Simple and Highly Effective Search Engine Optimization Tips Without employing the basic principles of search engine optimization, or SEO, even the most well-designed, attractive website is unlikely to rank highly on search engine results pages. Fortunately, it is possible to adopt SEO to enhance your website's visibility without spending thousands on hiring an SEO expert or memorizing complex search algorithms. In only a few hours, you can make changes to your website that will result in notable improvements over time. The images that you place on your website can improve its visibility, but only if you take time to ensure that all image tags include relevant keywords and descriptions. Search engine crawlers analyze the content of these tags to determine relevancy rankings, so craft these tags wisely. Include only those keywords which are directly relevant to each image; do not abuse this field by stuffing it with keywords in an attempt to inflate site relevance. 404 errors damage your website's credibility in more than one way. First, it makes it difficult for visitors to navigate and locate information easily. Second, it may ultimately factor in the relevancy scores assigned to your website by search engines. Check all links on your website regularly and eliminate 404 errors by redirecting links; many websites offer tools that allow you to test all links in a matter of seconds. To make the most of SEO, you should focus on cultivating high-quality, not high quantity, links to your website. Search engine algorithms factor in the relevance of sites that link to yours relative to the search topic. For example, if your website sells pet supplies, dozens of links from stock market or fashion blogs will not benefit visibility in any way. Instead, you would focus on generating links from sites that reviewed pet products or offered information on caring for household pets. Build relationships with online communities and sites that are directly related to your own products, services or markets. There are certain situations in which you should prevent search engine crawlers from indexing parts of your website. For example, any page that is not fully completed or contains data for internal use only should not be indexed. This is achieved through use of the ROBOTS meta tag; another alternative is to make adjustments to the robots.txt file in your directory. Before finalizing any changes to either of these areas, double-check your work; even the slightest misstep can actually instruct search engines to avoid indexing your entire website! Any time you create new files as part of your website, pay careful attention to naming each one. As a search engine crawler indexes your pages, it "learns" from the names of your files. Without going overboard, try to include helpful details in the names of your files. For example, instead of naming a directory something like 'feeding' or 'bowls,' you would use a more descriptive name: 'feeding-and-watering-pets' or 'cat-and-dog-bowls.' While this may not lead to massive gains in search rankings, it is a simple way to improve the overall quality and visibility of your website. While you may not see results overnight, adhering to the basic principles of SEO can produce long-term improvements in your site rankings. Whether you choose to undertake the task yourself or hire a professional, your time and money will not be wasted. Search engine optimization plays a highly important role in the performance and visibility of your website or blog.