The 4 Most Important Things in Search Engine Optimization

Lets start with the basics. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization

Even though “Optimization” may sound super complicated, it really isn’t. It can be time consuming if you do it the right way, but once it’s done, it’s done.

In short, SEO is the art of getting your site to the top of the search engine for whatever word or words you want to rank for.

SEO is extremely lucrative

If you can get your site to the top of search engines for the keyword you want, you can pretty much guarantee lots of traffic every day. Sure you can go and promote your site with social media, but getting it to the top means that you’re the first thing they see at the very moment they want it. If they see your site on social media, they may say “that’s cool.. I’ll look at this later”, but it isn’t something that they’re interested in at that moment.

There are 4 things that you should focus on when optimizing a site for SEO. Now, this isn’t everything, but I feel that these are the 4 most important things:

1) Get a list of keywords for your site.

Keywords are the things that you want your site to actually rank for.

For example: If you have a site that promotes cute dog pictures, then you keywords may consist of:

  • Cute Dog PicturesKeywords are things that you want to rank for
  • Dog Pics
  • Cute Dog Photos
  • Cute Puppies
  • Dog Images

Make sure your keywords are placed throughout your site, but don’t overdo it. Include it in your page titles, meta description, domain name, main content, image descriptions, and in links. Make it sound natural.

There are several ways to find different keywords. One popular and free way is to use Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

2) Create quality content that people will want to share

Create things that people will like. If they like it, they will share it with their friends, who in turn will share it with their friends, and so on.

The key to pleasing both search engines and visitors is to have quality content on our website. Quality content can include a variety of things including, but not limited to, the following.

  • Blog Posts
  • Industry Articles
  • Tutorials & How To Guides
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

Creating quality content for your website can be a huge investment, but it is worth it. Search engines will love it, and visitors will love it so much that they will share it on social media, leading to even more visitors. You can start out by simply creating blog posts on your website, and as your audience grows, you can expand your content inventory to additional types of media.

3) Have other quality sites linking to your site.

Without backlinks (links from other sites to your site) to your website, there’s slim chance that you’ll end up number 1 for your targeted keyword. The key to getting your site ranked higher is to get other HIGH QUALITY websites to place a link to yours.

high quality backlinksSearch engines see that site A (the quality site) is linking to site B (yours), and they say “Hey, this site seems popular. maybe we should make it a higher in our search results”.

The more high quality links that site B gets linking to its website, the higher it will rank.

Notice that I emphasize the words high quality! You’re much better off getting links on high authority sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. Obviously some are easier to get on than others, but just focusing on increasing your presence on social media sites alone will do wonders.

SO, the name of the game is to get as many high quality backlinks as possible. counting the number of links that each site gets, google has a quick and easy way to determine which sites link where.

4) Monitor your results

If you don’t monitor how your website is ranking for your targeted keywords, you won’t know if there are any adjustments that need to be made. There are several tools out there that can do this for you.

The one I use and recommend is called Rank Tracker, part of the SEO Powersuite. You can get it as a single tool, or you can get it in their SEO powersuite bundle.

What I love about this is that it’s a downloadable piece of software that you can track an unlimited amount of websites and keywords. Most other software out there is costly, and the price goes up with the more keywords or sites you’re looking to track. Another plus is that it works natively on both Mac, Windows, and Linux based systems.

That’s it! Keep making content and building backlinks. The more content and backlinks you have, the more visitors you’ll get to your site. Sounds easy, right? Well, it may sound easy, but don’t be deceived. It will take a lot of work to get your site where you want it to be. But, don’t give up! If you do the work, you will reap the reward soon enough.

Good luck out there!

— Stephen O’Neal

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Stephen O'Neal

My name is Stephen O'Neal. I specialize in digital marketing and helping businesses step up their game online through Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.

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