Over the years we have found that there are 15 basic rules that apply to the search engine optimization of every web site. In order to understand how to run an effective SEO campaign, you must understand and apply each of these rules.
We have included our Indisputable Rules of SEO in our professional web site evaluations for several years. The list defines the basic rules for search engine optimization. Each rule should be part of the SEO efforts applied to every web site. If you ignore any of the rules, you will be limiting the ability of your web site to rank well in search engine results pages.
- Effective SEO requires a new way of thinking that is applied to all aspects of web site design and development.
- Proper selection of targeted keywords is the first and most critical step. A number one position in Google is worthless if no one searches using that keyword phrase.
- Good search engine rankings tend to be the cumulative result of spider friendly design, unique quality informational content and quality inbound links to a site.
- Each web page is ranked based upon its merits relative to all other web pages competing for a given search phrase.
- Strictly adhering to published search engine guidelines helps to avoid penalties that reduce a web page’s natural ranking position.
- Know the difference between a good quality link to a site and a poor quality link. Obtaining and encouraging quality backlinks is imperative if you want the site to rank well. A link to a site is a popularity vote. At one time, any link was a good link. Today, the quality of the links is an important factor.
- Quality content is unique, informational content that clearly describes your offerings or provides solutions to problems that people frequently encounter. The content on a web page should be focused on a specific keyword theme. Write content for your users, but keep the search engines in mind while doing so.
- Because search engine algorithms frequently change, SEO is a moving target. A web site will likely require periodic updates and changes.
- Keep your XHTML/HTML code as simple and trim as you can. If you confuse a spider with complex code, egregious coding errors or code that it cannot dissect, it abandons the indexing of the page.
- Build a web site primarily for your users, but build it using techniques that are beneficial to your search engine rankings.
- With SEO, every page in your site is a potential entry point for users. Don’t just focus on the home page.
- Give search engine spiders what they seek and they will reward you.
- “Build it and they will come” has not worked since the 1990s. A web site needs to grow. Plan to periodically add new pages of unique, focused content to your web site if you wish to see that site rank well for the long run.
- SEO requires time and patience. Once corrections have been made, it may take several months for changes in search engine rankings to become evident.