I have been doing SEO and ranking web sites for seventeen years and have seen a lot of changes in that time. I have been doing this for so long that I remember the time when Google didn't exist!
Following a defined plan is the best way to succeed with SEO. It is not necessary to do all of the work yourself but understanding the most effective SEO strategy is vital for your success. The following ten steps need to be undertaken for any web page that you want to rank high in the search engines:
1. Start With Keyword Research
This is the starting point of your SEO. You need to research the market to see what your potential customers are searching for and what the volume of searches for the keyword term is to decide on whether the term is worth going after or not. Of the many online research tools available, the Google Keyword Tool is free and the best to use.
2. Know Your Competition
For any keyword there will be other web sites competing to rank highly for it and you need to know how strong they are so that you can evaluate whether it is worth going for it or choosing other keywords. This is not rocket science. The more competition there is for a keyword, the more time and effort it will take to get on the first page. Don't rely on just searching for your keyword in quotes to assess competition as this never reveals the whole story. The free Traffic Travis program is a very good tool to use to conduct an assessment of the competitiveness of each keyword in your list so make use of it.
3. Get To The Top With Wordpress
Wordpress is an open source content management system that is easy to install and has a lot of useful plug-ins that will help with SEO. It is easy to add new content to Wordpress sites and the other benefit that it has over static HTML sites is that it will automatically ping RSS sites and inform them that new content has been added. There is a lot of search engine love for Wordpress and they will often achieve a much higher ranking than other forms of web sites.
4. Use A New Page For Each Keyword
Don't try and rank for a number of different keywords with the same page. For each new page you create, make sure that you include the keyword in the page address or URL. If your site is about weight loss then an example of this could be yourweightlosssite.com/lose-belly-fat.
5. Create New Unique Pages Often
Create your own unique content for each page. You can write this yourself or outsource this task for a few dollars. It is not advisable to use PLR content for your pages but if you must then totally rewrite it before posting it. It is best to create at least 400 - 500 words per page and write more if you can. Add new content at least once a week to begin with and once a month when your site is more established.
6. Post Videos In Your Content
Search engines will improve your rankings if they find videos on your site as different content types always do well. It is easy to find videos of relevance on the video sharing sites or make them yourself. Videos are good for your site.
7. Optimize Every One Of Your Pages For The Keyword
Placing the keyword in the page title is a MUST and ensure that the keyword is used a few times in the content too. You need to give the search engines as much help as possible to understand what your page is about. All web site platforms allow the use of H1, H2 and H3 or heading tags for sub headings so use them with your keyword included.
8. Now It Is Time To Get External Links
The way that search engines rank sites is based on many factors but the number and quality of external links pointing to your site is considered to be the most important. There are a number of ways that these links can be gained and some examples are commenting on other people's blog posts, creating newsworthy press releases, gaining contextual links from private blog networks and creating articles and submitting them to article directories. Be consistent with your link building and be sure to get different types of links from different sources. Get as many links as you can.
9. Social Networks Are Good For SEO
If you do not have an account at Twitter or Facebook yet then get them today and get as many followers and friends as possible. The reason you need lots of friends is to spread the word about your web site on their walls by sending broadcast messages to them all. Tweet your followers in Twitter with your links in the tweet. The search engines are now factoring your social network standing as a contributor to your rankings.
10. Do SEO Regularly To Keep Your Gains
When you reach the number one spot it is very easy to get complacent over SEO but if you do this a competitor that isn't taking a break will surely overtake you. Keep at it!
I hope this brain dump helps you all!