Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of building and tweaking your website to make it more prominent on the results pages of search engines. While many outside consultants provide effective SEO services to webmasters in exchange for fees, you can do a great deal of optimization on your own without having to master any exotic tricks of the trade. Here are some great basic optimization strategies you can but into action immediately:
* Content Tweaking
You can start with the single most important part of your site in terms of search engine ranking: the content. No matter what sort of SEO shenanigans you pull, you’ll never climb to the top of the results pages if you don’t have plenty of strong content with clear ties to your chosen keywords. It’s a good idea to choose a single keyword to focus on for each individual page of your site. Throwing down a few alternate keywords is fine, but aim each page at one search term and use the relevant keywords frequently (but naturally!) in the page’s content.
* Software Analysis
If you’ve already studied the subject of optimization, you’ve likely run across some statistics that are touted as ideal for SEO performance. Opinions vary on the perfect scores when it comes to keyword density, reading level, and page / article length. The one thing you definitely need is a way to track these numbers for your own pages. Some of the statistics you’re looking for (like length and readability) can be gleaned from a word processor. For other, more SEO-specific ratings, you’ll need to find some purpose-built analytical software. This doesn’t require any great expense; free options abound. There are even plugins for WordPress that can give you the data you need. (If you run your site through WP, of course!)
* Links (Internal and External)
Links also play an important role in optimization. In order to get the maximum benefit out of each page you add to your site, it should have a healthy selection of both internal and external links. These should always be germane to the topic of the page, and ideally to your focus keyword. If you’re having trouble coming up with external links, feel free to link to reference sites that help explain the subject you’re writing about.
* Keeping It Regular
Finally, you can do your site a big favor by updating it regularly. You don’t need to post new material every day or follow an ironclad schedule. Providing a steady flow of new content is important, though. It lets the search engines know that your site is active, and this will be a significant point in your favor when rankings are assigned. When it comes to making regular content updates, blogs have a huge advantage due to their format. If your site isn’t blog-based, you can still get the advantage of regular content additions by adding a blog to it.
The suggestions presented here should be enough to make a positive impact on your site’s ranking. If you want to go further, you’ll find plenty of other helpful advice online. There’s always the option of hiring a professional to assist you with your SEO, too. Whether you invest time, effort, or money (or all three!) into optimization, rest assured that you can make a difference!