Search Engine Optimization is a process. During the first years of search you could get away with grabbing keywords and stuffing them into your website to drive rankings. Another method people used to get away with was using meaningless links from and to their websites. Google’s algorithm has changed immensely since 1998 when it was introduced to the public. Now if you want your website to appear on the first page of Google there are several important steps to take and some things to avoid as well.
First things first, content is king. Having a website with good content is extremely important. Having the right amount of keywords mixed into that content is also important. To many keywords can get your rankings lowered while to little keywords can do the same thing. Maintaining a relevant website that provides people with important information will not only increase your rankings but will also increase your websites retention rate which is just the amount of first time visitors that return to your website for a second and third view.
Second, links are no longer viewed as always being a good thing. Google has caught onto the fact that people are link farming; simply linking to as many websites as they can (relevant or not) in an attempt to increase their websites rankings. In order to maintain your rankings or increase them your link building needs to be appropriate. Linking to other sites related to yours that are seen as ‘good’ sites by Google (meaning they follow the rules and provide relevant content) is a great way to increase rankings.
Third, don’t think keywords and good content is the silver bullet. Stay in the mix of things by creating strong social presence; Google and other search engines are taking into account social circles more than ever. In an attempt to compete with Facebook, Google launched Google circles, a new social media site where you can invite people into different circles based on their relationship to you; work, school, friends, family. These social circles (facebook or Google Circles/Google+) are the new way for Google to start ranking how important/relevant your site is.
Finally, stay relevant with good OFFPAGE optimization. Some good ways to do this is to write articles about your industry and submit them to article directories which are basically phone directories for websites on the internet. While articles are great, you can blog about your industry and stay social while doing it. Creating a blog that people read and learn from is a great way to bring traffic to your website. You can also guest blog on other peoples websites in order to increase your online presence.
Remember that content is King! Good content and the right targeted keywords will increase your rankings. Stay focused on good content with about 8% keywords and brining your website efforts to social media and other online activities such as blogging and you will have a nice SEO start.
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