5 Steps to SEO Success by Dale King
Let me make one thing perfectly clear, right off the bat.
I don't consider myself an SEO expert (search engine optimization), by any stretch of the imagination - not even close.
However, I DO know what works and what DOESN'T, when it comes to search engine optimization.
And if you "read and heed" the advice set forth in this article, so will you.
First of all, before you can understand how SEO works, you first have to know what it is.
Organic, or natural, SEO is a method used to make a web site more visible on the Internet. The optimization of a site simply means using techniques which allow each page of your site to be found by the computer robots that visit your site - and at the same time - to be appealing, informative and interesting to human visitors.
Here's the problem. There is so much information available on SEO (both bad and good), that you can very easily experience information overload. So the first step of my SEO success formula is:
1. Don't Believe Everything You Read. There is a ton of outdated and inaccurate information regarding SEO. Therefore, my advice would be, when it comes to SEO, listen to people whom have a reputation of knowing what they're talking about - and the background and results to back it up.
A few of the best SEO experts around include Shari Thurow, Jill Whalen and Danny Sullivan. If you read and follow their advice, you will never go wrong.
2. Do Your Research. You would be amazed at how many marketers attempt to optimize their site's without doing an iota of research. I'm serious. I've seen marketers trying to optimize their website's using keyword phrases that don't even exist. So what's wrong with that approach?
Well, if the keyword phrase doesn't exist, that means that no one is searching for it.
And if no one is searching for your keyword phrase, they're not going to find your website.
That's why it's important to use effective and proven SEO tools such as Overture's keyword optimization tool:
Keyword Selector Tool
Keyword services for professional search engine optimization
These tools will give you an idea of what keyword phrases people are searching for, and give you a decided advantage when optimizing your website.
3. Build An SEO-Friendly Website. One of the most important things you can do when building your website is to help the search engines to like you. That means staying away from Flash sites and frames. These things are simply not search engine friendly. Nowadays, the current most preferred style of website design is CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
Most website designers don't know a thing about SEO, and they could care less whether or not you rank well in the search engines. Again, do your research, before having your website built, and you'll save yourself a lot of money and avoid potential headaches.
4. Don't Keep Repeating Keyword Phrases. I see this a lot. For example, let's suppose your website sells pet products. Contrary to popular belief, it's not necessary to mention the keyword phrase "pet products" fifty times, when writing your website's description. This is considered spamming, and could get you into trouble with the search engines.
So how many times should you mention your keyword phrase when writing your site's description? Once or twice is fine. Anything more than that will send up a red flag to the search engines.
5. Don't Use Hidden Text. What's hidden text? Hidden text is text on your website that is displayed in such a way as to not be easily readable. For example, setting the font color to be the same as the background color of the web page, thereby rendering the text invisible unless the user highlights it.
Hidden text is a notorious spamming technique, designed to fill a page with keywords that a search engine will recognize but are invisible to a human visitor. Be warned, however. This is considered "Black Hat" SEO, and Google has taken serious steps to prevent this technique, by parsing the colour of text as it indexes it, and checking to see if it is similar to or the same colour as the page background, and penalizing websites by giving those pages much lower rankings.
In closing, there are of course many other things you should and shouldn't do to optimize your website. However, if you follow the 5 steps set forth in this article, you'll be well on your way to building a search engine friendly website.