Do create lots of content. There is a saying that “content is king”. Search engines love original articles, blogs, and press releases on your web site. By having lots of useful content on your web site, your rankings will improve.
Do make the content original. It is not enough to have lots of text copied from somewhere else. Search engines can tell if the content has been copied. All the content on your web site should be original.
Do your keyword research. It is not enough to guess how people are finding you. You need to know exactly what your customers are typing into Google, Yahoo, and MSN / Bing to find your web site. Remember, “sandwich” and “sandwiches” are considered two different keywords by search engines. Know what keywords your customers use, and optimize those keywords.
Do know your competitors. People are either going to your web site, or your competitors’ web sites. Do you know what your top 3 online competitors are? Do you know their strengths and weaknesses? Knowing your competitors is critical if you want to develop a SEO strategy to surpass them.
Do build a web site for your customers, not search engines. Some people get overly smart and try to build a web site that is friendlier to search engines than it is to humans. Ultimately, the purpose of your business web site is to generate leads and sales. Making people find your website is only half the game. Once people come, they need to contact you. That’s why it is important to build the web site for your customers, not the web robots at search engines.
Do earn high-quality, one-way, inbound links to your site. Link building is by far the most essential component of your ranking score. By earning highly relevant, industry-specific links to your web site, your ranking will get a huge boost.
Don’t use keyword stuffing. You may have seen this on a Craig’s List ad before. At the bottom of the ad, you see a big paragraph full of every keyword one can think of: “hot dog, hot dogs, hot dog stand, hot dog stands, restaurant, restaurants, food, foods, diner, diners…” You get the idea. Doing this can hurt your web site’s ranking.
Don’t use hidden text. This is another black-hat SEO trick that can get you punished by Google. If your web site’s background is white and you include a big paragraph of keywords in white at the bottom of your page, human eyes may not be able to see it but search engines can. Again, this is a manipulation of search engines and Google will lower your ranking.
Don’t go with SEO companies without solid track records. Every SEO expert claims to be the best, but the proof is in the results. Ask to see testimonials, references, and the hard data to back up their claims. Some keywords are easier to optimized than others. The highly desirable keywords are competitive, and extremely difficult to get to the top of Google. See if the SEO company has a solid track record of successfully optimizing highly competitive keywords.
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