With every new year, we all get a “fresh start.” This applies to both our personal interests and our professional pursuits. If you own or manage a business or have a serious hobby, now is the time to think about your online plans for 2011. A big part of your online strategy should focus on how to better Search Engine Optimize your website.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there are two components: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO refers to your website’s overall design, navigation structure, internal linking structure, page titles and content, as well as the “behind the scenes” meta tags for Title, Description and Keywords.
Off-Page SEO refers to building links that reside on websites other than yours. The purpose of these types of links is to bring real people to your site from all around the Web, and as importantly to help the search engines find and index your website’s pages so they are available to be listed in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – preferably on the first page – so real people who are using search engines to find information will see your listing(s) and click through to your website.
In order to properly Search Engine Optimize your website itself, i.e. On-Page SEO, you should: (a) design your website in a way which promotes simple and effective navigation from page to page so that a website visitor can easily access all of the information on your website; (b) produce and present unique content that adds value to your website visitors’ experience, and (c) ensure that each website page is properly set up “behind the scenes” by having the Title, Description and Keyword meta tags filled out completely and accurately.
In order to properly Search Engine Optimize your website around the Web, i.e. Off-Page SEO, you should produce and distribute unique content that adds value to real people visiting websites other than yours. Content distributed via article directories, video directories, blogs, forums, social networking websites, social bookmarking websites and news and information websites, contains links either within the text itself, or just outside of the text area, or both. Therefore, as you distribute your own unique content, you are building links back to your website. In other words, you are Search Engine Optimizing your website.
To put proper SEO into practice, you need to understand how to effectively design and structure your own website, as well as learn how to generate and distribute unique content around the Web. Content generation and distribution is not rocket science, but it does require a combination of training, natural skills and “insider knowledge” that not everyone has. Therefore, to maximize your SEO efforts, consider hiring an SEO professional. Before you hire an SEO professional, make sure you receive a free SEO consultation.
In conclusion, a couple great Search Engine Optimization ideas for 2011 are these: (a) your SEO strategy should focus on real people who are using the Web, and (b) carefully choose and invest in the services of a professional SEO consultant.