Utilizing successful SEO (short for search engine optimization) methods on a webpage is often more difficult than it sounds. To be honest, it's usually quite frustrating.
There are website owners that start doing SEO, only to find that it becomes an obsession for them. They try every SEO trick that they can think of, and spend more time doing it than they should.
That's not to say that SEO isn't important, because it is, but there is also something to be said for doing it the smart way.
Here are a few proven "tricks" you can use to improve the results of your SEO efforts.
1. Make people your priority.
Yes, you need to pay attention to SEO on your websites, but not at the expense of your visitors. To put it another way, your SEO should be unnoticed by a casual visitor, but well-received by search engine spiders.
Go ahead and use good keywords, internal linking, anchor text, headings, and other SEO methods, but not to the point that it makes for a poor visitor experience.
You are making your websites for people, so make them your top priority. If you build a site that only focuses on SEO, then it will seem unnatural to your human visitors and they will leave your site as quickly as they came.
2. Get rid of sloppy code.
It's easy to focus on things like keywords and headings when doing SEO, but you also need to make sure your coding doesn't get messed up.
It may not be noticeable to a human viewer, but you don't want to do anything that has the potential of confusing the search engine spiders when they crawl your site.
The cleaner your code, the easier the spider's job will be.
3. Keep things under control.
Once you start seeing results from your SEO efforts, you may start getting obsessed with doing more...and more...and more. If you're not careful you can spend more time doing SEO instead of doing other things involved with running your online business.
There is no doubt that SEO is an important aspect of marketing, but there are other things that are also worthy of your time. Do SEO, but remember to keep it in balance with everything else.
4. Wear a white hat.
When it comes to SEO there are two main ways of doing things: black hat and white hat. Black hat SEO uses any techniques possible and will break terms of service or uses other questionable means to get a site ranked higher.
Those who use black hat techniques will often have justifications for doing so, and it is somewhat misunderstood; however, search engines frown on these practices and make frequent changes to their ranking formula to make current black hat techniques useless.
White hat SEO relies on proven principles that continue to work, and doesn't rely on the cheap and temporary gimmicks so often used in black hat SEO. To put it simply, white hat SEO is the way to go.