6. Content, Content, Content – I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it couldn’t be more true. There’s nothing more valuable than keeping your content up to date and adding new content. Search engines do keep track of how often your site changes and they like to see that new content is being added and that your site is being properly maintained. It lets them know that you are not letting your site go to waste. In addition, your viewers always love fresh new content. New content adds new pages for the search engines to find you with. There have been too many times where I’ll go to a site and think I’ve found a great resource, but it turns out that the site hasn’t been updated in years. Hence(I love that word), I am more than likely never going to come back to that site again.
Bottom Line – Update
7. Optimize for Google – Google in my experience is by far the most important search engine in existence. On almost every site I have, about 90% of my search engine traffic if not more comes from them. Read articles and forums on how to optimize for Google if you’d like some common tips, although most of the suggestions I’m giving in this article series should help you just fine in your quest to climb the rankings for Google. I’m not saying that optimization shouldn’t be done for other SE’s too, but Google is certainly the most important in my book. Yahoo is usually the second biggest SE traffic provider, and then follows MSN search.
Bottom Line – Google is King
8. XML/RSS Feeds – Feeds are becoming more and more important for websites nowadays. I know all my fellow geeks at work use feed aggregators like SharpReader to keep updated on the latest headlines. Then there are the people who use the online feed managers like BlogLines(which I’m a recent convert to). The idea of a feed search engine like BlogLines has become so popular that they were even recently acquired by AskJeeves.
Having a feed setup and linked to from your homepage can get you listed in a lot more sources than if you were not to have a feed. The feed search engines themselves are only growing in popularity. Sites that don’t have feeds are definitely not obsolete. However, I know if I can find a decent source that has an XML feed, then I am a lot more likely to keep track of them than if they didn’t. I keep track of my favorite blogs, tech news, movie reviews, etc. all through feeds. It’s more important than you would think to gaining repeat visitors.
Bottom Line – Feed me
9. DMOZ – I’m going to throw this one out there just because I think it’s important. Submit your site to DMOZ This is a very controversial issue because many people think it’s not important whatsoever. I, on the otherhand, have to wholeheartedly disagree. While it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get in and you can certainly succeed without a listing in the DMOZ directory, it has always seem to give some of my sites the extra advantage. Of course there are always going to be problems with the system but that’s a whole other discussion in and of itself. Anyway, it’s a good idea to submit if you believe in its power or not. Make sure that you have a decent amount of content before you submit. New sites, or “sites under construction” are in my opinion a little less likely to get in. Always make sure you submit to the right directory and don’t submit repeatedly, the process requires patience. Here’s a useful resource if you’ve submitted and not been approved yet.
Bottom Line – Take the minute it takes and submit
10. Have Patience – Now this, could be one of the hardest tips to follow out of all of them. One of the most frustrating things about creating a brand new website is that it more than likely will not become popular in 1 day. Patience is required. If you have something exceptional to offer your website will grow, slowly, but it will grow. People talk. When people talk, links start getting added. More links means more traffic.
In addition to links coming in time, submissions to directories take time to get reviewed, months sometimes. It takes time for people to respond to your request to have your link added. It takes time for search engines to index your pages. It takes time for you to actually rise in the search engine rankings. After all, you can’t jump to the top of your key terms in just one day.
Bottom Line – When in Rome…..I mean, um, Rome wasn’t built in a day
11. Themed Links – Now this, just might be the most important for climbing the search engine rankings. Since I have so many sites of different topics and different strengths, I have had links pointing to all kinds of different places on the web whether it be through pointing the links to one of my sites or selling them to someone else. As far as I can tell, a completely unthemed link will have virtually no effect on your ranking. Themed links are extremely important. I have seen it first hand.
Bottom Line – Get links from sites related to similar topics
And that, is all I have on this topic for now. Maybe I’ll come back to it later though.