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SEO Tips That Work Now

      By Leon Altman

Good SEO is an ongoing effort because the search engines keep changing the rules. While some best practices remain valid, others no longer work. It's best to plan for optimization before building web pages, but website renovations can take care of many existing problems. Here are some of the things that are working today, on-site and off-site.

On-site Optimization

1) Be smart about the keywords you use
This was important from the beginning and, given the competition, it's even more critical today. Unless your niche is very narrow, you'll find that the competition is intense for main keywords. And if you decide at some point to also use pay per click, you'll see that main keywords can be expensive.

If you want to eliminate some of the competition, use keyword phrases of two or three or even more words based on your main keyword. This let's you take advantage of the "long-tail" phenomenon, that is, all the business that can accumulate by focusing on the margins of a niche.

2) Optimizing title and description meta tags
Make sure your keywords are in the title and description meta tags of every page. Remember, most search engine rank pages, not websites. Check for good keyword density on each page - a fancy phrase for the number of times your keyword is used divided by the number of words on the page.

Put keywords in bolded subheads where appropriate. Use h1, h2 and h3 tags for your subheads, unless they mess up your format (which they sometimes do).

3) Optimize your internal linking structure
Pages within your website should not only link to each other, they should be using strategic anchor links. That is, use keyword phrases in the link text itself.

Off-site optimization

For the most part, off-site strategy are basically about getting high-quality,relevant links to your website. The old method of mass link exchange not only doesn't work any more, it can work against you.

1) Online press releases are probably the best method of off-site optimization.
With good press releases, your links have the potential to appear in highly ranked, highly relevant media outlets. But make sure your press release is well optimized for your keywords or else you waste it's effectiveness. Get your keywords into the headline of your press release. Also make sure they are in the first and last paragraphs of your release.

2) Be smart about articles
Write articles based on the keywords or phrases you've chosen. One article should focus on one main keyword or phrase and maybe a couple of secondary keywords. That's it. Don't try to cram keywords into each article.

Be strategic about the resource box. (The author's box at the bottom of your articles) If possible, it's better to use anchor links rather than your url address.

3) Be smart about article distribution
For a time, mass submission was hot. Now it will work against you. Pick about 3-5 of the best article distribution sites. Submit one article to one of them, another article to a different distribution site and so on.

4) Be smart about directory submissions
Submitting to directories is an important way to get one-way links. But not all will do you much good. As much as possible, choose directories that are either relevant to your site's topic or at least have a category listing that is relevant to the topic. You can get more mileage by submitting your site to search engine directories, and submitting a blog which is attached to your site to blog directores. Which brings us to …

5) Blogging for better search engine optimization
One of the main reasons to blog is that google and other search engines love blogs, and tend to rank them higher than typical websites. You can have a blog attached to your site, or make your whole site a blog. Either method will get you good results.
Make sure each of your posts are using the keywords you want. Use different keywords for each post. Sign up for pingomatic, then after each post, go to www.pingomatic to ping your post.

You have permission to publish this article as long as the resource box below is kept intact, including active hyperlinks.

Leon Altman is an Internet marketing consultant. To learn more about his services, go to www.OnlineMarketingExpress.com . To inquire about using his services , write to [email protected]

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