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Top 20 SEO Tips for Webmasters

Wouldn’t it be great if someone compiled a list of the top SEO success factors? You know, something simple you could consult to get a better idea of the types of things you should be doing plus maybe a few things you shouldn’t do…

Oh wait, we just did.

Now just to be clear, this is not an exact science. It would be great if it was but unfortunately Google supposedly uses hundreds of ranking factors (and they don’t want to give up their secret recipe) and other search engines use a lot as well. It would be impossible to try and breakdown each factor in a useful way even if we knew every single one. So rather than try, we opted to compile a list of the important areas that have a big impact on you visibility and rankings. This is both a great starting point for some and nice reminder for others about what your focus should be on when talking about SEO.

Top 20 SEO Success Factors

  1. Content Quality – Content is still king and you need well-written pages with quality content.
  2. Links Quality – Are you links coming from trusted or respected sites?
  3. Authority – Is your site a trusted authority? Think of Consumer Reports of Men’s Health.
  4. Titles – The HTML title tags should have keywords that match each page’s topics.
  5. Crawlability – Can each page be crawled easily?
  6. Research Keywords – Do you know what keywords perspective clients will use?
  7. Country – This is a personalized aspect; within the same country?
  8. Locality – This is a personalized aspect; within the same area? Does your site pop up in the proper local directories and is it listed on Google+?
  9. History – This is a personalized aspect; do you have repeat visitors? This plays a bigger role now that search history has a larger role with results.
  10. Description – The Meta Tags need to describe the page.
  11. Words – You need to use both words and phrases in your pages people search for.
  12. Social Reputation – Are you being shared socially by well-respected people?
  13. Duplication – Do you have issues with duplicate content?
  14. Engaging Content – How long do people read your content? The longer the better!
  15. Text Links – Your links pointing at pages need to use keywords people use.
  16. Fresh Content – How often do you add new information, trending information, and trending topics?
  17. Speed – Sites need to load fast, especially those used a lot by mobile users.
  18. Headers – Your headlines and sub headers need to use relevant keywords in the header tags.
  19. Number of Links – In theory more links pointing at your page is better than less!
  20. Social Shares – You want people to share your content on various social sites.


Top 5 Negative SEO Factors

These would be those things you don’t want to do unless you are specifically trying to tank a site.

  1. Paid Links
  2. Cloaking
  3. Thin or Junk Content
  4. Spam Links
  5. HTML Stuffing


The Bottom Line

While these are ranked somewhat in order, they are also all important. Factors can work together in a way that if you use 4 to 5 items on the bottom of the list they can achieve better results than the top 2 being used together. Of course ideally, you are using a lot more than 4 to 5 items here on your site. In the very least, you should be aware of everything on the list and attempt to touch upon it at some point to make your site as successful as possible from a SEO standpoint.

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