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SEO Cheat Sheet for Quick Results

If you’re looking for the best in SEO tips to get you started down the path towards quick results and efficient website strategy then here’s your Cheat Sheet! I’ve put together the best information, gathered from years of hands-on experience, testing different tactics and trying various strategies. These are the best practices that will enable you and your website to reach a new level, or to get off the ground running right away.
Now I’m calling this a Cheat Sheet because I’m not trying to produce a book but provide a list that you can go down and check off each item and say, “Yea, I’ve got that covered”.

1. Keyword Basics:

The most important thing with keywords for your website is that you have to begin the process with proper research. Take advantage of free tools and services at your disposal such as the Google Adwords tool, and consider paying for more advanced and detailed programs.
Remember that keyword density is a thing of the past, there is no density you should be opting for. Instead, focus on natural inclusion of your targeted keywords, working them in where possible without doing it excessively.
Google Keyword Tool - https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Note: The fastest results are seen in targeting a larger number of lower level competitive terms.

2. Create Great URLS:

There are many steps that go into creating great URLs. Starting from the beginning, you should pick a domain name that is short, memorable and includes your most important keyword phrase. While hyphens are acceptable, more than two begins to get excessive and spam-like.
For your individual page names, also include a relevant keyword, so that each URL looks something like www.your-main-keyword.com/targeted-page-keyword.html. When possible, avoid using session IDs and other dynamic page variables that add a lot of unnecessary junk to your page URLs.
Note: If you already have a site that you cannot adjust the page structure to accommodate keywords in your URLs, then consider buying additional domains (building mini sites) to support various segments within your niche. These additional mini sites will drive traffic to your main domain.

3. Find Long Tail Keywords:

Long tail keywords often are the secret to great search engine rankings. Long tail keywords include at least three words, and when you find ones related to your niche you will be facing much less competition. Additionally, the traffic you see as a result will be much more effectively targeted, ensuring you see better results.
Note: Add longer tail keywords into your URL will help as well (see #2). Do a quick search and you will see most “experts” agree that the buyers are found with the Long Tail Terms. Boost your earnings through driving more of the right type of traffic….buyers!

4. Use Latent Semantic Indexing:

Latent semantic indexing, or LSI, is the process of including related keywords and phrases to your main phrases in order to boost your site’s value in the search engines. So if your site was about coffeemakers, you can include other related words, ranging from coffee makers to iced coffee and organic coffee and on down the list to help boost your rankings. This will also keep your site from appearing as spam, as you won’t just be reusing the same keywords over and over again.
Note: The more content you have on your site about the general topic, the better your site will do for the specifics within that niche. That’s how a site becomes an authority on a topic.

5. Get Smart with Internal Links:

Many websites don’t properly use their internal links to their own advantage. However, it’s an easy way to help each of your pages gain a higher and more targeted ranking in the search engines. Be sure to include each page’s main targeted keyword or phrase in internal links pointing to it, and always be sure to reference your other pages with links within your site’s content when appropriate.
Example: You sell a type of Coffee maker. Make sure that anyplace that keyword is found on your site that it is linked to the specific product profile page. This helps the individual profile page rank higher in the search engines.

6. Dive into PPC:

Whereas other SEO strategies take time to work, pay-per-click advertising is a great way to see instantaneous results. Start running a campaign for your website, backed up with all of the keyword research you have already done. Begin small, as costs can quickly get out of hand if you don’t know what you’re doing. Experiment with different ads, different bidding strategies and different targeted keywords until you start to see consistent results, then pick up the pace and run larger campaigns.
Note: One sure way to confirm that the keywords you’re targeting with your SEO efforts will drive the right type of traffic is to pay to get them their 1st. If they don’t buy then target a different keyword phrase.

7. Optimize your Images:

Always include an ALT tag for your images that describes what the image is – with targeted keywords and phrases. This ensures that people who can’t see images see something in their spots, but this also helps you get found in image based searches. Additionally, try naming your images with a keyword in the filename, as in, targetedkeyphrase1.jpg.
Note: Don’t overdo it. Some people will read that and then force a bunch of keywords in every image on their site. The idea is to do what you would typically do but this time do it “right”. If the image is relevant – name it something relevant. Oh, and also, if it is a button or something else that isn’t relevant to your niche, name it something with numbers, as in, 1010101.jpg.

8. Optimize your Title Tag:

Many people think that anything they put in their title tag will be sufficient but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your page title provides an excellent opportunity to boost your rankings, as well as draw people into your site to see more visitors.
To begin with, your title should be kept short, no more than 60 or 70 characters in length. Also, ensure that every page has its own unique title, instead of merely listing your site’s name on all of them. Work your targeted keywords into the title and be sure to be more descriptive and exciting than just labeling a page as “Home” or “Store”.
Note: When giving each page its own title, try and include product model or product names to help drive targeted traffic.

9. META Tag Notes:

The META Keywords tag is no longer used by Google for ranking, although other search engines may still make use of it. More important are the META Title and META description tags. Keep your title to 70 characters or less, and keep your META description to 160 characters or less, anything more will just get cut off by the search engines. Of course, remember to include your targeted keywords in these META tags.
Note: The META description is what the searcher will read in the organic listing so try and make it sound compelling and give the searcher a reason to click on your site.

10. Link Building, What Not to Do:

Many people go in the entirely wrong direction when it comes to link building. For example, buying links or participating in a link farm is a strategy that’s doomed from the get-go. You should also avoid low quality, spammy directories and you must understand that tactics like link exchanges, blog commenting and forum posting have all been devalued as compared to how they used to be viewed. Also remember that when you build thousands of links in a few days, you will stand out as unnatural.
Note: It’s best to build links over time from high value sites. Think of sites that are in your niche that you consider the highest value and work directly with them to get a link to your site (can link out to them – see below).

11. Link Building, What you Should Do:

Submitting to high quality, respected directories such as DMOZ, Best of the Web and others can pay huge dividends. You should link out to your niche authorities to help boost your own reputation, and you should focus on providing catchy, unique and engaging content that serves as “link bait” for your site. Social networks can be beneficial when used in the right fashion.
Note: Link Bait is content that is so good that people want to talk about it. One way to do this is provide content that is controversial.

12. Don’t Forget Canonicalization:

If you want to maximize your search engine results while also improving your ability to track your site’s traffic, then you need to ensure that your pages aren’t being counted more than once. Your home page may be coming up in different ways as http://yourdomain.com, http://www.yourname.com and http://www.yourdomain.com/index.html. This can confuse the search engines and impact your tracking stats. Use 301 redirects to move your pages to one home page, and fix any issues with other pages on your site as well.
Note: Talk to your techie about implementing this strategy. WordPress has a great plug-in for this that makes it really easy….yet another reason why I LOVE WordPress.

13. Stick with HTML:

The benefits of JavaScript and other program languages are lost when they aren’t searchable in the search engines. Everything you do you want to be helping your cause of ranking highly, which means sticking to easily accessed HTML for your website. Avoid overcomplicating your site with excess forms, frames of any kind, or any code that isn’t searchable.
Note: As I stated in #12, I love WordPress. Why, well one of the main engineers at Google said it best, “WordPress does 80-90% Google loves without changing a setting”. If you haven’t already I would look for ways to use WordPress in your business.
Like I said at the start of this list. Go through each item and check it off. If you are doing each of these then you’re doing most of what’s required to get good SEO scores. Stay tuned for our next email with more tips and strategies on what you can do to boost your SEO rankings!
(source  dotcomreport.com)