In Search Engine Optimization

Streed out woman witha laptopSearch Engine Optimization is a bugaboo, full of misinformation put out to prey on the fear and anxiety business owners have about wanting to rank high in a particular niche.  If you could do just one thing that would help a lot would you do it?  Yes, of course, you would. Below are 10 pieces of advice to take the edge off; and, when implemented, will make a difference in your site’s ranking.Ten Simple SEO Tips:

  1. Get a WordPress website. Even a simple site can be a search engine magnet because of the way they are organized out of the box. WordPress is a great platform because it is easier to implement my next steps on a WordPress website as opposed to a static HTML site.
  1. Regularly add high-quality content to your website so that people visit and link to your site. Write blog posts and articles that your readers find interesting and useful, and you will begin to build traffic. Traffic is a good indicator for SEO, and links to your content are a big SEO bonus.
  1. If you have a poorly designed website and are not creating fresh content by blogging, you probably will not rank well in searches. Do not be lured in by shysters selling SEO services to people who don’t know it is not okay to stuff your writing with keywords or buy and sell links. A reputable SEO person is going to be all about the content and know that a site must be good enough to convert the visitors into taking action once they are there.
  1. Install the WP SEO plugin by Yoast and learn to use it to create the titles and descriptions of your website pages and posts for better search engine optimization. Your titles and first 160 characters of your posts can be more reader-friendly and your post and page content does not have to sound spammy to your readers. Don’t just copy your title and the first part of your post into the plugin. That defeats the purpose.
  1. Use one main keyword or keyword phrase per post and make sure that word or phrase is in your text, titles, and excerpts. Google can slap you down for having too many keywords and for using all the same keywords on each page and post. Be smart about choosing your keywords for your site. You will never come up for extremely competitive terms like, “Shoes” (1,800,000,000 search results). But you could work on coming up for “Handmade Tango Shoes Buenos Aires” ( 23,200 search results). These are called long-tail terms and are much easier to rank for.
  1. Make sure your site’s performing well. You will get dinged for sites that load slow. Optimize your photos and watch the number and types of plugins that you use. They can slow your site down.
  1. Build internal links from a new post you write to another one of your posts on the same topic. This results in a higher ranking, and you are seen as an authority on that subject.  Read, Become More Relevant With Internal Links, for more detail about how and why to do this.
  2. When you add new content, post a link to it on Twitter and Google + and it will be indexed by the search engines much faster.
  3. Use the Yoast SEO Plugin to create an XML sitemap for your WordPress website. This plugin works in the background of your site, giving search engines a map to index your site by. It refreshes itself with the addition of new content and automatically sends the map to Google Yahoo and Bing.
  1. Claim your business on Yelp and on Google local listings. This will help your site to come to the top of a search page because of that, especially if you get a lot of reviews.

Remember the best thing you can do is to build your site and reputation by creating content your readers, customers, clients need and want.  Every page and post can come up as a separate item in a search and they will continue to come up in searches for years which gives you geometric growth in traffic. A steady input of good product, good customer service and fresh content on your website, will ensure that your traffic and your business will grow organically.

If down the road, you are doing all of the things above and want to tweak your search performance, by all means, hire a reputable SEO firm to help you. But remember,  as much as we wish it were true, there is no cream to make our thighs smaller and there is not an SEO magic pill solution that will make you rank number one in a Google search, without the work.

Do you have any other tips that have worked well for you when you were first starting out?

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Showing 28 comments
  • Lori Tilt
    Reply

    Great article. Thanks for the tips!

  • @jennymunn
    Reply

    I always say two of the best things I did for my business when I started out were to put up a WordPress website and to optimize my most important pages (and blog posts). SEO has been great for business development for me.

    Great tips, Judi! I think that #7 is what trips up most people – choosing and prioritizing keywords.

    Also, do you use an editorial calendar? I don't…I tend to blog about topics as they inspire me, which I know is not the most sustainable strategy.
    My recent post The Dwight Schrute of SEO: Have You Fallen Prey to This Guy?

  • judi knight
    Reply

    Jenny, You are the type of SEO expert that is the excellent kind that understands and promotes content optimization. I agree with you that key words are very difficult for people to come up with themselves.

    I could have put that at the top and say that is something that is worth getting some hep with early. But so many people get snared into thinking that is all they have to do and are susceptible to the SEO scammers.

    If someone is doing most of the steps above and consistently writing or is committed to doing so then I think that it is good to get someone reputable ( like Jenny Munn to take a look at their site and help them get to the next level.

    In fact, I could probably use your help:-)

  • @jennymunn
    Reply

    Hah, I'm happy to help you at any time, Judi. But I swear I didn't have an ulterior motive for commenting on this post! 🙂 Thank you for your kind comments.

    Most people who give SEO and optimization a try are pleasantly surprised with how far they can get on their own. Especially by following the tips you outlined above. I'm absolutely an advocate for DIY SEO. It's not as scary as it seems, and the scare tactics many SEO scammers use shouldn't deter business owners from trying.
    My recent post The Dwight Schrute of SEO: Have You Fallen Prey to This Guy?

    • judi knight
      Reply

      I know you didn’t and I ma serious. You are the real deal:-)

  • @clickhost
    Reply

    Hi Judi,
    Like most things in life SEO takes time to do it right. A little bit over a long period of time will create great results.

    Thank you for always making things understandable.

    Cheers, Carel.
    My recent post Changing Your HTML Website to WordPress

  • Mach1 Corporation
    Reply

    Useful information, thanks for sharing..
    My recent post How to get Traffic to your Website for Free?

  • Ritchie Mellor
    Reply

    Great tips Judi. As a complete noob with websites and SEO, it’s tough to find good, original White Hat tips. I have been searching for the little wins that can help my site, basic stuff I SHOULD be doing. I completely missed the Google + thing, so am off to do that and then read more of your blogs!

    Ritchie
    Pretty Vegas Wedding Band

    • judi
      Reply

      Richie. Another thing is go to Gravatar and put your photo there connected to your email. Then sign up for my newsletter. I will send you tips and ticks every Wednesday:-)

  • Ritchie
    Reply

    Will do! At the moment, I have our Wedding Band site, and am trying to supplement that with our blog in order to both build links back to the main site, but also to write bits and pieces. Have done a blog before, but this one is more focused as I really dont have much time (new child!), and it will help the main site. Well, I hope it will!

    Ritchie

  • ambreen11
    Reply

    This is one of the most common sense, comprehensive lists I have seen. ,I have applied all the tips on my site also. And I hope this will be benefitable to me.Thanks

  • jones
    Reply

    Nice Tips. This is very useful information… Thanks for sharing this Articles

  • Doreen Dickens
    Reply

    Excellent list. I believe these tips will help me a big deal in the coming few days. Thanks for sharing

  • Allisa griffis
    Reply

    SEO magic pill solution that will make you rank number one in a Google search, without the work. Actually I also support these rules and hope that it would come to help us more in the future at all. Thanks and inform like this…

    My recent post Cheap Domain Register – A Great Option to Register Your Online Business

  • Wouter
    Reply

    That is funny, we have implemented all these tips and I cannot say if this is the reason we rank so good but I definately helps big time!
    My recent post (Nederlands) WordPress Seo Consultant – Zoekmachine Optimalisatie Advies Op Maat

    • Pretty Vegas
      Reply

      Since I last posted I have been getting all of the newsletter and by using those and these tips we are now first page for all our keyword phrases.

      The lady is goooood!

  • Claire Bradford
    Reply

    Oooh! Great, understandable, no-jargon advice for the not-so-techies. Thanks so much! I will be signing up for your newsletter.

  • SEO tips and tricks
    Reply

    Avoid the use of flash, DHTML, and internal java script.
    Links- Any links you have on your site should have key terms in them.
    The levels of traffic you can gain this way hinges
    on picking the right directories to submit to and avoiding paid listings.

  • Euphoria
    Reply

    Great Info. Will have to give Yoast a try never used that as yet. 🙂
    My recent post Click one of the post titles above to include it at the end of your comment

  • SEO Scams
    Reply

    Hi Judi!
    Thanks for the post "Ten Simple SEO Tips" . I found it very helpful and expect other will find it useful too.
    My recent post 20 Social Marketing Strategies to Put into Practice Today

  • John Revo Puno
    Reply

    Judi,
    Thank you for sharing your SEO tips. You are awesome!

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