Ultimately all SEO efforts are done with the same goal in mind: to increase the number of relevant visitors to a website. However, below are some of the best ways to do that.
Link building, when done properly, helps your website rank higher in SERPs (search engine results pages). When not done properly it will hurt your website’s rankings. But don’t worry, proper link building is easy. All you have to do is avoid taking cheap shortcuts such as link farms, paying for social media ‘likes’, etc. Think of it this way: if it wouldn’t work in the real world it probably won’t work online. You can’t just pay people to like you in the real world, so don’t try to pay people to like you online.
Blogging, reciprocal links from relevant and complementary businesses, real social media friends, these are all great link-building efforts. These are things that will actually help the user find relevant information, and that’s what search engine ranking is all about.
To pick up from the issue of relevant information, you want this information to be in the text of your website, in the titles of your webpages, and in the description of your webpages. These are the ways in which web crawlers evaluate your site, and thus are the ways in which you will rank higher if you write proper content.
By contrast, a way to shoot yourself in the foot is to say, “If I put a word or phrase over and over in my website, then when people search for that word or phrase, my website will come up in the search engine!” This is a black hat tactic that will get you penalized by most search engines. You will have the opposite effect of what you wanted. You want to make sure you have the relevant keywords on your page, but not to abuse those words or phrases.
Correct content (keyword research)
So, how do you know what words to use when writing content for your website? Well, just like any other job, you must do research before you begin. Your keyword research, with the help of programs like the Google Keyword Planner, should provide you with information such as the average monthly searches, amount of competition, positioning on the SERP, and even the suggested bid if you were to pay for AdWords.
The average monthly searches will give you an idea of which direction to go in when optimizing the content of your website, and the keyword positioning report, and suggested bids will give you an idea of how easy or tough it will be to rank for those keywords.
This is more of the ‘technical’ aspect of SEO. This is fixing broken or toxic links; making sure you have a sitemap, and that it’s updated with the correct information about your website; making sure all your webpages have H1 tags, good descriptions, and titles, and that they are not excessive in character length. There are programs that can streamline all of these efforts and more, like WebCEO, which I highly recommend paying the low monthly cost for.
Lastly, but probably most importantly, SEO will help you save money. It’s never going to be enough to just build a website – you have to promote it, and in order to do that you have to make sure it is optimized. Paying for AdWords is one way to do that, but without giving the site a good periodic check-up to make sure it’s healthy, current, and optimized, you will miss out on opportunities to improve it, and thus miss out on opportunities for new and potential customers.