What I’ve Learned From Doing SEO For Six Years

As a website designer for 18 years, I took a lot of pride in my work. I designed my own site, oftentimes top ranking for competitive terms.

I learned quickly that Google didn’t think very highly of my work. This was only after I’d built several sites following the guidelines Google laid out. Over the years, I’d built inbound links, some paid, some free, but never anything I could call “authoritative.” This meant that when Google would crawl my site, it would do so with a fairly random halo effect. Google would crawl, then it would scan, then it would process. This meant, to get to the top of the SERPs, I needed a lot of links. I needed to focus on keywords and density (important for Google) but I also had to worry about anchor text and title page optimization. After 6 years, it seemed increasingly difficult to get authority sites to link to me.

That all changed over the last six years. Once again, Google let me down. First, there was a dime store SEO service called a link exchange that aggressively marketed links from hundreds of PR2 or higher sites to my site for $15 or so. It worked great for a while, but when it came to real results, the quality of the links dramatically improved. That left me alone with a lot of work to do on my own. The link building is in my blood. It’s how I roll.

But as I spent hours and hours doing link building for new and existing sites, I started to realize that directory submissions, blog comments, forums, and article marketing isn’t the same as link building.

In an effort to help you win the SEO game, I’ve put together a list of ways that you can start getting links and traffic today. It’s something I’ve done for the past 10 years, and I hope it can help you in your efforts to dominate Google and the search engine results.

Before I get into the things I’ve learned from SEO, I should mention that if you are looking for Bay Area SEO services you should check out JST Digital.

Article Marketing

Writing and submitting articles is one of the best free ways to get free traffic to your website. It’s also one of the most important free keywords you can use to get traffic. But articles need to be written for people, not search engines. Many marketers get so caught up in trying to manipulate search engines that they forget that the end-user is the visitor. When you’re submitting articles to directories and writing articles for blogs, you want to make sure that your articles are enjoying their new home on the web. Take a few extra minutes and read the article thoroughly before submitting it. If you don’t have time to read that article through, you can always march for another one on EzineArticles.com.

Social Networking

Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook allow you to communicate with others who share an interest in your specialty. I create accounts for all the social networks I have accounts with and submit lots of original content to those sites. Besides reaching others with valuable information, the links from social networking sites to your website will help drive traffic to your site as well.

Some of the top social networking sites include LinkedIn.com, Flickr.com, G+, YouTube.com, and Twitter.com.

Google+

Google+ is already a powerful social network, and now it has become more powerful than ever! If you already have a Google account, you can instantly connect with others who are part of your social network.

Some of the popular features on Google+ include connecting with Google+ Local, creating a Google+ profile, and connecting your Google account to your website.

YouTube

Hearing “Shady matter” is no fun. We hate to tip our hat to these guys, but it’s sincere. Create original videos and share them with your social networks first. Get on the same social networks as the shady, and you’ll too. Google will not hesitate to take a look at what you have to say.

On the same day, you submitted your original article or blog post to another website, get on Google, and give it a look. Follow along. If you’re using Google Desktop, and especially if you have a Google account, you can click on the Google+ tab to get an instant preview of a potential page. If you’re not, you can make the effort to look at your post as it did develop. And if you made a good post, you’ll want to interact with others who are interested in your content.

Social Signals

Understanding the different signals that social networks are sending back to Google regarding your content, and how to utilize them for your SEO efforts is essential.

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