These days everyone online seems to have their own “Secrets Of Search Engine Optimization” product or software package. Some of the products or information are good and worthwhile, but most of them are just old ideas in new packaging.
The thing is, though, most of the people who buy these programs aren’t anywhere near the level they could attain with just three simple tenets of SEO that every webmaster should follow:
Simple Site Architecture
Search engines use small pieces of software called “spiders” to “crawl” your website and catalog the different pages and content it contains. Keep you site architecture and navigation as simple as possible. No buried subpages, no ridiculously specific Category headings on blogs. If you can’t reach any page in your site within three or four clicks, then it’s too complicated (excluding scrolling through blog archives, of course, which will require more clicks as you make more entries). This philosophy also applies to how your URLs look. Keep them simple and direct. And last but not least, build an XML sitemap (there are a lot of free tools that do this automatically, especially for blogs) and submit it to a search engine.
This is a tough one for the novice webmaster, but the fact remains that if you want to get higher search rankings, one of the best ways to do that is to get high-profile sites to link to you. Don’t succumb to the lure of link farms and pay-for-link scams; one genuine link from a well-established site is worth a thousand of them. Try to build relationships with the people who run popular sites in your market (commenting on their blogs is a great way to introduce yourself), and the links will come eventually.
This one is pretty simple: write content that people want to read, don’t write for search engines. If you stuff a bunch of keywords into your content, viewers will notice and be more likely to click away. You may go up a rank or two in search results, but what’s the point when no visitor stays on your site for more than 15 seconds? That said, do make sure that your keywords are included in the titles and headers of your web pages, and also in the tags of blog entries.
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