The Do’s and Don’ts of Search Engine Optimization

Looking for information on what you should be doing for your Search Engine Optimization? This is a list of Do’s and Don’ts I put together just for you.

The Do’s:

Quality Site Content is Key

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King.” Good content is probably the most important factor when it comes to organic search engine optimization. Relevant, well-written original content for your website is critical to getting ranked in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s).

Many people simply copy and paste content from other sources or pay article-writing services, but writing at least 300 words of content that makes sense and is useful to your users will always perform better than the previously mentioned strategies. The more original and compelling your content is, the more people will link to you and search engines will love it. I recommend using Copyscape in combination with the InboundWriter WordPress plugin for optimizing your content to be SEO-friendly.

Effective Use of Title Tags

Title Tags are one of the three most important factors of search engine optimization. Title tags should be closely aligned with the overall theme of the page and be lightly, not overly promotional since it will appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) and will serve to attract potential visitors to click to your site. Make each title different per page.

Meta Tags For People, Not Robots

Although Meta Tags (description, keywords) have been considered less and less of a significant factor over the years any experienced Dallas SEO will tell you it’s all about getting better click through rates with your meta descriptions now.

Even though you only have 156 characters to convey your message, you can still give them something that makes them want to click your link more than the other guys if you get creative.

Back Links are Golden

Back links are just hyperlinks to your site from other websites. Getting quality back links is still one of the most important factors in Google’s search algorithm. Keyword-rich anchor text pointing from a high PR website to your website is SEO gold.

There is no shortcut, or easy way out for building quality back links. If done wrong some links can even work against you so take heed before spamming the net.

Links from external sites have to be carefully thought out to be of any real value to your overall organic search engine campaign.

Standards Compliant Markup is Good

Many web designers laugh at standards, but one of the things they probably don’t understand is the impact bad code (or html markup that is riddled with errors and warnings) has on how the site gets indexed in the search engines. If bots have a hard time scraping your site, your efforts to post fresh content might be less effective.

Having clean, standards-compliant code preferably with the main body content structured as the first thing the bots will read. A lot of browser issues are rooted in syntax that doesn’t conform to web standards.

Naming Convention When Appropriate

I cannot stress how important it is to name your images and on-page elements (when relevant) to correlate with your target keyword. Be careful, because you can also overdo it, but naming an image “Dallas-Car-Repair1.jpg” if you are a car repair service is not a bad idea at all.

The Dont’s:

No Duplicate Text

A big mistake most people make is duplicating content on their website. Either they copy the content from another source, or the pay for prefabricated articles that have been distributed on other websites.

Even if you hire someone to write articles there is no guarantee of quality. Original content will always win in Search Engines, as it should, so never, ever duplicate your content if you want your website to rank high. Once you do have original content, you will want to protect it. You can do a check through copyscape.com to see if your material has been copied.

Stay Away From Hidden Text

Hidden text, like text that is the same color as the background color, is bad. Don’t do it, there is no benefit. Also making text very small or excessively hiding text with image replacement methods does not look good.

Do not use Javascript in Content

Javascript in your content is also a practice you want to stay away from. It should be considered one of the ten commandments of web design. You want your content to be accessible to as many users, in as many browsers as possible.

If your content has a lot of Javascript, visitors who have JS disabled may not be able to access your content, and that’s not good. The overuse of Javascript may also slow down how fast your page loads, which can also have a negative effect on your organic SEO.

Don’t Use iFrames

If you are thinking of using iframes, don’t. Unless you’re implementing frames within a web application that is already private and will not be indexed on search engines anyway, just don’t use them. The content has to be seen and frames are difficult for search engines to see.

Keyword Stuffing is Bad, M’kay

Keyword Stuffing is where you may repeat a specific keyword or phrase too many times within a web page. You really want to stay away from doing this because Google and other search engines may penalize you for this.

Always try to have a good balance of keyword phrases and use a healthy variation of terms. In my experience, writing naturally, and simply using a keyword phrase when it is relevant gets the best results.

Conclusion

There are a lot of other variables at play when dealing with on-page and off-page SEO, especially with Google’s recent roll-out of Places Search Google+ Local.

The smallest detail could throw your rankings off, so it is important to make sure you understand the basics before attempting to engage in an Organic Search Engine Marketing campaign.

I suggest anyone new to Search Engine Optimization check out SEO MOZ, Search Engine Land, SEO Book and Copyblogger for more resources, tools and tips on Search Engine Optimization best practices.

Considering high quality content that gets shared across the web organically is (and probably always will be) one of the best ways to achieve ranking in search engines, you may want to invest some time in setting up a blog and start writing about topics surrounding your industry.

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Analytics & AdWords certified growth engineer with over a decade experience in making businesses successful. I own and operate AXZM and often speak at top national industry conferences on the topics of strategy, design and marketing technology. Work with me or learn more about me here. Follow me @nawlready

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  1. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always helpful to read content from other authors and practice something from their sites.

You must be pretty smart because you're here. We like your style. You can have all of our latest tools, tactics and growth strategies FREE, in your inbox, every month or so. 

You're one step closer to greatness! Confirm your email so we can start sending you awesome stuff.