3 SEO Tips I Learned

3 SEO Tips I LearnedI had zero knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) or SEO tips when I created this site. So I scoured the web, reading tricks from blogging experts, hoping to learn some SEO tips. I did what I thought was enough on this site prior to any SEO tips and quickly learned building a website is much harder than it looks.

I continued reading, doing what SEO and blogging professionals suggest, spending hours studying competitor websites in “view source code” mode. To understand HTML and CSS, I visited W3 Schools. It took nearly a year to understand SEO and why it’s important.

Thankfully, I picked up some SEO tips along the way and now share them with you.

1. Find Leaders in Your Niche

I looked at my competitors. I studied their layout, keyword density and backlinks.

Joshuacintron.com was born long before SEO knowledge, webmaster skills or HTML experience. Everything you see and read is from trial and error.
One of the first sites I created with any SEO tips is Sympathy Poems, which went from a page rank of 0 to 4 in less than six months. It’s a poetry site and not considered “great” content to rank for but SympathyPoems.org climbed to top 5 on Google.com within 3-4 months.

I didn’t pay for pay-per-click advertising. I implemented the SEO tips in this blog post. I looked at sites ranking 1, 2 and 3 for keywords related to my site and tried to emulate them.

I used the SEO Quake toolbar in Chrome to find 3 and 4-word phrases competitors used. I studied their layout, navigation menu, monetization techniques, font size, font family and font style.

2. Organic Search Engine Traffic

Even though I learned SEO tips from others, I developed and implemented an SEO strategy born out of trial and error. No courses. No manuals. No technology workshops.  I searched online, read what others did and played around on my site.

Testing on your site is the best method of learning SEO. Change your themes, layouts and content structure. Move menus and widgets around. Choose a busy theme versus a clean one. Really, this is the best way to learn SEO and the effects of SEO.

On sympathypoems.org, I created static pages for specific funeral loss keywords – loss of mother, loss of father, loss of pet. I placed keywords in the title, subheadings and alt tags of images. I placed the keywords naturally in as many places possible and in the written content.

I added a photo on each static page and inserted keywords in the alt-tag section. Social media is a huge a market so optimizing images is important.

I’m continually learning new SEO methods. But these SEO tips increased organic traffic on my poetry site significantly.

3. Focus on Backlinking

Your site is a star in space, present but non-existent. Backlinking is a part of the formula search engines use to assess site relevancy and credibility. The more sites link to your site, the higher Google and Yahoo will place you in the index.

Share your blog posts on social media. Create a Facebook page and publish your posts there. Ask friends to like and share your content. Submit it to Digg and Reddit. The more people view it, the more likely they’ll share with their group of friends. But as always, make sure your content is interesting enough to read. Tell stories others want to read.

Learn about NoFollow and Dofollow links. Dofollow links tell search engine crawlers to follow the link, whereas Nofollow links tell search engine crawlers not to follow the link.

When Google bots search a site and find a link, behind the glitz and glamour of a webpage, an attribute in the language (nofollow or dofollow) tells the bot to follow or don’t follow the link. If the dofollow attribute appears, the site’s pagerank transfers to the link.

I commented on relative sites and linked my site with anchor text related to my site’s keywords. I found blog posts with a page rank of two or higher relative to my site’s keywords on Google and searched for blogs that allowed commenting.

In other occasions, I contacted sites similar to mine and introduced my site, politely asking for an exchange of links. Some webmasters responded, others didn’t.

Guest posting is another way to build readership but I haven’t tried this avenue yet. Guest posting doesn’t pay but most webmasters I spoke with offer a backlink in the author bio section.

So there you have it. A few SEO tips that drive traffic to my sites. Sounds easy but it’s a lot of work, especially operating more than one site.

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Joshua Cintron

Joshua Cintron is the author of: What to Expect When You Enroll in an Online Class, and Upon a Moonlight Kiss, 104 Ways to Say I Love You. In addition to writing and publishing books, he is a finance professional with a graduate degree in public administration. He's held positions as an online college professor at several US colleges and universities.

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