10 Tips for SEO

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Create a practice Web site.
This can be a personal home page, a hobby site or a small-business site.
If possible, start with a new site that has never been submitted to search engines or directories.
There's some evidence that using a domain name that has your keywords in it can give you a slight boost in rankings, so keep that in mind.

To start, you might want to try optimizing just the main page of your site and see how that goes. Alternatively, you could try different techniques on different pages and see which work best. If you choose a subject you know and love, things will be much easier.
Learn basic HTML. If you create the site yourself, you will know your pages inside and out. You can use a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor(for download click here), but for best results in the search engines you might need to tweak your code by hand. Don't be afraid of this. Basic HTML is simple to learn.
Choose the proper keyphrases. What you think will be the perfect keywords and phrases might not be what people search for. To be sure you're targeting the best possible phrases, subscribe to WordTracker.
This service gathers data from a few of the largest metacrawlers that tell which phrases are most searched on and which aren't. It adds this information to its searchable database, which subscribers can access.
WordTracker offers a variety of subscription options, including a one-day subscription. This might be all you need to figure out the most appropriate keyphrases for your site.
Learn about writing copy for your site visitors and for the search engines at the same time. This is a crucial component to high rankings and a successful Web site. To learn more, read 5 Steps to Better Search Engine Rankings.
Learn to create a killer title tag. This tag is critical because it's given a lot of weight by most search engines. You must put your keyphrases into this tag and not waste space with extraneous words. Don't use the title tag to display your company name or for the phrase "home page." Think of it more as a title/keyphrase tag and create it accordingly.
Learn to create great meta description tags and meta keyword tags. These two tags are important, but not as important as most people think. It's a good idea to create a good meta description tag that uses your keyphrases and is a good description of your site. This is often the info that appears under your search engine listing.
The meta keyword tag isn't quite as important. Contrary to popular belief, what you place in the keyword tag will have little bearing on what keyphrases your site is found under. Use this tag, but don't obsess over it.
Learn about the extra goodies that can boost rankings. These include alt tags, header tags, link popularity and keywords in the domain and file names.
Check out Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Guide, and Rank Write for more information.
Learn the correct way to submit to directories. Read everything you can about directory submissions before attempting it. Be sure to read each directory's FAQ page and follow it precisely. Making mistakes in the submission process can cost you dearly because directory listings are often impossible to change later.
Don't expect quick results. It's going to take time; there's no getting around it. Once your Web site is added to a search engine or a directory, it might start out low on the ladder then slowly work its way up.
For instance, AltaVista has been giving more weight to pages that have been around awhile. Therefore, a brand new page might not rank well until it ages a few months. This might change, however, now that AltaVista has instituted a paid inclusion program.
The same is true for search engines including HotBot, which uses Direct Hit search technology for its top 10 results. With Direct Hit, the more often people click to a site, the more its ranking can increase. So be patient and give your site time to mature.
Wait before tweaking. After three to six months, it's probably safe to tweak the pages as necessary. By that point, if you've done everything mentioned and still find your rankings are nowhere in sight, chances are you goofed up somewhere. But that's OK it's how you learn!
The first place to check for mistakes is the body copy. If you put fewer than 250 words of visible text on your page, this could be your problem. If your text is long enough, make sure you used enough keyphrases.
Also, check to be sure you used keyphrases throughout the copy, not just in the first line or two, and that you only targeted one or two related phrases per page. If you tried to target too many, you probably diluted the focus and will need to rewrite. If necessary, you can always use your inner pages to target more phrases.
Be sure the phrases you targeted aren't so competitive they won't achieve a high rank. Single keywords and two-word phrases thought of as one entity, such as chat room, are more difficult. Beginners might want to stick with three- and four-word phrases.
Finally, continue to read, read, read and practice, practice, practice. Yes, it's time consuming, but it's so satisfying when high rankings come pouring in.