Archive for April, 2011

Where to start? SEO Tools for everyone

Friday, April 1st, 2011

If you know anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it is this: it takes a lot of time and effort to do it the ‘right’ way.

There are shortcuts, sure – but these are frowned upon and on occasion Google will actually dump you from their engines. So, how does one do the minimum to get a website indexed and boost traffic? The Internet is your friend. There are volumes of content regarding SEO practices, and how Google keeps redefining search criteria.

The basic steps for a solid web presence:

1) Find a good web designer who understands standards-based design and development. Getting your website done in XHTML/CSS or in HTML5 is the foundation to everything that follows regarding SEO. Make sure all your images have ‘alt’ tags, make sure your code is validated, make sure users are not confused by your navigation – you get the idea…

2) Word of mouth. Sometimes people forget that this form of promotion exists, but it’s true. Always start with the simplest promotional techniques. Some might say this is more like SEM (Search Engine Marketing).

3) Start a Facebook and/or Twitter account. They’re free. Take advantage of added exposure. Set up a Facebook ads campaign.

4) Set up a Google account – use Analytics and use Ad Words as a booster shot for your site. Depending on your target audience, you can start many campaigns to drive traffic to your site.

5) Steps 2, 3 and 4 really deal more with SEM, but it doesn’t hurt to use the free social media available to promote your site. Like I said in step 1, the foundation of your website is critical to the future success of your website. That’s why, in essence, I’m asking you to repeat step 1.

6) Start a blog. Search engines love content that is new, evolving and does not stagnate. WordPress is excellent.

7) Get these tools for your Firefox browser I recommend these tools highly. An extremely useful set of tools, it is also a gateway to learning more about SEO, and it will help you keep tabs on and stay current with SEO trends and news.

The SEO Tools keyword tracker is an excellent and simple method for your website. For people or companies with multiple domains, this provides an user friendly interface to track your sites and rank (based on a keyword) in Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Export your reports to CSV and convert to Excel spreadsheets. At worst, you will gain insight into the ever changing world of SEO.

As a simple rule of thumb, your website content is king (or queen). Always make sure you have good content. Search engines love it.