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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image of Chris Warden

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

Twitter: @ChrisWarden_SE

Linkedin: Chris Warden