Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guest Post: SEO Search Engine Optimization Tips Part 2

The second of two posts on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips from engineer, researcher, and technical writer Richard Wheeler:

We pick up where Richard left off with SEO tips 6-10 (Read tips 1-5 here):

6. Search engines count hyperlinks to your web pages
, including links within your web site. See #8, below. For example, an article on different pocket designs could say, "For an example of this design,click here," which would take readers to a product page. This exposes readers to your products, and the hyperlink increases search engine ranking.

7. Search engines like fresh content. Updating all your pages at least once and ideally five times per week boost your rankings. You probably won't have time to update all the pages, but you should at least make minor changes to the top level pages such as the home page.

8. Customers are drawn to useful content. Combining this with #7, above, might be the most fun of the whole business. Here are some ideas for
  • Add some pages for the histories of baseball and softball.
  • Add a page with news content. It could have links to current scores and to important baseball and softball stories in the news.
  • Add a Reference page that provides links to sites about rules and trivia, team home pages, the history of the games.
  • Add a page with your own content related to your products. What is the difference between an infielder's glove and an outfielder's glove or between a baseball glove and a softball glove? What are the differences between the brands? How did we get two versions of the same sport?
  • Add a page for posting customer testimonials.
  • Update pages with comments. For example, on the Support page, you might document a customer's problem and how you solved it to demonstrate your winning personality and the high quality of your customer service.
Content pages draw more visitors to a site by presenting more subjects that they might search for. Frequently updated content such as scores or commentary will turn visitors into repeat visitors. If your product line changes infrequently, non-product content will give you the excuse to update your site. More pages on your site also means more pages listed in the search engine results, as well as more links between the pages of the site.

So set a goal of giving search engines a reason to keep scanning your site and giving visitors a reason to return for more information.

9. Resubmit your web site to search engines after making changes. Otherwise, you could have to wait weeks to see the results of your work. Again, how to do this is out of scope, except to say that I would never hire a service to do it for me.

A service could submit your site to hundreds of search engines, but most people use only a few, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask. (Besides, a lot of search pages are "powered by" the major engines.) You could submit your web site to the few search engines that will get you the vast majority of your visitors in less time that it takes to hire a service to do it for you.

10. A lot of web marketers make people establish "accounts"before letting them access content such as the content pages or free e-books. They only do this for one reason, which is to build a mailing list for newsletters. Newsletters is a polite word for advertising. Or at leas an excuse to slip advertising through the mail slot. Newsletters can become quite a commitment, but they are a way to draw in the most likely paying customers.

I know, #10 has nothing to do with SEO, but the purpose of SEO is to draw more visitors so you can make more sales, so it sort of fits.

Some people have SEO down to a science. Major web sites can profit from gathering massive statistics and fine-tuning their sites' search engine rankings. However, just these nine steps (I'm not counting #10) will give you the greatest return on your investment of time and effort to draw more visitors.

What SEO tips has Richard missed? Add your own tips in the comment box below.

Engineer and writer Richard Wheeler posts regularly on his blog at

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