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7 Things You Should Know About SEO

Search engine optimization is something that is often spoken of, but it isn’t often that people truly understand it. If you know what you’re doing, SEO can change the way you do business. If you don’t, however, what you don’t know could sink you.

By now, most people realize that SEO is a very important part of business. An Internet presence is vital if you want to make it in today’s world, so search engine optimization is something that just about everyone needs to know something about. If you run a business, it’s even more important that you understand how to optimize your website or blog.

Search engine optimization isn’t just about adding keywords to your website content and blog posts; there’s quite a bit more to it, in fact. If you really want to be successful and reach the front page of the search rankings, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Research is Key

Most business owners are aware that they need to have keywords, but they don’t know just how to find the best ones. Since the entire SEO campaign depends on selecting the right keywords, this is a very important step and one that cannot be taken lightly. Don’t just guess at your keywords, take the time to research them thoroughly.

You can use the Google Keyword Tool to help find good keywords with plenty of searches. Simply type your keyword into the search box and let Google give you suggestions. You want something that will bring in plenty of searches each month. Try using several keywords with lower searches if you can’t find one with less competition. Then click to Google and search for the keyword phrase with quotation marks on either end to see just how many other websites are optimized for the exact same phrase. You want lots of searches and very few competitors.

2. Less is More

At first glance, it might seem like the more often you use the keywords in your content, the better. However, thanks to scammers who used a technique called “keyword stuffing,” that’s not a good idea. You can actually end up penalized for using too many keywords in one piece of content.

The key here is to be natural. Don’t stuff the page full of specific words; instead let the information flow freely and insert the keyword phrases wherever they actually fit. This will result in much better content that search engines will love.

3. Label Your Photos

Photos really add a lot to a blog post, but they can’t help your SEO unless you make full use of titles and ALT tags. Using your keywords in these areas will give your page a nice boost. It doesn’t hurt to name your photo something SEO friendly either. Instead of labeling it PIC1546874.jpg, go with something like Florida-oranges.jpg.

4. Skip the Flash and Java

Flash might make for a funky website, but it is useless when it comes to search engines. HTML is far cleaner and readable for search engines, so the worst thing you can do is have a Javascript or Flash intro page to your site. Google and the other search engine spiders won’t be able to register the site easily nor read the content embedded in the fancy Flash.

5. Add Regular Content

This is one area that is more important now than every before. Good content has always done well with the search engines, but since Google changed the rules in early 2011, it’s even more important. Regularly updated pages with quality content are treated very well by the search engines, so it makes sense that blogs, rather than fixed sites with static content, are doing very well these days.

While your content should contain keywords, keep in mind that the most important thing is to offer quality information. It should be written more for human eyes than for search engine spiders.

6. Try Deep Linking

Getting links from other websites is vital in boosting search engine rankings, but what many people don’t know is that deep linking is also very important. Deep linking means linking to other pages within the same website. For example, you might have a site on sound equipment and on your article about Sony stereos, you link to your page on choosing the right speakers.

This type of linking should be done on a regular basis and goes hand in hand with providing regular content. Whenever you write a blog post, check back to see if there’s anything relevant to link it to.

7. Too Many Backlinks is a Bad Thing

Chances are, if you’re online, you’ve heard of backlinking. This is the practice of getting links from other websites. When you use the right anchor text, this can be very helpful in boosting your search engine rankings. However, it is not something you want to overdo.

Getting regular links from various locations looks a lot more natural than one article directory linking fifty times to the same page. Try to spread your backlinks out, a handful here, a few there, and keep them trickling in at a steady rate to ensure the best results. If you have 10,000 links come in one day and then nothing for the next four months, the search engines will know something is up and will rank you accordingly.

SEO is a combination of common sense along with some careful tricks. As long as you are putting out excellent content on a regular basis with keywords naturally mixed in, you can expect to see an improvement in your rankings.

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