Here are 20 SEO tips as posted at Rustic Girls.

Search engine optimization can be confusing, especially for people who are new to the concept. However, there are a few simple things that anyone can do that will help increase a webpage’s chances of being ranked higher by search engines and increasing the number of visitors to your website. How much time you spend optimizing your website is up to you, but you should take a little bit of time to do some of the following techniques:

1. Have a site with well-written content. Optimization is worthless if your site is not full of good content.

2. Include a short site description in the title. Search engines will display between 66 to 130 characters of your title when they list search results. Each page title should be constructed so that it informs and attract users. For best results, include a title and a subtitle.

3. Create a site map and submit it to the major search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. You should also place a link to your site map on the index page of your site.

4. Make sure that each page of your site has at least 250 words of text on it.

5. Declare a “doctype” at the top of every page and a character-set type.

6. Keep your URLs as simple as possible. Try to use URLs that have keywords in them instead of numbers.

7. Decide upon several keywords and phrases and use them throughout the page. This includes putting them in the title, content, anchor tags, Meta tags, and links.

8. Avoid frames. Search engine spiders are unable to read them. If you feel that you must use frames, include important body text within a <no frames> tag.

9. Register with search engines and directories by hand.

10. Avoid listing words repeatedly. This is considered keyword “stuffing” and is more likely to decrease your search engine ranking than improve it.

11. Do not use “black hat techniques” to try and artificially increase your site’s ranking. It will only end up backfiring and will probably get you banned from the search engine.

12. Do not use flash or images in place of searchable text. Also, use the “alt tag” to describe any images on your site. This information is indexed by search engines.

13. Use headers that are relevant and contain key words. Not only do they help organize your text, but they are also weighed heavily by search engines.

14. Update your site frequently. Search engines like sites that are growing and offer new content.

15. Use a blog to extend your site and keep your content fresh. Your blog should be an extension of your website (“https://www.yourwebsite.com/blogname” and not “https://yourwebsite.bloghost.com”)

16. Place a robots.txt file on your server. This will instruct web robots which directories can or cannot be crawled by search engine spiders.

17. Avoid using doorway or splash pages. Doorway pages are designed specifically for search engines and are considered another black hat tactic. Most search engines are capable of recognizing them, which makes them pointless. Splash pages are intended to be entryways to your site and usually consist of some type of flash animation. Although they might look cool, they take a long time to load and contain no content for search engines to crawl.

18. Include the major Meta tags on all of your pages. While the “key words” tag is not as important as it used to be, it should still be included. The “description” tag is more important since it is what search engines list after the title in their results.

19. Validate your HTML so search engines can read it. You should also validate any CSS and JavaScript that you use.

20. Hand submit your site to the major search engines. This is a simple step but can go a long way in getting your site listed.

Now that you understand some of the basics of search engine optimization, you can decide if you want to go more in-depth and take the time to optimize your site further. You might also consider having your website optimized by a professional. Either way, you have at least minimized some of the things that can lower you website’s ranking, which could have cost you potential visitors.- Darcy Logan

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