You could spend the rest of your life reading detailed guides to SEO and meticulously cramming keywords into every possible tag on your website. You could also empty your bank account on marketing consultants or a crack marketing team that works day and night to raise your company’s search engine profile. For marketers and companies with limited time and resources, it’s critical to focus on the SEO strategies that bring in the best results.

Whether you’re designing your blog or hiring an expert to handle it for you, here are the key aspects of SEO that you need to focus on in order to get the most for your time and money.

Use the Google All in One SEO for WordPress
There aren’t any magic tricks you can do to make your site rise in the search rankings. Perhaps the closest you can come to magically raising your rankings is using WordPress and its plug ins. If you are using WordPress for your website or blog and you want a simple way to bump up the SEO of your website, a simple plug in is a great place to start. The Google All in One SEO plug in will make your site search-engine friendly and provide a simple interface for plugging in keywords and clear titles.

If you are a DIY marketer, this tool is a great place to start and a real time-saver. Some developers claim that Headspace2 has more features than the All in One plug in, and you can compare them in this chart.

Optimize Your Page Title’s SEO for Readers
Of course every guide to SEO is going to trumpet the importance of nailing the keywords for your page title and description, but there’s one critical angle that you don’t want to overlook. By using Google Instant’s auto fill for searches, you can learn what your potential readers are already searching for and which keywords go together in the most common searches.

In other words, you can use Google to tell you what people are already searching for and then refine your website’s title keywords accordingly. Learn more about how Google Instant works.

Use Long Tail Keywords for SEO on Your Web Page
While it’s critical to include the top keywords for your field, don’t overlook variations and less common keywords—the long tail of keyword traffic so to speak. By using a broader range of keywords you can improve your website’s copy for readers while ensuring that you fill up your h2 and h3 headings throughout your pages with a wide range of relevant terms that will reach the broadest segment of readers.

In fact, too much keyword repetition could hurt your page rankings as Google’s search capabilities have grown wise to keyword stuffing techniques. Don’t spend your time on the increasingly insignificant meta keyword tags for your site. Google and Bing don’t even bother with them. Even ‘alt tags’ for your images are believed to have a minor impact on your search rankings. Nail the title and subtitle keywords and write a diverse keyword article full of information that readers need. If you nail the content, you’ll get inbound links.

Focus on Generating Meaningful Inbound Links for SEO
Another key to the SEO game is making sure you have meaningful inbound links from sites with high authority. It’s far more important to have links from twenty experts and leading trade sites than to enter your information in a hundred no-name directories. The relationships you build with top notch bloggers and the articles shared on top websites will give your SEO a significant boost.

Take Stock of What You Can Do
If you can’t do everything the SEO experts suggest, review this list  that ranks the top SEO practices according to a grading system that indicates their importance. SEO is too important to ignore, but every business operating within the constraints of a budget and time and space—which hopefully includes all of us—will need to prioritize what will work and what produces the best results. In fact, if you aren’t already, make sure you track the effectiveness of your SEO regularly.

Optimizing your website for search engines takes time and planning, but by cultivating several practices you’ll get better at integrating keywords in the places where they matter and producing content that readers are looking for online.

This guest post is written by marketing enthusiast, Lior Levine, who works for a variety of MA In Israel programs, particularly the MA in political science  department at the Tel Aviv University.

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