The main point of search engine optimization (SEO) is getting your website on the primary search engine results pages, usually in the top 10.  The top search engines are Google and Yahoo; so a high ranking on their SERPs (search engine result pages) will mean lots of traffic for your site.  (but remember, have clear goals. top 10 rankings and lots of traffic does nto mean conversions) Big businesses with a lot of money to spend aren’t the only ones to get a high ranking for their site.  A small business can do it too; all you need to do is study up and work hard.

There isn’t one thing you can do to ensure your site will get a top ten ranking, but if you use on and off-page SEO methods; you can raise your ranking.

Keywords are almost like the foundation of an SEO campaign and the research you do to determine your keywords is extremely important.  Don’t assume you know the keywords; research them to ensure you don’t waste your time or money.

You can use keyword research tools to see what people are searching for.  After you get your results, choose a few of the top terms to use.  If you have many competitors with considerably larger budgets than yours, you should pick a keyword that isn’t as popular with not as much competition.  Then you can rank high for that word or phrase.

These are the primary features for on page SEO:

–    Title tags: title tags are always the first thing search engines see on your site and it is what people will see when determining which site they should go to.  Your primary keywords should be included in the title tag and it should be put into a sentence that makes sense.  See if you can place a call to action inside that sentence.

–    Content: this can include videos, text, or pictures.  Text will be the most important out of those items, and it is what search engines look for.  You want to include enough text to clearly explain your products or company, but not too much that it turns people away from your site.  Your keyword density should be under 5% and H1 and H2 tags should always be used.

–    Meta tags: they contain the keywords tag and the description tag that are not seen by visitors but seen by search engines.  There isn’t much weight placed on these tags by the search engines anymore, but the description tag should be used because this is what shows up in the SERPs and helps people see what your site is about.

–    Alt tags: these are the tags for the images on your web page, and are useful because search engines cannot read images.  These alt tags will help the images be optimized.

–    W3C: this has a validator that looks at your website for coding errors or mistakes.  Sites that are well-coded make it easier for spiders to crawl them and your site can get indexed faster.  It will also help your site to show up in many web browsers.

These are the primary features for off page SEO:

–    Relevant links: high quality links that are relevant are very important to link building and can be difficult to locate. A relevant link means a link that has the same topic or a very similar topic to your site.  Quality links come from sites that are trusted to have the right information.  Links that are from high ranking spots in Yahoo or Google will be good to get.

–    Anchor text: this is the clickable text that links to your site from a different website.  You need to have the keywords inside this text, but make sure every link has different anchor text.  Use a few different combination’s and put the words you use for the anchor text on your page to show the relevance of your page.

–    Submission to directories: there are tons of directories on the Internet; some have fees and others don’t.  The free directories may take longer to get listed.

–    Social Network and Bookmark sites: these sites can be used to get direct traffic and links to your site.  Allow people to bookmark your site by getting an add this button and you will get more people going to your site.

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