5 Tips for Search Engine Optimization

I'm hearing from a lot of clients right now who are asking, "Are there some simple steps I can take right now that will help me grow my business in 2010?"

Yes.  One of the best things you can do right now is make sure your website is super search engine friendly.  

I know just enough about search engine optimization to be dangerous.  But I thought I'd bring in an expert instead to give you some great ideas on specific steps you can take to make your website or blog more search engine friendly.  

Michelle Strassburg has 10 years experience managing online marketing.  She has this to say about current best practices:

While there are many ways to drive web traffic to your business such as affiliate marketing, paid ads and even guest blog posts, natural traffic from the search engines will always prevail over others because of the sheer amount of customers using the search engines. In this post I am looking to highlight some of the less known search engine optimization techniques which became popular in recent months and how your business should react to changes in the search engine ranking algorithm.

5 tips for improving your natural search engine rankings

1. Getting the right keywords is more important than ever – Keywords have always been an important factor in the ranking matrix. Where previously to find the right keywords you had to guess or purchase an expensive software product for this, today Google is offering a few fantastic tools to help you do just that. The first and my favorite is keyword trends which will demonstrate if a particular term is becoming more popular or less popular. While the second is an actual keyword tool which as the name suggests will help you find the right keywords.

2. Supporting multiple browsers is essential – Just a few years ago the market was dominated by Microsoft Explorer, but nowadays there are other alternatives which some of your customers might be using. Google Chrome and Firefox are becoming more mainstream and therefore your website must support those browsers. But how can I test them all you ask? Good question. Thankfully there's a free service from Browser Shot which will allow you to test your site using various virtual browsers.  

Browser screenshot

3. Use internal linking more to help the engines – For many online businesses, especially those with many products or services the hurdle might be getting all their pages into the search engine index. One of the ways to achieve this is to upload a site map and hope that the search engine will find it. Another great technique which is also very useful for web users is to interlink between related products or services assuming that if the engine found one page, it will also find other pages which have been linked to from that page. The engines are looking to ensure their spiders consume less resources when trying to find content, therefore by pointing them in the right direction this change might effect your ranking for the better.  

4. Loading times are becoming important – Google recently announced that the speed in which a page is loading will become an important factor in calculating the ranking potential of a website. To test how quickly (or not) your website is loading and to fix potential problems effecting its speed, try the free Web Page Analyzer tool. Besides the search engine optimization factor, making your website load quicker will improve user experience resulting in more business.

5. Turn your website into a social magnet – In recent years the search engines have started placing more weight on how popular a website is amongst the social landscape. Yahoo started this year to display links from the social bookmarking site del.icio.us within its search results, while Google might soon display twitter feeds within its search results. To increase your social potential consider embedding a social bookmarking button such as AddThis across your pages, encourage reviews from customers and actively engage with your customers on social networks.

Holly:  Thanks to Michelle Strassburg for these great tips. 

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Michelle Strassburg is Head of Sales and Marketing at online wooden worktops vendor Wood and Beyond. Michelle has over 10 years experience managing online marketing.


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27 Responses to 5 Tips for Search Engine Optimization

  1. great post.Thanks a lot.Look forward to more such ones.

  2. Chris says:

    Excelleent article!Thanks for sharing.

  3. Stacyfaye says:

    Thank for mentioning the web analyzer tool. I know how important it can be to load a page quickly. A lot of users have little patience. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I think all SEO should be based on a clearly defined strategy. I just think your Top 5 are confusing and “scary” when they don’t really need to be. Here are the 3 strategic steps I usually recommend:
    First, do some keyword research (as painful as it may sound) to determine where you are going to “compete.” Hint – go after the easy stuff first.
    Second, set up an optimized blog and begin putting in quality, keyword optimized content.
    Third, start building backlinks through strategic methods.
    If you do these three steps correctly, you’ll be well on your way to good Search Engine rankings and the wonderful, free traffic that it can bring!

  6. Job says:

    In my line of work, I always get tons of this kind of tips but I always keep them for future reference.

  7. I can really use this tips on my work at home. It is something that I have never done before in any kind of work that I do.

  8. great tips!! I am working with a SEO company right now,www.itchair.com, and they have already helped my website so much. It has moved up in google ranks significantly and I am noticing the increase in business!! SEO is definitely important!!

  9. Great post, one tip that my friend gave me regarding seo was to target a specific area. for example, if you are a flower shop in Denver, CO, you should have the Denver location mentioned at least a few times in your website.

  10. Great post! Those tips that you shared were really great. Thank you so much for sharing such an interesting piece on seo which is definitely worth sharing.

  11. Great Article! SEO can be frustrating at best. You have just made things a little easier for me! Thank You!

  12. Robflick says:

    Thanks for these SEO tips! On point three – internal linking – when making links across pages it’s a good idea to make the link in the context of a few sentences, rather than as a list of links (or one isolated link) at the end of the page. This is because Google values contextual linking.

  13. Holly Buchanan says:

    Robflick – great info – thanks for sharing!

  14. Mike says:

    Good points on optimizing your site for multiple browsers and site speed. I don’t see too many “seo basics” type blog posts that mention those two things.

  15. SEO is widely considered as the new breed of marketing and IT combined. Yes, getting the right keyword is one of the keys to achieving effective SEO. With the right keyword, all else will follow.

  16. Rob Swift says:

    You really have to optimize your site well to have it show up in search results. That and creating backlinks, etc. Do some research in html and tags too because even though it doesn’t look different to your surfers, the Googlebots will catch on to your keywords and phrases.

  17. Masako Gun says:

    SEO, when effectively utilized, can definitely sell a business. But on the contrary, when used poorly, it can lead a business to undue downfall. These tips will be highly appreciated by SEO newbies. Great post! =)

  18. Each year I feel like SEO becomes something else 🙂
    Btw alt on images can help, and don’t forget good written meta data 😉 thx 4 post

  19. Kevin Beamer says:

    SEO is proven to be an effective way to market a business, whether big or small. True, utilizing the right keywords is key to dominating the SERPs. Also, providing fresh and high quality content will help achieve SEO goals.

  20. Petter Joe says:

    Hello, this is a pretty nice article currently! I do enjoy a well updated article.

  21. Hello there! Superb content! I have been a regular website visitor (a bit more like addict 😛 ) of your website even though I had a problem. I am possibly not absoluterly certain if its the right place to ask, but you’ve got no spam comments. I get comments day-to-day. Will you help me? Thank you!

  22. Hey, it looks like you have a pretty fine website just now! I really love a damn well updated site.

  23. Lalitha says:

    Actually this is not necessary for Indian SEO but this is for all SEO cpmnaoy. Try some SEO Website Analysis taken from my source below. This would be a great help.GoodLuck!

  24. Mike says:

    HiYou can do this manually,Google likes upetadd content,so you can easily do that in your blogs.Title,description,tags,anchor text,images etc also play an important role in getting your site/blog indexed.All you need is to hire an SEO expert who can help you optimize these things in much effective and yet affordable manner.

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  26. Khushwant says:

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