SEO Secrets: The Down and Dirty Truth

Get the secrets to better SEO ranking

Despite what some experts tell you, no one can guarantee you top ranking in search engines… All they can do is tell you what you can do to improve your position. I’m a big proponent of organic SEO. Without getting too complex, organic SEO (search engine optimization) is the phrase used to describe the process of obtaining a natural placement on organic search engine results pages (SERPs). Some examples of techniques used for organic SEO include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content relevant for human readers. These things all work in concert to boost your position on a search results page… the higher your position on the first page of search results, the more likely you’ll get traffic to your site.

I’ve put together a few tips that can put you in a better position to succeed, but by no means should you consider these tips a magic bullet to solve your ranking problems. I can talk about SEO for days, but chances are you’ll fall asleep long before I finish, but in a nutshell, here are the basic tips that I tell all my clients:

  1. Make the website about one thing. Though you can address different aspects of your business, choose one primary topic that is most essential to your message. For instance a baker who specializes in wedding cakes shouldn’t really give up 75% of her website to cookies and cupcakes… the site should focus primarily on wedding cakes, but still address the other items he or she bakes.
  2. Mention keywords where they matter most. Include your “one thing” in the site title, domain name, description, tagline, keywords, blog categories, page titles, and page content wherever you can.
  3. Link to internal pages on your site. Be intentional about linking your most important pages directly from your homepage and cross-linking them with each other.
  4. Use a permalink structure that includes keywords. Use a URL structure that includes text, and make sure you include keywords in your URLs. Permalinks are automatically generated with wordpress so you don’t have to worry about this so much, but you should include keywords in your titles to ensure they work correctly.
  5. Remove anything that slows down your website, especially anything on your home page that loads from a third party site. Page load times are important, so get rid of any non-essentials that bog down your website. These may including music players, large images, flash graphics, and unnecessary plugins like twitter or Facebook feeds.
  6. Use keywords in your image titles, captions and alt tags. Also, re-title the file name if it doesn’t reflect your main keywords (e.g. career-coaching.jpg instead of d1234.jpg).
  7. Link to other websites with relevant content. You can do this by including a blogroll, link list, or resources page on your website. Of course, do it sparingly, as each outbound link is a “vote” for another site. However, if you do it well and people click your links, this tells search engines you are a trusted authority on your particular topic.
  8. Update your website frequently by using a blog and adding a “recent posts” feed to your home page. Sites with dynamic content often rank higher than those with static content. That’s why blogs and directories (like Wikipedia) do so well on search engines. They are constantly being updated with new content.
  9. Make sure your website is indexed in search engines.
  10. Have other websites link to you. This is really, really important, when it comes to SEO. Of course, this is also the most difficult part of the SEO strategy… you can’t really control this. You could ask, but no one is likely to link to you unless you offer really valuable content, which is why it is important that you create really valuable content.
  11. Write like a human. None of the above matters if you create content that sounds like a robot wrote it.