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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Instructions for DIY SEO

I've been meaning to write a DIY SEO (Do It Yourself Search Engine Optimization) article (or blog entry) for a long time. Many clients ask about SEO for their sites. Most of the work I do these days involves PPC advertising, with Google AdWords in particular. As such, most of the articles I write pertain to PPC techniques. Reading Target visitors or search engines? (on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog) today reminded me to write about SEO. A couple of important bullet points from that blog post:
  • Make good use of page titles
  • Make sure the text you're talking about is in your content
Solid advice straight from the horse's mouth. Thinking about my firm's clients, I realize some want a quick intro to SEO while others want to dive right in and understand more of the details. So, I'll provide varying levels of DIY SEO instructions. Keep this in mind while reading these lists: Search engines pay attention both to content on a page and the links to that page. Here goes...

Really Short DIY SEO Instructions
  1. Create good content
  2. Tell people about that content
    (If no one knows about a web page, no one will link to it.)

Short DIY SEO Instructions

  1. Create good content
  2. Structure that content for search engines as well as people
  3. Tell people about that content

Pretty Short DIY SEO Instructions
  1. Create good content
  2. Structure that content for search engines as well as people
    • Create unique html titles for each page
    • Create a sitemap that links to all pages on the site
  3. Tell people about that content
    • Tell them via email
    • Tell them by writing a blog

Not So Short DIY SEO Instructions

  1. Create good content
  2. Structure that content for search engines as well as people
    • Create unique html titles for each page
    • Create a sitemap that links to all pages on the site
    • Create unique meta description tags for each page
    • Make sure html title and meta description reflect content in body of page
    • Don't waste time with meta keywords
  3. Tell people about that content

DIY SEO Instructions (Including Paid Advertising)

  1. Create good content
  2. Structure that content for search engines as well as people
    • Create unique html titles for each page
    • Create a sitemap that links to all pages on the site
    • Create unique meta description tags for each page
    • Make sure html title and meta description reflect content in body of page
    • Don't waste time with meta keywords
  3. Tell people about that content
    • Tell them via email
    • Tell them by writing a blog
    • Tell them using master linkbaiting techniques
    • Tell them by incorporating SMO (Social Media Optimization)
    • Tell them by buying links from quality directories (good list here)
    • Tell them by buying short term PPC ads (keyword search not contextual)

Longer DIY SEO Instructions (Including Paid Advertising)
  1. Create good content
  2. Structure that content for search engines as well as people
    • Create unique html titles for each page
    • Create a sitemap that links to all pages on the site
    • Create unique meta description tags for each page
    • Make sure html title and meta description reflect content in body of page
    • Don't waste time with meta keywords
  3. Tell people about that content
    • Tell them via email
    • Tell them by writing a blog
    • Tell them using master linkbaiting techniques
    • Tell them by incorporating SMO
    • Tell them by buying links from quality directories
    • Tell them by buying short term keyword search PPC ads
    • Tell them by buying short term contextual PPC ads
    • Tell them by using Technorati tags in blog posts

Long DIY SEO Instructions (Including Paid Advertising)
  1. Create good content
  2. Structure that content for search engines as well as people
    • Create unique html titles for each page
    • Create a sitemap that links to all pages on the site
    • Create unique meta description tags for each page
    • Make sure html title and meta description reflect content in body of page
    • Don't waste time with meta keywords
  3. Tell people about that content
    • Tell them via email
    • Tell them by writing a blog
    • Tell them using master linkbaiting techniques
    • Tell them by incorporating SMO
    • Tell them by buying links from quality directories
    • Tell them by buying short term keyword search PPC ads
    • Tell them by buying short term contextual PPC ads
    • Tell them by using Technorati tags in blog posts
    • Tell them using any means you can think of (be creative but don't spam!)
    • Tell them using other paid advertising vehicles (AdBrite, BlogAds, Text Link Ads, etc.)
    • Tell them using humor. Like this: Don't read long lists!
These DIY SEO lists are by no means exhaustive. Plus, I should probably go into a bit more detail on some of these points, but this post is already quite long as it is. What's missing?

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