10 Steps To Improve Online Presence with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Written By Clint Published April 17th, 2010

by P. Clint Rogers, Ph.D.

Research has shown that a majority of internet users (50%+) use search engines to find content & information, and to make purchases on the internet.

Once your website has been created, the next question is how do people find it? Paid search is when you bid on certain keywords and pay every time people click on your advertisement. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), is also called “natural search” and is the process of optimising your website for search engines to “organically” rank you highly when people search on terms related to your website.

Google, Yahoo, and Live Search are three of the most popular search engines online. Research shows that most users don’t go beyond the first page of results to find the desired information, so attaining a top position in organic searches is one of the best ways to ensure people find your information, products and services.

Below are 10 Steps to improve your web presence through Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Step 1. Create a SEO strategy – decide what are the most appropriate keywords that you want to target. This means, what keywords are people searching for that you would like your website to be in the top results for? There are many tools that can help you determine the volume of searches for any particular keyword, but you do not necessarily want high volume keywords. Some people have the strategy to target particular niches, but the important thing is to have a strategy – select which keywords you would like to target.

Step 2. Tell search engines what is in your site by using good title tags, meta tags, include the keywords in the titles and text of your pages, search engine friendly URLs. Additionally site maps can help your pages be indexed properly. When you use a template software to create your website, this is not automatically done, and yet it is one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO.

Step 3. Optimise the images on your web pages. This means making sure you have good titles and “alt tags” for your images. In addition to helping your SEO for that webpage, images that are indexed by Google Image also have a tendency to send a significant amount of traffic to websites on their own.

Step 4. Create or find quality content! This is essential, as more and more the “tricks” used by SEO experts of the past are not working. The best thing to do is to have something of high quality on your website. [Quick tip: As a part of quality index, include only Quality, very relevant outbound links in your website.]

Step 5. Make it easy for your users to be your advocates. If you have high quality content that is worth anything, than make it easy for people or websites to link to your content. It is common for people to have easy ways for people to “share” the web page or resource with the common social networking sites, as well as to indicate their interest in it through Digg, delicious, and other social ranking sites. This will help the Search Engines to judge the relative value of what you have created and thus rank your website accordingly. Active participation with social networking sites, discussion boards, forums, directories, and so on, provide credibility in your content area as well as provide great resources for creating good back links.

Step 6. When people do link to your site, the links are valued more if they come from a reputable site in the area you have targeted, and also if the hyperlink itself contains the keywords you are targeting. The more links you have coming in from high quality sites the better. [Quick tip: Avoid ‘link farming’, which can penalize your site.]

Step 7. Have Dynamic content: this means that your website is more than just a static bunch of text and images that never change. If it never changes, then you don’t give the search engines reason to come back and remember your site, and increase its score. (You can even train some search engines how often they should come back to search your site.) The simplest way to have dynamic content is to include some kind of a blog feature, but there are many ways to have dynamic content if you are creative. As a specific way to make your site dynamic as well as increase its value – include interactive features to your site, such as discussion boards, forums, or other places for user generated content. This will require some time and attention to monitor abusive users as well as potential spammers, but can increase the significance of your site to users as well as search engines. [Quick tip: Use RSS feeds as one way to keep users informed of updates to your site.]

Step 8. Write article submissions, press releases, or create quality content that is placed on other high quality/high traffic sites. Include in your article the proper back-links to your own site, optimized for the keywords you are targeting. [Quick tip: If you are an expert in a certain area, StepsTo is one place where you can write articles for your area of expertise]

Step 9. Analyze and improve your Site/page download times- While it’s not totally clear how much emphasis Search Engines place on site down load times, even Google engineers have hinted that if all things are equal, faster downloading sites will have an advantage in SEO. Perhaps even more important, if you have slow load times, you will frustrate your visitors and they will go other places to find what they need.

Step 10. Keep track of your progress, by having an easy way to monitor and score on a regular basis your SEO. There are several tools that allow you to do this. PageMass is one service that allows you an intuitive easy way to keep score on the effectiveness of your SEO, in combination with 6 other essential elements of your online presence. It also allows you to monitor your own web presence in relation to your competitors and trended over time. To see where your site scores right now with SEO, and the other essential elements of online presence, go to this free assessment: http://www.PageMass.com

4 Comments

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  2. Ali says:

    I liked it. So much useful material. I read with great interest.


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