you want to? You can fool the search bots for a while (and less and less with every passing year), but if your content is of low quality, nobody is going to visit your website or share with the world what you're offering.
Good content, on the other hand, will be eventually be widely read and widely shared by others, often on their own websites, creating excellent link-building opportunities for your website (see Tip No. 5).
Your site's content must be well written, informative, as unique as possible, and free of excessive keyword use intended solely to garner search spider attention. If your content is genuinely informative and written for the niche it's serving, it will already have the keywords you need. Update your content frequently to focus on the latest information in you niche.
>Tip 2: Pick a comfortable niche
Your blog or website can deal with extremely general subjects, but that will make your work a lot harder. General-interest websites have to deal with stiff competition from some very powerful and well established players.
Sticking to a niche, on the other hand, limits your audience but also limits your competition. You can write more authoritatively on your subject, and you can more easily generate a reputation for reliability among a much smaller but more loyal circle of readers.
The important thing is to research the keywords that are most searched for in your niche and use them wisely in your Web pages. You should also keep well abreast of new developments in the field.
>Tip 3: Carefully research keywords
We've noted the danger of using too many keywords, but that does not mean you have to deliberately stop using them; on the contrary, keywords are still vital for SEO.
Compile a well-researched list of the most commonly searched for keywords and phrases in your niche by using tools such as Google's Keyword Tool; once you've got them sorted out, scatter them strategically throughout your content, your headlines, and your sub-headers. Just make sure you don't overdo it by using them to the point that text flow seems unnatural.
>Tip 4: Stick to SEO-friendly URLs
You should also optimize all of your website's pages at a basic level. Start by ensuring that every page of your website has a distinct and SEO-friendly URL that describes what the page is about in a few words. For example, if you have a page about cooking steak, instead of <www.myawesomesite.com/tips/item4?=45756>, convert your URL into something like <www.myawesomesite.com/tips/grilling-the-best-steak>. That is much more search engine friendly.
>Tip 5: Use tags and Meta descriptions
You should create concisely informative meta descriptions of all your Web pages with the keywords for that page appearing in the description; you'll have 150-160 characters to fill. These meta descriptions are likely not use by Google any more for ranking, but they're useful in attracting attention from human readers in the search results page, so use them anyway.
Also include title tags for every important page of your site. These need to fit within 70 characters and should offer very quick descriptions of the individual pages they represent with at least one or two page relevant keywords within them. Make these friendly to human readers, don't just list keywords.