If you’re interested in boosting the traffic that your website brings in, you’ve likely already learned a bit about SEO, or search engine optimization. This is the process by which you can improve your site’s position on the search engine results pages, and it can be a big traffic producer if you do it correctly. If you’d like to avoid wasting the time you invest in optimizing your site, keep the following points in mind.
The single factor that hurts the largest number of SEO campaigns is a lack of focus. Optimization is not easy under the best of circumstances; it can be hard to translate your efforts into improved page ranking. This task is a lot more difficult if you spread your attention out over a large number of keywords or concentrate on extremely competitive keywords that you don’t have the resources to use effectively.
Limit yourself to a few well-chosen, very specific keywords and devote the lion’s share of your time to them.
Once you get involved in search engine optimization, it’s easy to lose sight of what should be your first priority as a webmaster: Giving your visitors useful, high-quality content. You’ll find it’s not that hard to incorporate your SEO keywords into content that’s still entertaining and interesting to those who read it.
Remember that ranking high on the search engine results pages doesn’t do you any good if the people who visit your site don’t find any compelling content to convince them to stick around.
While optimization is important, you should keep it in its place and resist the temptation to let it take over your website.
Incorporating your SEO keywords into the HTML code of your web pages is a very powerful way to boost your page rankings. Many webmasters don’t really understand how to optimize their code and tags, though. Getting your keywords into your tags is important, but they still have to be relevant to the content on the page. The “meta” tag in particular is still prone to abuse. Don’t stuff it with keywords, but don’t leave it blank. A good meta tag should provide a succinct and accurate description of its page.
The structure of your site is very important to your optimization campaign.
In the same way that you want to make it easy for human visitors to navigate around your website, you want the search engines’ automated indexing software to be able to find all of your content too. You can do this by making your site’s structure as rational as possible. Use a clear directory tree to organize all of your files, and make sure that you have an up-to-date XML site map. This will assist the search engine in reaching everything you have available and making sure it’s properly indexed.
A final word of caution: Avoid “black hat” SEO techniques. These are the kinds of optimization tactics that the search engines consider unethical. Generally speaking, you want to stay away from deceptive practices that are intended to draw traffic from visitors who aren’t really interested in your site’s content.
You should also exercise caution with any backlink-building services that operate on a commercial basis. While some of these services are legitimate, many of them are “link farms” that draw negative attention from the search engines. Using black hat tactics can be counter-productive; it’s quite possible for the search engines to penalize your site if you optimize it unethically.
Many webmasters find search engine optimization to be frustrating and unproductive. This is usually because they are going about it the wrong way. If you incorporate this article’s advice into your own SEO work, you’ll find that you can produce positive results without devoting an unreasonable amount of time to optimization.