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Give Me 10 Minutes and I'll Make You an SEO Expert (Kinda)

by Chris Warden  |  
April 26, 2013

Are you an Internet marketing expert? We all are. In fact, just a quick cruise around Quora or LinkedIn reveals that at least 1 out of every 4 or 5 people online must be an expert in some form of Internet marketing. Social media, SEO, community management, we've got "experts" and "gurus" covering every angle of online marketing.

Want to be just like them?

I'm going to give you the quick-and-dirty guide to being an SEO "expert." Remember, being an expert merely means you have to know more than the people around you. This will certainly accomplish that. Now, although I was being a little cheeky earlier when I said this would make you an expert, the building blocks are all here. If you take it upon yourself to study these points further, you certainly can be a "real" expert rather than someone who just plays one on the Internet.

Nearly every idea in SEO can be thrown into one of the following six headings.

1. On-page Optimization

It all starts here. You can't build a successful SEO campaign without optimizing your page per SEO best-practices. Remember, this list is merely something for you to follow up on, so we're going to run through the points quickly:

  • Keywords—Research them and find the best balance between competition levels and the amount of traffic they'll bring you. One to two (max) keywords per page. Be sure to use them in...
  • Title tags—Each page should have its own title tag. Don't try to rank for your URL or business name, as that should come naturally.
  • Meta descriptions—Use them to describe the page and get readers to click when they see the description in the search results. You should probably use a keyword.
  • Meta keywords—Skip 'em. For the most part all they're doing is telling your competitors what you're attempting to rank for. Not really worth the time.
  • Robots.txt—Tell search engines what to index and what not to. Also set up your URL structure so that the "www" and "non-www" version of your site redirect to one or the other. Otherwise it's viewed as two separate sites (c'mon Google, get your act together).
  • Analytics—Install!

Obviously, this isn't anywhere near all of the steps you need to optimize your page, but it'll certainly get you started. Remember, I'm not giving you the fish, I'm teaching you to fish.

2. Content

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Chris Warden is CEO of Spread Effect, a content marketing and publishing company.

Twitter: @ChrisWarden_SE

Linkedin: Chris Warden

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  • by John Wolforth Fri Apr 26, 2013 via web

    Chris, great summary, and I'm glad you point out that these steps are just the basics so people don't think they're the magic bullet to put their site on the map.

  • by Dean Fri Apr 26, 2013 via web

    Good post Chris, it all starts with the basics. What I find with SEO is that so many try and make it more complicated than it is. As SEO's we follow a road map, we do all the common things and get the pages to rank. Avoid the tricks and you'll be ok.

  • by Shailendra Vijayvergia Fri Apr 26, 2013 via web

    I have been in SEO field since last few years, but the way this article covers essence of SEO and macro level understanding, it is really worth to read.

  • by Chris Sat Apr 27, 2013 via web

    Thanks for a great article. This is a handy checklist!

  • by Graeme Benge Tue Apr 30, 2013 via web

    Enjoyed your post Chris.
    I'd also emphasise the need to build a strategy that doesn't put too many eggs in one basket (the Google organic basket). Build traffic streams from social media, paid advertising and email so if you get hit for whatever reason its not curtains for your business.

  • by Randy Milanovic Wed May 1, 2013 via iphone

    The 10 second version: write engaging content.

  • by Luciano Borg Wed May 1, 2013 via web

    Hi Chris, unfortunately you forgot to mention one "Crucial SEO Tool": Google Webmaster Tools. This where Google and Webmasters interact: where you submit your sitemap to Google, where you keep track of the website's health, where Google alerts you of any issues with your site, where Google lists your broken links, etc... Without this tool you are losing out on crucial information about your website.

  • by mark Sat May 4, 2013 via web

    thanks for this quick article. now that you have given us a taste of the SEO world. please do it again say on a monthly basis to help us learn what is new from your eyes! (sort of like Where's Waldo??) it may seem obvious to you but we need a bone every once in a while to keep us moving! thanks again very much!!!

  • by Ho Chung Thu Jun 13, 2013 via web

    I like your ideas about "links" parts. The rest are quite good, but I do not see here (as well as many SEO articles), the page of website is light, this is very important for SEO. The SEO will find that page and can rage higher position on the result.

  • by Jim Sat Aug 3, 2013 via web

    It is important to optimize website for local if your business is based locally.

  • by Jeff Fri Aug 16, 2013 via web

    Chris, Great summary and checklist!
    Engaging content + Google authorship = home run. sprinkled with relevant link building makes for a complete game. plus all the other stuff you mention. thanks for a good read. - Jeff

  • by SEO Consultant Mon Jun 22, 2015 via web

    Great article, I agree with most of the points listed.

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