10 lessons for the SEO spec

SEO1. The first step is to evaluate your current situation. I am assuming you already have a website or are in the process of revamping your website. Either way, now is a good time to start making a long term SEO strategy for your online business.

2. Looking within. The main areas to look into at this phase is the current website structure, page names, content quality, optimization level, keywords used (and why) and their rankings in Google, Yahoo and MSN, other elements like website design, un-optimized database and poor website structure that could be affecting the rankings, current links (internal and external), and the top competitors for your keywords.

3. The path ahead. Once you have a fair idea of the current realities of your website, the next step would be to figure out where you are headed and what path would be best to reach there. Building a road map for your online business is crucial if a website is to achieve success online.

4. Streamline your roadmap. The roadmap identifies the milestones, the hurdles, the steps to be taken, tasks to be completed and the various other elements that need to be in place for ranking success. The main areas of focus in the roadmap are on the quality of content, frequency of updates, and quality of inbound links.

5. It all began with a keyword. Many clients feel they have identified the correct keywords for their business. After all who knows their TG better than them, they argue. On the internet the keyword is much more than a phrase a user would search for, it’s a gateway to traffic to your website. Some keywords are more competitive than others, and may take years to achieve, while some can be easily achieved as they face little competition and yet users are searching for that keyword. A SEO expert uses various tools to identify potential keywords that have a good chance of success.

6. Optimize your pages around the keywords. Once the keywords are in place, the next step is to optimize your web pages around those keywords. What that means is focusing the Meta tags, title, link text, heading tags and body content of that page around a specific keyword. Focus each page around ONE keyword only.

7. Keyword placement is very crucial to the ranking success of your keywords. Place your keyword in the page name, title, description, Meta and heading tags, link text and body content for that page. The title and description should ideally begin with your keyword, and the body content of the page should be keyword rich.

8. Content is the King! Search engine love content that is unique, informative and resolves the query of the user who visits that page. Creating content keeps both the search engines and users happy is the main goal here. The first 25 words of the body content of that page should be keyword rich, and thereafter use the keyword across the page (use keyword after every 100 words). Make the content read as natural as possible.

9. Create content rich gateways to higher traffic. So you have 10 keywords you want to target but have just 6 pages on your website (and we spoke in the Point No 6 that ideally target one keyword per page), so where do you place the remaining 4 keywords. The solution is in creating gateway pages. Gateway pages are content rich and focused around a keyword that you are targeting traffic from. Ideally create a article section, FAQ’s or resources section on your website and keep adding specific pages written around keywords you want to target.

10. Frequency of updates. Fresh content can be added your website in the form of blog posts, article writing, FAQ’s section, user testimonials, how to guides, industry statistics etc. A website that constantly updates their information ranks well, as search engines know that the users will find something new each time they visit the website.