Search engine optimization is a tricky business, there are things that can very negatively effect your search engine placement, find out what they are, you may already be making mistakes.
Top 5 Do's Of Search Engine Optimization:
1. Do Participate In Article Marketing
Article marketing is probably the most influential thing you can do (Off-page) to effect your site's position in the search engines. It gives you many, many links back to your website, and we all know how much the search engines love inbound links to your website. It also gives you the opportunity to provide correct/search engine optimized anchor text. For example, if your website is about internet marketing, the link text should read internet marketing, this will help you rank better for that keyword.
2. Do Pay Attention To Keyword Placement
Keywords are the most important, possibly even the only on-page factor that determines your sites position in the search engines, so you need to make sure you get it right if you want to succeed.
Here's a few places where you need to focus some keyword attention.
Title. This is important because it's used in the search engine results, i.e. it's the first thing a potential visitor will see should they come across your site. Including your keyword once is enough, but make sure that the title adequately explains what the page is about, 4-5 words is fine.
Description. Again, this is important as its normally used by the search engines to represent your site in the results page. 1-2 sentences with 1 or 2 keywords is fine.
Meta keywords tag. This tells the search engine the topic of your page.
H1 tag. This is like the title, but at the top of the body of the page. It may not look fancy, but it helps your search engine optimization, so put your title in an H1 tag.
Through out the body text. This one is difficult to advise on without seeing specific pages. You'll have to experiment and see what you come up with. It's normally debated that placing your keywords towards the top of the page helps, but you'll have to see what works for your keyword.
3. Submit Your Site To Relevant Directories
This will provide even more high quality links back to your site as well as another place for people to find your site. In a separate article I'll list all good directories that you should submit to.
4. Create Content Rich Pages
This is very important, don't just create a rubbish page just for the sake of it. It's silly, will make you look unprofessional, and will probably harm your sites rankings more than it will help it.
People search the internet for high quality, free information, so give it to them.
5. Start A Blog
Starting a blog and updating it frequently will provide a lot of content for your site and will also cause the search engines to crawl and index your site more frequently. It also ensures you get into the search engines a lot quicker in the first place.
Top 5 Don'ts Of Search Engine Optimization:
These are major no-no's and should be avoided at all costs, as they will more than likely greatly harm your search engine results and possibly end up getting you banned when you're caught, and believe me, you will get caught eventually if you do this stuff.
1. Don't Make Spam Pages
This is very important. If you create spam pages, they may rank well in the search engine for a short time, but as soon as you're caught, you'll be immediately banned or those pages will just be removed. Either way it's risky business and will make you look totally unprofessional.
A spam page is one or a combination of the following:
Repeating your keywords over and over again in the body of the page, title, keyword tag or description tag.
A page that has nothing to do with the content of your site, again it's pretty pointless getting people there that have no interest in what you have to offer.
Filling the alt tags with a ton of keywords
Text the same colour as the background
2. Don't Become Or Participate In Link Farms
A link farm is the practice of having many, many, many links on a single page that really have no purpose. The are normally links that are sold. The same applies for joining link farms. Whether it's free or paid for, don't do it, it doesn't work and the links have no value what so ever.
3. Don't Link To Bad Neighborhoods
A bad neighborhood is a website that employs shady practices such as search engine cloaking, making spam pages and generally making websites designed to rank well in the search engines at the expense of the visitor, by providing no quality content.
If you link to them, the search engines perceive it as you condoning and approving of what they do, so you'll also be penalized.
In fact you should avoid linking to irrelevant websites altogether. They wont add value for your visitors and will devalue your search engine optimization.
Also, any outbound links will dilute your page rank, which is also a factor in how highly your pages rank.
4. Don't Use Search Engine Cloaking
This is the practice of showing one page to the visitor and showing another to search engine spiders. This causes the page to rank well for entirely different search term than what the content is actually based on. For example, I could create a page with the keyword "golf clubs", but display you a keyword based around mortgage quotes. Guess which one will get me better ad revenue.
Of course there's only a tiny chance that someone will click on those ads, but it doesn't matter to them, it takes relatively little time and even if they get 1 click a day, it will probably pay for their web hosting, so unfortunately, it's profitable.
5. Don't Use Software To Automatically Make Pages
There is software out there where you can just fill in a few fields, and it will make an entire page for you based around a specific topic. You might think this is great, and it is if no-one else is using it. Unfortunately loads of people will be using it, so you'll just be duplicating content and the search engines will penalize you for it, possibly even ban you if that's all your site is composed of.
That should be enough to point you in the right direction for search engine optimization.
By: Stephen Warren