20 Hard Core SEO Tips - The Explanations

Change is the only constant you can count on in search engine optimizatioin. Although we often say that the fundamental principles of search engine optimization don’t change, pretty much everything else does. If you want to be really, really good at this, you cannot be inflexible. You cannot afford the luxury of becoming emotionally bonded to any particular idea.

Redesign your Web site once or twice a year. Why? Because you’ll find things you broke the last time around and you’ll be able to fix them. Because you’ll finally be able to tweak the optimization for pages you have known could do better but for which you never found the time to do anything. Because you’ll have an opportunity to improve your visitor experience and make your presentation more competitive (but avoid the “Web X.0 pitfall” — don’t marry your site to any particular concept).

Add 5 pages of content to your site every week. Why? Because it gives you opportunities to expand your search visibility. Because it gives you opportunities for more free links that actually help. Because it gives you opportunities to try out new ideas. Because it increases the value of your Web site.

Change the titles on your least successful pages twice a year. Why? Because obviously those titles weren’t helping your least successful pages.

Stop using keywords in your URLs. Why? Because if you don’t know how to optimize a page without slamming keywords into the URLs, you don’t know how to optimize a Web page.

Stop using keywords in your titles. Why? Because if you don’t know how to optimize a Web page without stuffing your title, then you don’t know how to optimize a Web page. Titles and URLs are options, not requirements, in search engine optimization. Learn to understand and fully appreciate the difference between being able to do something and needing to do something.

Find 3 SEO forums that accept site review requests and write 20 reviews in each forum before you ever ask a question. Why? Because looking at someone else’s mistakes and brilliant ideas with an unemotional, critical, helpful point of view will only help improve your own self-analysis. Keep your ideas and opinions to yourself. Just share your feedback on how other people’s sites look. You’ll learn more faster by helping with your honest, gut-level reactions than by helping forum idiots attack people whose ideas they don’t agree with. You’ll also look more professional, too.

Create your own SEO book by collecting your favorite SEO forum and blog posts, newsletter articles, and tech tips in a .PDF file that you review once a month. Why? So you have all your favorite advice in one easy-to-read-and-search compendium. Don’t sell it. Just use it.

Create a new SEO book once each year, replacing the one you just created in the previous step. Why? Because after a year of using all the advice you put in the previous one you’ll have a far better idea of just how much crap and bullshit you’re getting from SEO blogs and forums. But that also means your next SEO book will be ten times better than the last.

Optimize your best peforming page for the exact mirror of your targeted keyword expression (turn an ABCD page into a DCBA page). Why? You can’t do better than to nail the number 1 position for a query, so why not aim for a second query? If you can optimize a page forwards and backwards, you should be able to handle just about anything.

Find 5 low-traffic blogs or forums that are consistently active and support them through comments, links, and referrals WITHOUT being self-promotional. Why? It teaches you just how hard it is to build a good community, and maybe you’ll appreciate what “good community” really means before you act like an ass in an SEO forum or blog and flame someone else for disagreeing with you. But there is another reason. Keep reading to see if you can find it in the explanations given below.

Write 10 blocks of ad copy (no more than 25 words each) every week. Place them on the Web where they won’t offend anyone. Why? Because you can never write too many advertisements. Your audience is always changing. Your venues are always changing. And GOOD ad copy (not the cheap, shlocky crap you see most of the time) makes GREAT meta description tags. BTW — you should write that ad copy for sites other than your own until you learn to stop using cheap, shlocky crap expressions like “Proudly announces”, “pleased to admit”, “best prices”, etc. Be informative. Be compelling. Be classy.

Write 1 full-page announcement about your Web site each week. Post it some place where it won’t offend anyone. Why? Because you should spend some time promoting your site while you learn how to become a better search optimizer. Besides, practice makes perfect.

Get a text editor like Wordpad (the fewer frills the better) and use it to code one of your Web pages from scratch. Why? Because when you’ve seen just how stupid your templated CSS code really is, you’ll begin to understand why ugly works better than pretty.

Learn how to write Who, What, Where, When, and Why in 4 paragraphs or less. Why? Because you should never write a press release that starts out with, “John Shlock Smith the Shmuck proudly announces….”

Create a 1-page listing of 20 UNKNOWN Web sites you wish you had created. Post that page on your site. Why? Because it’s an opportunity for you to create an honest, sincere resource that no one else on the Web has the ability to create. Because people are actually more interested in your opinion of OTHER people’s Web sites than your opinion of your own Web sites. Because if you haven’t found 20 sites you wish you had created that no one else has talked about in your regular Web communities, you need to spend less time with your buds and more time with the rest of the Web.

Create a forum signature that does not promote your Web site. Put it into every forum profile you have created. Why? Because it makes you look confident, professional, and less like a shlocky self-promotional shmuck who doesn’t know what forums are for. More importantly, it will teach you to write compelling content (think of those 25-word advertisements I mentioned above).

Design a 5-10 page Web site about a community project or charitable activity. Promote that site to number 1. Now repeat the process without changing or building more links for your first site. Why? Because you’ll never compete with anyone harder to beat than yourself.

Find a niche directory you have never heard of before that you feel is honestly listing unique, useful Web sites. Promote that niche directory through links and comments on your own sites until you see improvement in its Compete, Quantcast, and Alexa metrics. Why? Because you need to know what it takes to become an influencer without cheating through social media Web site spam.

Find a friend or relative who has no clue about Web sites and persuade him or her to create a Web site. You must restrain yourself and ONLY give advice on how to build and promote the site. Why? Because I’ve had to suffer through the frustration of not being able to take the computer away from someone who wants to do it their own way. Misery loves company. Besides, it teaches us to be humble and appreciate the people who at least listen half the time.

Define a metric that uses from three to five factors OTHER THAN Google PageRank, Alexa Rankings, Compete Rankings, Quantcast Rankings, and backlink counts. Use this metric to track five to ten sites you don’t control for six months. Why? Because you need a competitive advantage that you cannot possibly get from using someone’s backlink checking tool. Because you need to understand and appreciate that there is more to the Web than links. Because you need to be one step ahead of the other guy, who may very well have his own metrics in place before you even get started.

20 Hard Core SEO Tips - What They Mean

You have to keep moving forward. When you stop learning about search engine optimization the idea of getting back into the game becomes overwhelming. Worse, if you become dependent upon any one tip or technique, you hobble yourself in ways you cannot possibly imagine.

Let the idiots spend their days arguing in the SEO blogs and forums. They don’t need your help to look stupid.

You can learn from other people by watching them, helping them, promoting their sites, and putting the community ahead of yourself. They won’t always appreciate what you do. But you can knock a self-promotional shmuck out of the search results any day of the week if you know more about search engine optimization than he does.

You get to that point by doing it, not by talking about it in SEO blogs and forums.

4 comment:

Anonymous said...

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