Monday, June 17, 2024

Top Tips from the Best SEO’s in the Business

Know what you want to be found for. You should know the top two or three terms that are most important to your Web site and have incorporated them into a 25-word description that doesn’t use marketing hype, which can then be submitted to human powered directories. You should also know a list of the top 10 to 100 terms you’d like to be found for and ensure that you have pages within your Web site with good, solid content for these terms to please the crawlers.
(Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch)

Don’t make the mistake of picking the wrong keywords. Nothing is more disappointing than taking the time to achieve top rankings and then seeing no increase in traffic from all your efforts. Also, don’t pick keywords that are too popular or broad like “games” or “entertainment.” You’ll not only get visitors that are far less likely to buy your product, but the amount of work needed to gain that ranking will not be worth the trouble.
(Brent Winters with FirstPlace Software)

Research your search phrases. If you can, also check your referrer logs or other traffic tracking program to help you. If you don’t have referrer logs, install a traffic tracking program such as Web Trends Live on your site and let it gather stats for you for a couple of months before you decide on your search phrases. Check your rankings for the search phrases that you researched from WordTracker, or other search phrase research tools, as well as those from your traffic tracking program or referrer logs. I suggest this because you may find that you are already doing fairly well with some phrases and you may not want to mess with those.
(Bill Gentry with The Selling Source)

Build focused pages around “real world” queries. Use phrases exactly how they are typed into a search engine, such as “How can I” and “Where can I.” You will notice that sites with FAQ pages like this can end up garnering an awful lot of top placements and traffic.
(Ginette Degner with

Searching for the key phrase in Yahoo and noting the Yahoo Categories returned can suggest key themes and words useful to the site for optimization as well as showing the quantity and quality of the competition.
(David Johnson and Annam Manthiram with Position Research)

I like to thoroughly explore all possibilities when researching keyword phrases. I like to think of keyword phrases as “fuel” for specific topics. After much study using a resource like WordTracker (one of my favourite tools), I like to identify several “high performance” keyword phrases. Learn to develop topical content with a unique spin on it, always keeping the visitors in mind. Focus should not just be on how to get tons of general traffic to a page. Use page optimization strategies to create useful pages with content that is “in demand” by a target audience. When you start thinking this way, it has a wonderful compound effect on making actual sales or achieving your site objectives. Isn’t this why you started a Web site in the first place?
(John Alexander with

Check log files for user country location and most often used keywords in search engine search. This may demonstrate the need to offer the site in another language (or to provide a link to Alta Vista’s Babelfish or the Lycos equivalent) if there are a lot of hits from another country. Knowing the keywords used to arrive at the site helps to decide on variations and changes to the site theme.
(David Johnson and Annam Manthiram with Position Research)

Did you know that the KEI Factor used in WordTracker is an excellent guideline to follow? According to WordTracker, an excellent keyword phrase has a KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) of 400+. Are you having trouble finding appropriate phrases with high KEI factors? Try using one single word (appropriate for your site) in the “comprehensive search” feature. I very often extract excellent phrases with a KEI level well into the thousands or even into the hundreds of thousands. Always ensure that the search phrases you select are solidly related to site content.
(John Alexander with

Link Popularity
Submit to link popularity-based engines LAST after you have had a chance to build your inbound and outbound links up.
(Ginette Degner with

Examine your internal link structure carefully. Even for large Web sites, to the extent that it is possible, you want every Web page linking to every other page. Complex linking structures will work to your disadvantage.
(J.K. Bowman with Spider Food)

Build links. Search for the top terms you want to be found for. Review the sites that come up. Visit those sites and ask the non-competitive ones if they’ll swap links with you. These sites are important because the search engines themselves are telling you they are important, by ranking them highly. That means links from them can help you in link analysis systems. It also means that if these sites get visitors, you may get visitors who follow links out of them.
(Danny Sullivan with Search Engine Watch)

Link exchange with other like sites, and be sure to interlink your pages.
(Rocky Rawstern)

Develop your inbound link popularity the old fashioned way, one link at a time. An investment of just 10 minutes per day to this with a personalized e-mail to Web site owners of similar and significant sites will produce immediate results. And you will never have to worry about the risk associated with link popularity programs.
(J.K. Bowman with Spider Food)

Upgrade your site to an info hub by offering prime outgoing links – such as a search engine portal. This will help boost your site’s ranking with the search engines. Contrary to popular opinion, linkage counts both ways, incoming and outgoing. Check out this free distributed search engine portal: The signup page is here: Link to lots of useful sites not directly competing with yours. Request reciprocal links. Create more domains and interlink them all. Avoid mere link farms – there’s a ongoing witchhunt targeting those currently. Also, check your linkage regularly.
(Ralph Tegtmeier, a.k.a. Fantomaster)

Make it a Game and Have Fun!
Make a game of it. I like to akin SEO to playing chess. It’s a matter of thinking three steps ahead of your competition. For those who do this, the nip and tuck battle for the #1 spot can be quite fun. In fact, it’s addictive! So, when you think about SEO, don’t just think about it in terms how much money you might make. If you truly become interested in the art and competitive element of search engine optimization, you will be incredibly more successful.
(J.K. Bowman with Spider Food)

Newsletters, Forums, and Lists
The best thing you can do to help your search engine efforts is to stay informed via newsletters and forums. Some of those will cost a great deal of money, and others will be free, but staying informed of search engine developments is important.
(Brett Tabke with Webmaster World)

Participate in discussion forums. Promote on Usenet via your sig file if you can answer (or ask) questions in areas you are either proficient or at least interested in. Contribute to mailing lists.
(Ralph Tegtmeier, a.k.a. Fantomaster)

Online Marketing
Generate lots of fresh, useful content. Keep your blatant marketing activities on economy drive (pardon the pun), be subtle about your promotion. People will notice, and will favor, less dumb hysteria, more openness, and honesty. Admit to mistakes if you make them (as you’re bound to), but don’t cringe and don’t give the impression of reacting self-assertive or self-deprecating for the heck of it. If you can, issue a newsletter of your own. Never mind if you only have yourself, your wife and your stepmother for subscribers – put it on site and submit it to the engines. They simply adore that sort of all-text stuff!
(Ralph Tegtmeier, a.k.a. Fantomaster)

Search engine optimization in only one aspect of a well rounded promotion campaign. That campaign should slowly broaden into more traditional avenues. Search engines aren’t the formula for long term site success – it’s up to your site to produce repeat visitors.
(Brett Tabke with Webmaster World)

Make sure your top scoring pages include a call to action. I have a number of clients that do a really great business with a toll free number displayed prominently on their top ranking pages. One of the easiest ways to prompt action is to purposely leave an important piece of information off of your site. At first this does not sound too professional, but really think about it. If they are impressed with your site content, obviously the depth of your content has gained you some respect and credibility with the reader…. so just leave one vital bit of information out. This may start more phone calls and e-mail responses than you expect but it’s one of the easiest ways to trigger response. You see, from those e-mails and phone calls, you can now enter further dialogue with the visitor and this will often result in the visitor becoming a customer. (John Alexander with

Pay Engines
Open your wallet. If you have the money, paid placement and paid inclusion programs can be a fast, easy way to get good listings or better representation. But even if you have money, don’t forget to do all the basic things that can help you get plenty of traffic for free.
(Danny Sullivan with Search Engine Watch)

Robin Nobles conducts live SEO workshops
( in locations across North
America. She also teaches online SEO training
( Localized SEO training is now
being offered through the Search Engine Academy.
( Sign up for SEO tips of the
day at

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