Updated 11/2017 for accuracy!
It seems that everyday I get a handful of emails trying to teach me about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Everybody and their brother are claiming to be SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts and for their fee or the price of their product, they will gladly help you get your Internet Business ranked at the top of the major search engines. Sounds too good to be true? Well it is! The fact is that most of the self-titled Search Engine Optimization experts are a waste of your time and money. There’s a lot of blind leading the blind going on – don’t get misled.
One thing that’s an advantage for these so called experts is that the feedback loop for any changes you make to show up in the search results (or not show up in the search results!) of a search query is measured in weeks or even months, not minutes or hours. This makes it easy for you to forget to follow up, or monitor how your site’s doing. It also makes it easy to keep letting it slide by saying it hasn’t been crawled yet, or just a few more days and we’ll start seeing some results.
What Works? How do I know Whose Advice to Take?
What about all that free advice that’s available in forums? This goes back to some advice I give in my Making Money Online course (sorry, product no longer available): Be Careful Who You Choose to Follow! SEO (Search Engine Optimization) advice given in forums is rarely correct… people that really know what they’re talking about on a given topic are not usually hanging out on forums calling themselves experts… they’re usually busy doing their own thing.
What about all those advertisements that show up in my inbox? I’d pass on most of those too. You don’t need to pay someone to submit your site to search engines… You can do it yourself – it only needs to be done once.
No BlackHat: Don’t try to fool the search engines or trick them by stuffing your pages full of hidden text with your key words, or Alt/Title tags that are 400 characters long filled with key words, redirects, hidden code, etc, or whatever the current “trick” that will give you a boost in ranking may be… it’s only going to be temporary. It’s easier to do it the right way.
Quality Content: Put something worthwhile on your web site or blog. Write it for humans to read and then tweak some of the words or phrases to reflect the key words you would like to have indexed by the search engines. Conservatively use these same key words in your title and Meta tag description. It’s important for your content to read naturally.
Writing Articles: It’s a lot of work, but building relationships with High Quality, LEGITIMATE sites who’s topic is related to yours is a great way to author guest posts on other sites. These guest posts should contain your name and a link back to your website. Be very careful taking any shortcut by paying someone to do this for you, you need to make sure the sites are high quality. You also need to make sure they’re not spinning the articles. Spinning was one of the tricks that worked years ago that basically takes an article, you rewrite it 3 or 4 times with the exact same paragraph structure, just using different wording. Then software will generate x number of supposedly unique articles by combining the paragraphs from the 3 or 4 versions. Search engines are smart enough to pick up on this now.
Exchanging Links: Search engines place value on the number of inbound links to your site. Spend time exchanging links with other sites, again, make sure they are legitimate, high quality sites and don’t put links in link directories (large, often huge, lists of links on sites that are mostly links). Don’t use shady sources to build links.
Leaving Trackbacks/Comments: This used to be worthwhile, I don’t think it is any longer. It’s better to build some relationships like mentioned above.
Real Optimization: Yes, there are valid ways to optimize your pages and there are people who have that knowledge and the data to back it up. Get it here: SEO Brain Dump!