Save Money, Get Hits: Handling Your Own SEO

Written on:September 1, 2012
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Can You Manage Your Own Website SEO?

SEO TipsIf you want to see your website standing tall on results pages, search engine optimization (commonly called SEO) is vital. SEO is a complicated business, and there are firms and consultants out there who specialize in it exclusively. You don’t necessarily need their help to boost your site’s search engine performance, though. Here are a few ways to improve your ranking on your own.

Once you’ve made the decision to handle your own SEO, your first task is to pick out the keywords you want to focus on. You should by all means select keywords that you feel are most appropriate for your website, but don’t neglect the many research tools available to you. You can use free online tools to check out the popularity of various keywords. Remember that there will be plenty of competition for the most popular; you may want to choose less common keywords where your SEO efforts will be more powerful.

With a list of suitable keywords in hand, your next task is to start incorporating them into your site. They should go into your content, of course, but there are a lot of “behind the scenes” areas in your HTML code that make excellent keyword insertion points. One of them is the title tag attached to every page. Search engines definitely check the title for keywords that match search terms, and they’re even weighted more heavily when they appear there. The URLs of your different pages are also great places to insert keywords. Use descriptive addresses rather than generic ones. (e.g. instead of

You can also use keywords in the meta tags of your pages. You may find some older SEO advice out there that advises you to ignore the meta tag, because the search engines do. This is no longer the case! When you look at a search engine results page, you may notice that some links have a brief description of the linked page beneath them. This description is generated from the meta tag. It’s well worth your time to compose a descriptive meta tag for each of your pages using applicable keywords. Not only will it count towards your ranking, it might well tempt a potential reader to give you a visit!

There are some ongoing maintenance tasks you need to take care of in order to keep your SEO efforts working for you. First of all, you have to watch out for duplicate content presented on pages with different URLs. This can happen without your knowledge, especially if your site has a complex structure. Eliminate duplicate content, or use HTML coding (like 301 redirects or the “canonical” tag) to ensure that search engines don’t count it against you. Speaking of redirects, you should learn to love them. Never take down a webpage without adding a redirect for it. This maintains the validity of outside links, which will keep your page rank up.

These little tricks are just a few of many SEO tools available to you. Some are more complicated, but some are even easier. Once you start handling your own optimization, you may well find that it’s not hard to build yourself a very effective SEO strategy. Keep educating yourself and picking up the tricks of the trade!

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