Search engines and their algorythms are constantly changing. So the exact rules for being found by the search engines are not known, but here are also some old mainstays that don’t really change.
SEO is Simple – My Rules
Rule 1 – Have good navigation that search engines (and humans) can read and follow
- If they don’t know it’s there how can they see it?
Rule 2 – Have good content and keep adding more.
- The first thing I say is to have something that people actually want to see or use.
Simple rule, but often ignored.
- Then, letting your visitors speak about your content adds new content and more value.
Rule 3 – You need to have other, preferably high ranking sites link to you.
- Same thing. Give people (not search engines) what they want to see so they will want link to you.
Then help them do it. Pay walls are death!
Social network sites, like facebook and Twitter are a really great way to add high ranking links to your site and also attract good conversation. It’s important to remember that they own your conversation when it’s on their site. Conversation on your own site then becomes much more valuable for you, so it’s best to try to direct people there. First to publish many times is seen as the *owner* by Google.
My Rules For Good Conversation
- First and most important is admit when you are wrong.
Try to fix your mistake as best you can and move on.
- Don’t try to censor criticism. Answer it!
- Add value to the conversation.
Keep the self promotion to a minimum.
Let your fans promote you
- There are programs to plug your blog into social networking sites. Publish your own content on your own site first. You are viewed as the owner of the content and it helps encourage conversation on your site.
- Some people ask me about planning a viral campaign, video or email.
The answer is, it’s really hard to do. The best ones usually just happen, but if you don’t put something out there to be shared, it guaranteed won’t ever happen.
- To recap, be yourself and listen well
- read more
Eyeflow pointed me to this post by toprankblog.com
It’s great advice for promoting your website. I’m recommending that everyone read it.
On of the most often asked questions to me about SEO is how do you choose what keywords to use when writing a page.
Stoney deGeyter has a great explanation of how you should choose keywords
If you have ever wondered how to determine the best words for optimizing your traffic, you should read it.
I’ve written about writing keywords before, but Stoney says it better than I ever did.
When I speak with a new customer or an interested person at a networking event the question that I continue to get asked over and over is “How can I get more traffic from the search engines?”
I’ve written before that today, the most important factor is inbound links from other sites. The more highly regarded the site is, the more value the link has. Links have been the backbone of the Internet since the beginning, but how they are treated by the search engines is always changing.
The best explanation of how links affect your search rankings that I’ve read lately is on the Search Engine Guide Site, called
Most of my customers are small businesses and just about every one asks me how to get lots of free traffic from the search engines.
I wish I had a magic formula that would get top ranking for the keyword of your choice, but alas there is no such thing. It can take a huge amount of work. It can be a full time job just monitoring your results and my customers don’t have the time or resources for that.
My advice pretty much always has been the same.
You get search engine traffic from inbound links that come from other good quality sites.
You get good inbound links from having content that people want to link to.
Lesson = write your content to appeal to your human visitor.
Here’s a good new post from Google about optimizing your site.
I’ve been saying for a long time that optimizing your site for search engines is pretty simple. I was reading a post today by Mike Moran called Search Marketing Is Easier Than You Think.
Many people confuse SEO (getting found by search engines) and SEM (marketing through search engines). It’s true that you can’t market via search engines unless they know where you are and what you have, but if your site is search friendly there are also some easy steps that you can take to make sure that your site is a valuable one for your visitors.
I got a junk email the other day. I knew it was junk mail the second that I looked at it.
I was just going to delete it, but then I actually read it and decided it would make a good blog post.
I have visited your site http://www.lillicotch.com and found it quite impressive.
My guess is here that if you HAD actually visited my site you would know that my name is not Webmaster.
I am in the process of building up a business wrapped about my website and I am looking for some inbound linking to grow my page-rank.
Why should I care about what you want?
If you could link to my site I would be much appreciative. You probably receive quick a few link requests a month so I would really appreciate it if you could help me out by adding my site with this information.
The link to information and the from email address were different, so I’m assuming that this spam was sent by a supposed “SEO” company for their client. If I were the client I don’t think I would like this kind of tactic.
Since it’s an SEO company they probably know that link exchanges are devalued these days, so they are just telling you to give them a link. They’re not offering anything in return for your link, but you never know, this tactic may work.
They might get a link back every couple of hundred thousand emails.
Whenever I’m at a networking or social event where someone asks about my business, there is always someone who wants to know what they can do for their site to be number one on the search results page for whatever it is that they are selling or promoting.
My first answer is usually the same one. “You need quality one-way links from high ranking sites that point to your information.”
I then wait for their surprise and follow up, “You mean there’s no secret formula that you can use on my site to (magically) do it?”
I try to explain, “Of course, you need to have the search engines be able to find and index your pages, but then it’s mostly about having good inbound links.”
Sometimes I get a blank stare, sometimes just disbelief, but usually I get The Magic Question. “Why would a high ranking site want to link to mine?”
I usually answer, “That’s exactly what every site owner needs to ask themself. I also believe the best way to get links is to first have content on your site that’s worth linking to.”
I also try to offer more help and send them to this blog where I have written many times about how to promote your site with the search engines. I also read a post recently by Mike Grehan on the ClickZ site that can help.
I found this list of Free SEO tools. I have tried many of them before and there are many others that I haven’t tried yet, but will.
I do recommend bookmarking this post on Investintech and at least having a look at all of the tools.
Whenever I go somewhere and talk about my work the question that gets asked first and most often is “how do I get to the top of the Google search results page?” Many times I’ll foolishly attempt a quick answer, which almost always leads to many more questions.
Well, who better to ask these questions to than Google? On their blog last fall Google published an SEO Started Guide. It covers pretty much every question that a newbie as well as veteran web promoter will ask regarding promoting their site on Google.
Lately I’ve been passing this link on to everyone who’s interested.