1. What is SEO?
Organic search engine results provide over 60% of the Internet's traffic. In Google search results, the companies listed at the top and on the side are advertising links paid by the companies through a service called Adwords. The other links shown in the search results are organic links (non-paid, naturally high-ranking sites in Google) and these are the links you need to target. These organic links will help your customers find you and help them get information on your business through search engine searches. SEO gives you the best long term results over any other marketing campaign on a per dollar basis.
2. Organic links
This is the heart of good SEO. By getting natural back links over time, you will get a better response from Google. This is much better than cramming too many bad links at once or poor links that can actually lower your rank. Building quality organic links will have the best long term SEO effect. Forums, blog comments, and blog posts on websites like yours are a good start for this.
3. Optimize keywords, meta tags, and images
This is the stuff the search engine sees that your visitors do not. In the header and body of your web page it's important to have the correct information so search engines like Google will know what search terms they should use when sending you traffic. Whatever you do, don't keyword stuff. Keep it natural and real but include the right keywords in the right spots.
4. Create robots.txt file
A robots.txt file tells search engines which pages you want them to crawl and which pages you don't. Any admin type pages you should have blocked on there.
5. Create a sitemap
Creating a sitemap and submitting it to the webmaster tools section of Google and Bing will have a positive effect on your website ranking. You will need to create webmaster accounts at Google and Bing to post the sitemap URL to their webmaster tools section.
7. Article writing and submission
Every website has news that is important to send out to the major news channels. Not only will this help your SEO drastically but it will give your website creditability and image. We suggest doing at least one press release a month. Popular news sources like PRWeb, PRBuzz, and Google news is a great place to start submitting your press releases.
8. Video making and submission
Another great tool for SEO and branding is viral videos or any video can help. Making fun videos that people like, will watch, and share is invaluable for SEO now-a-days. Make a professional video and submit it to the top video sharing sites like Youtube.
9. Social networking accounts and links
Not only is it important to have social networking accounts. It's even more important to have what's called social signals. That means other social networking accounts need to link to you. To get social signals you need to have content that is sharable or memorable. Inspirational and funny stuff does pretty well on social networks.
10. Directory submission is a slippery slope
Google will actually down rank you if you submit to bad directories. Pretty much DMOZ, Business.com, Yahoo Directory, and BOTW are the only ones that are safe. All of them cost money and are pricey except DMOZ.
11. Build trust
Trust is new big thing with Google. In fact some say it's the number one factor now for a high keyword ranked listing. To get trust is tricky but it can be done. The easiest way to get a little is to add SSL to your site and load the whole site with SSL. This helps but you will need to do much more to really reap the benefits. The highest way to get trust from Google is with a lot of reviews on popular review sites.
12. Keep your site fast
A fast loading site will have a big impact on Google loving it. Oversized images and bloated content will get your sent to the back of the line quick. Here is some tips. Compress your images as much as you can. Use CSS, make the site Mobile, and keep the code clean. Pages that are too long with content with get you dinged as well. If you use wordpress keep your Index page light with three posts tops, especially if you have a slider on there. If Google had it's way every site would be like a wikapedia page.