Optimizing your website for search engines shouldn’t feel overwhelming. Just knowing 7 simple truths to search engine optimization (SEO) will help you get on the right path and increase your chances of being found on Google, Yahoo! and MSN Bing.
Truth #1: SEO does matter
There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not search engine optimization matters anymore in light of the expansion of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It is because of these outlets that SEO is even more important than ever.
Social media networks are constantly feeding data to the Internet and with the unveiling of many real-time social media feeds, there is even more information to compete with online. Understanding the use of meta tags, best practices in web programming, keyword dense content management and link building is crucial to the success of any website or blog.
Truth #2: There is no one size fits all websites approach
Each website is different; from the website programming and brand popularity to visual aesthetics and social relationship connections. That is why you must keep in mind that works for one website doesn’t always work for other websites. SEO is an art and a science that must be approached based on the needs of the website and what it offers to visitors.
Truth #3: Always write for your visitors, not search engines
Owning a website is all about your return on investment (ROI). Not only are you investing money on the website but also your time and the end result is always the same, you want a return on your investment.
Search engines only help customers or visitors find your website. Google does not read your content; customers do. Most websites act as sales portals and writing for people instead of search engines increases the chance of turning visitors into paying customers.
Once you have written for the human, you can then utilize SEO tactics to help that content rank higher for target keywords in search engines to help potential clients find your website.
Truth #4: Target that domain name
Having a keyword dense domain name is like striking gold. Search engines use the words found in domain names to help index the website and domain names have a greater weight than content.
Unless your brand name is well known, you are better to stick with using keywords in your brand or domain name. Using 3 words or less and keeping the domain name short helps in regards to SEO.
Truth #5: Always stay ethical
In the world of SEO, there are two types of SEO tactics: black hat and white hat. The former is the most unethical methods used to trick search engines into higher rankings. Using black hat tactics may get you high rankings for a little while but once you are found out, your website will be banned from the search engines.
White hat tactics are the ethical methods of gaining higher page ranks in search engines. Always stay on the side of white hat tactics and leave the risky behavior to your competitors.
Truth #6: Links are powerful
The two halves of SEO are content and link building. Links are a powerful tools within SEO as they act as recommendations from authority figures on line that your website is something special.
Search engines will look at the relevancy of your own links, the anchor text you use on these links and the number of links you have coming from other sites. One-way links (from other websites) have a higher weight when indexing for search engines. Link exchanges (exchanging links with another website) don’t hold as much weight but do count. Always opt for one-way links when possible from reputable and relevant websites.
Truth #7: Like everything, SEO takes time
Results are never seen overnight and webmasters need to continue to tweak and work on their website’s search engine optimization. Changes in page rank or indexing can take days, weeks or month before traffic increases are noticed. In the world of SEO, patience is a virtue and necessity.