Despite what some people might think, search engine optimization (SEO) is not magic, and it’s not rocket science. Here, in a nutshell, are the five steps you need to follow to optimize your site for maximum search engine performance:
- Do keyword research and analysis to ensure you’re targeting truly useful phrases.
- Make sure the title tag of each page contains the primary (and if you can fit it in, the secondary) target phrase for that page.
- Write good, useful content for each page. Write for your human visitors, not for the search engines, but make sure the copy does contain your target phrase a time or two (or three or four).
- Set up internal navigation. Link your pages together using each page’s target phrase(s) in the anchor text of links pointing to the page.
- Seek out links from valuable, high-quality pages outside your site. Concentrate on pages likely to be visited by your target audience. Don’t get hung up on whether they’re straight one-way links or if they require you to reciprocate, and don’t get too crazy over whether they’re paid-for or free links. As long as the sites pointing to you are useful resources and attract the same crowd you want to have visiting your site, they’re good links to have. If you can get these other webmasters to use your desired target phrase in their link anchor text pointing toward you, that’s the icing on the cake.
See? Nothing to it. Now, of course, comes the hard part… the part where most webmasters trip up… putting in the necessary time and effort.
Good SEO is simple, but simple is not synonymous with effortless. If you want success, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work!