Search engine optimization is not rocket science, the truth is, you can do it, the problem is, it is very time consuming. You have to do the legwork and then you have to do the maintenance to ensure that you get the coveted first page ranking. Below is a list of  11 Proven SEO steps to optimize a website.

1.      Keyword Research

Using Google keyword tool, you conduct a broad keyword research to see what your target customers are searching for. You need to look at the search volume and the competition. Low to medium competition is recommended to get to the top faster.

2.      Competitor Research

You do a competitor research to find out how many people are optimizing for these keywords and how strong their links are, because this will determine how likely you are to get to the top. You can use moz  for this. Simply type in your competitor website address and it will tell you how many links the site has. The less links the more likely you are to get to the top.  Choosing keywords with lower search volumes and little competition is also great. Instead of optimizing for just a few keywords, optimize for 100 or so keywords that are less competitive so that you can make up the volume. Research shows that over 40% of searches are for new keywords, people think differently and sometimes what you think your target customers are searching for they are not.
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3.      Keyword Selection

Based on how competitive your keywords are, you want to narrow down the list to the least competitive keywords. Which is likely the keywords that get a good amount of searches but not too many people are optimized for them, or even if your competitors are optimized for them, they have limited links.

4.      Page Content Optimization

You want to include the keywords that you are optimizing for into your page content in a 50:1 keyword ratio. What that means is for every 50 words on the page, you include your the keyword that you are optimizing for.

5.      Meta Data Creation

You need to add your keywords to your website meta data, which includes your page titles, your page url, your page headlines, your meta keywords and create a meta description that is compelling, this is essential for your ad so when you do come up you have a compelling message that will get prospects to click through to your website.

6.      XML Sitemap Creation

You want to create an xml sitemap, go to to create one and then add it to your website. This is important for helping the search engines to locate all your website pages.

7.      Google Verification

You want to get your website verified by Google using Google webmaster tools. This will help you confirm that your sitemap is setup correctly and there are no broken links on your website pages and that the search engines are picking up your website.

8.      Search Engine Submission

You want to submit your website to the top three search engines at least. Google, Yahoo and Bing so that you get listed. Allow at least six weeks for you to get listed.

9.      Content Creation

Once you have launched your website, you need to continue to create content to either post to your blog or submit articles to directories so that you can build backlinks to your site. Backlinks help you to climb to the top pages. Each link is a vote of confidence in the legitimacy of your website and the quality of your website. The content should include the keywords that you are optimizing for. Of course you are not going to include all the keywords in the article, one or two keywords per article is good.

10.   Anchor Text Creation

Anchor text is the phrase that you will link to your website. For example, one of the keywords I optimize for is web redesign nyc, so in my article, I will highlight and link that phrase back to my website so that the search engine can see that my site is relevant to that search term and therefore index my website in searches for that keyword.

11. Link Building

You can also do other forms of link building such as directory submission, comments on blogs and industry related sites with a link back to your website, social bookmarking or exchanging links with other websites that are related to your business.
Is your website missing key elements?  Consult Captivate Designs, a New York Web Design Company for a Free Website Quote. For more web design tips visit our blog.

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