The Seven Laws of SEO

Whether you're the CEO of an international corporation or you write about the local doughnut scene on a hosted blog, you want your site's
pages to show up near the top of search engine results for relevant terms. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science--some might call it an art, or even alchemy or dark magic--of building, changing, and maintaining your site so that when someone Googles, Bings, or Yahoo!s "best jelly doughnut in Sioux Falls," they see a link to the page you want them to see, as close to the top of the first page as possible. Here are seven laws to follow to ensure that the jelly flows freely.

The Golden Rules of SEO


1 . Don't obsess

SEO is the buzzphrase that refuses to die. Entire companies are built around the concept, and too many site owners write so much for the search engine results, the true message of the site can become lost. Do employ good SEO practices, but don't give up any of the vision, flavor, or human elements of your site. Search engines don't like it when you cram too many keywords in your copy, and neither will your readers. If you are a writer, write first and optimize later: The quality of your content should be your top priority.

2. All publicity is good publicity, unless they spell your name wrong

Wherever your contact information exists online, ensure that it is correct. Check Google places, mapping sites, and anywhere that a mention or link to your site exists.

3. Socialize

If you're looking for that special someone, you're not going to find him or her by sitting around the house eating jelly doughnuts. You've got to get out on the scene. Create Twitter and Tumblr accounts and a Facebook page; ask customers to review your products on Yelp; join Pinterest and create photo albums of doughy beauty.


The Key is Words

4. Think like a customer…or fan, reader, stalker--whatever human-type makes up your target audience. What questions about your company, product, or subject matter does your site answer? What questions do you want searchers to ask? Include the words in those questions and answers as keywords. Unless you run a site dealing in industry jargon, emphasize plain ol' people-speak.

5.Put them in their place

You are not obsessing over SEO; you are writing awesome copy that includes keywords without seeming forced. Where keywords exist is almost as important as which keywords you use. Put them in titles and subheadings. In your page code, put the most important keywords in each page's TITLE tag; include them in image description tags and anchor tags. This is not cheating--it's optimizing, which has more syllables and is therefore a good thing.

6. Be specific

If you run a computer repair business, including the word "computer" on each page is not enough. There are likely a few other sites that will show up higher than yours, no matter how good your SEO strategy. Include specifics. "Springfield Commodore 64 computer repair" is a step in the right direction.

Abraham Link-'em, Vampire Hunter

7. Scratch backs

Nothing gets you more search engine brownie points than other sites linking to your site. The best and most friendly way to get others to link to your stuff is for you to link to their stuff. Reviews, guest blog posts, and just plain begging are all excellent, legitimate ways to create more links to your site.

These laws are just the beginning--a simple levitation spell in the Hogwarts of the Internet that is SEO. Remember: Honesty, loyalty, and hard work are what got Harry through his trials; you would do well to follow his example. The top of the page is only for those who walk the correct path.


Guest Article

Al Natanagara is a writer, journalist, and blogger whose career includes stints with ZDNet, CNet, CBS, LexisNexis, and law enforcement. He sincerely apologizes for both the crass presidential pun and the reference to a certain series of books about magical school kids.

This is a guest article about the Seven laws of SEO. To Write guest posts for us, please click on the link below.


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