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3 Key Steps To SEO Fitness

Jun 4, 2008
Summer is almost here: time to get outside, stretch your legs, and finally get started on that New Year's resolution to exercise. So isn't this a good time to get your website into shape, too?

Like perfect biceps or rock-hard abs, a high search-engine ranking won't come overnight. Getting to the top takes disciplined, consistent action and long-term dedication.

To help you get started, we've come up with 3 key steps to SEO fitness. Make these actions part of your regular routine, and your site will grow strong enough to climb to the top of the rankings--even for more competitive phrases.

Healthy Eating: Content

A steady diet of regular content updates will show search engines that your site isn't stale--and give your visitors a reason to come back.

Your site content should be fortified with plenty of key phrases. To make the copy even stronger, use variations on your targeted terms: plural forms, synonyms, acronyms, abbreviations, etc.

But don't overdo it. Keyword stuffing can be a turnoff to visitors, so make sure your content reads well. After all, communicating with your audience is the ultimate purpose of your web presence.

(Besides, if your site is overfilled with key phrases, search engines might not like it either.)

The perfect recipe: maintain a healthy balance of key phrases and good, solid marketing copy.

Exercise: Link Building

When others link to you, your ranking improves, so it's essential to develop a regular routine for finding link partners.

Ideally, you should submit your website to a few sites every week. Search engines like to see a pattern of more and more sites linking to you over time, so keep on it. SEO is a test of discipline and endurance.

Track your submissions and link-building efforts with a spreadsheet to show where you've submitted your site and who linked to you. Keep it simple; there's no need for fancy SEO tools and equipment like the Bowflex Link BuilderŪ. (Okay, yes, I made that up.)

Regular Checkups: Expert Advice

Your site might suffer from fundamental SEO health problems such as congenital programming issues, swelling of the code glands, domain dysfunction, or the deadly graphical-textivitus.

If you have one of these disorders, you may need to see a specialist.

Perhaps you want to appear on the 1st page of results--or even better, you're set on the #1 spot. Or maybe you're fighting for highly competitive phrases.

If you have great aspirations, consider teaming with a personal trainer: a professional SEO specialist. These full-time optimizers can train your site to compete for Olympic-level phrases, helping you get results that might have been impossible to achieve on your own.

Keep an eye on your traffic stats. Record your web metrics before you begin optimization, and patiently track your results. After all, SEO is all about traffic.

Any exercise guru will tell you that there are no shortcuts to true fitness. Develop a long-range plan, strive for consistent progress, and stay dedicated to your efforts. You'll be proud of the results.

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About the Author
As a principal and strategic director at Orbit Media Studios, Andy draws on his knowledge of marketing, usability, and interactive design to lead strategic planning for the firm and its clients. Orbit specializes in web, print, and video design & development. Orbit Media Studios.
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