There are obviously many things that you can do to for search engine optimization (SEO) but which should you focus on? Your time is valuable so I made a list of the top 5 things that you should do to maximize your time. In other words, why spend four hours on something when you can spend an hour on a task that should return 100x more value? Enough chatter lets get on the list:
- Write fresh content consistently! I’ve mentioned this in several previous posts, most recently at Blog about your niche. There is absolutely nothing more important than providing real value on your blog on a regular basis. So write, write, write. Set a goal of every other day or every weekday or everyday. Just make sure you post useful information related to the theme of your blog a few times a week at a minimum. If your blog is about puppies, keep writing about puppies and skip the rant on politics.
- Make your titles relevant. Having good, catchy titles are great. Having good, catchy titles with keywords related to your post is even better. So if your post is about losing weight, instead of Shedding your unwanted fat you could go with Shedding the extra weight: lose 10 pounds in a month safely.
- Use keywords in your content. Don’t go crazy with this and scatter keywords unnecessarily (you will actually be penalized for that) but make sure you have some keywords in the body of your post. Imagine if I never actually wrote the words search engine optimization in this post, which is exactly what the post is about.
- Have a logical site structure. This is pretty automatic if you use a good blogging platform (e.g. blogger or wordpress.com). However, if you are using custom themes or running your own blog on a separate host, that may change things a bit. Just make sure that your blog structure is organized so your directories and pages are easy to understand.
- Use Google Analytics. Its arguably the most useful analytical tool for your blog and it is absolutely free! There’s no reason not to use Google Analytics. You can learn about where your visitors are from geographically, how long they are staying, what your traffic is this week compared to last week, how many other posts they are looking at, and much more. One important thing to monitor is which keywords are bringing them to your site. You could simply continue to utilize those keywords in future posts if you want to improve ranking for that niche.
None of this is groundbreaking. In fact, you should probably do these things for your readers anyway, not just for SEO purposes. And even though search engine algorithms change all the time, the aforementioned things to do have pretty much always been part of the core. It doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything else either but if you only have time for 5 things, do these.
Backlinks, keywords in the URL, tags/categories, directories, social networking, microblogging, and a bunch of other tactics will come in due time. If you need help, find a niche partner to work with you