Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is one of the biggest challenges that any website owner will face. The rules are constantly changing as search engines update their algorithms and it’s hard to know what strategy will work to keep your website at the top of the search results. Instead of placing your trust in black hat strategies that could actually harm your website in the long run, go back to the basics of search engine optimization and use common sense strategies to generate real, lasting results.
Let’s take a look at the building blocks of SEO that will keep you on the right path to bringing in steady organic website traffic.
Integrate High Traffic Keyword Phrases
When your targeted audience is looking for information, what will they type into the search engine? What phrases are they going to use? These potential search terms are the keywords that you need to use throughout your website so that the search engines will know that your website is what the consumer is looking for. Think of keywords as clues to lead the consumer straight to your website. If you don’t leave good clues, they can never find you.
If you’re not sure which keywords are most likely to be used, you can download the free keyword tool to figure it out. Look for the keywords that have high search volumes and low competition rankings. These are the phrases you want to target and scatter across your website.
Keywords should be included in your domain name, meta tags, headings, and content. Just be careful not to overuse the keywords. You don’t want your website to become so centered on keywords that it loses its value to the reader. When you choose the right keywords, you should be able to fit them naturally throughout the website without making it obvious or spammy.
Start Building Backlinks
Creating backlinks is another one of the basics of search engine optimization. It seems like a monumental task at first, but if your website offers real value, it will happen organically over time. By offering your readers helpful content and truly useful information, you increase the chances that they will share it with friends. Each time another website links to yours, you have earned a new backlink. The more backlinks you have, the more authority google assigns you in search rankings.
The most popular sites in your niche will have hundreds or even thousands of backlinks. If you’re just starting out, it’s going to take some time to come even close to that number, but don’t give up. Just keep churning out great content and promote it around the web. Post it to social media and ask your friends and family to share, share, and share some more. As you build buzz, your backlinks will naturally grow.
Don’t Cheat Your Way to the Top
A lot of SEO “experts” will tell you that you can speed up the process by taking shortcuts like buying backlinks from content farms or building up a private blog network. You might be tempted to buy into these strategies, but it comes with major risk. Nine times out of ten, the search engines catch on eventually and when they do, you get penalized and your rankings will plummet. In some cases, websites are completely blocked altogether. Ultimately, it’s just not worth the risk.
If you really want to enjoy long-term success as a website administrator, you have to go back to the basics of search engine optimization. It takes a lot of hard work and a good dose of patience, but it will all be worth it when you outrank the competition and stay in the top search results spot while your competitors fall away.