The Right Way to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Like most things in life, there is a right way to optimize your website, and a wrong way.  The high road will get you more visitors, more sales, and a better reputation, as well as move you up in the search engine rankings.  The low road will give you more visitors, but may wreck your reputation and get you banned from the search engines altogether.  SEO isn’t rocket science, it just takes time, common sense and patience.  There are  three important words to remember: Keywords, Links, and Blogs.  Let me show you what I mean.

Keywords

I’m not trying to be punny, well, maybe a little, but these are a big key to your optimization success.  Research is the word of the day here.  You have to find words to use on your website that are relevant to the content, not being overused in the industry, and focused enough to bring you visitors that want to buy your goods and services.  Researching the keywords is time consuming, but is paramount to building a successful optimization campaign.  Once you have selected your keywords, spend time adding them (sparingly I might add) into the content of your website.  Try to target one or two keywords per page.  That way more of your site will be indexed, and you can rank more pages on the search engine results.

Links

Once you have employed your keywords effectively, you want to think about link building.  I’m talking about both within your site and from the outside.  As much as possible (and natural) you want to try to link the pages on your site together.  That way when a visitor lands on one page of your site, they can easily get to another page they are interested in without having to go back to the home page.  When you add links from page to page, it not only helps the search engines index you, it helps the customers find exactly what they are looking for.  This increases the likelihood of them making a purchase, and makes it more likely that they will return to your site again.  Building external links is possibly more important, and is a bit more difficult to do.  A great strategy is to find blogs and articles that are relevant to your site, and leave a comment on a post with a link back to your website.  You can also find sites in your niche, and offer to trade links with them.  What you don’t want to do is resort to link farms or massive directories with no relevance to your site whatsoever.  That could be bad news.  External link building will take time, so be patient and try to add your link in the places that will benefit you the most.

Blogs

Every website that wants to increase its rankings and traffic needs a blog.  Let me say that again:  Every website…you get the idea.  Blogs are one of the easiest ways to present fresh, relevant, content on an ongoing basis.  They allow you to connect with your customers, and can help you become recognized as a guru in your industry. If you don’t have a blog, it’s time to start one.   If you aren’t a good writer, or you don’t have time, hire someone to write them for you.  It is very important that you update them with fresh material as often as possible.  Don’t wait more than a week to put up some new content.  If you you do this well, news of your blog will spread and your reputation will soar.

Keywords, links, and blogs are not the only elements you need to optimize your website.  In the coming weeks we will be exploring the ins and outs of other (ethical) techniques for increasing your traffic and rankings.  However, if you concentrate in these three areas, you will likely see an increase in your traffic and your sales.  So challenge yourself.  Try these techniques, and then come back here each week to learn the rest of the story.  You will be glad you did.

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