14 Hot Ideas in Free and Paid Search
Are you on top of today’s hottest ideas in free and paid search? Here are 14 easy-to-implement ways to get your site to the top of everyone’s results. Each could support a full article in its own right, so I’ve also provided additional links to help you dig in further.
Free Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
1. Social media sites drive links; links drive rankings. Get familiar with Digg (digg.com), StumbleUpon (www.stumbleupon.com), Netscape (netscape.com) and Reddit (reddit.com), because these social-media sites can drive huge traffic. More importantly, that traffic leads to numerous inbound links, which are the rocket fuel powering your organic rankings.
Not all of your content is Digg-worthy, but see if a few times a year you can develop content so compelling that it warrants attention from the social-media tribes.
2. Markup matters. Inbound links are critical, but markup still matters. Use clean, well-formed, validating HTML. Pay special attention to your title tags, and give each page a unique title. Use the robots-nocontent tag to tell the spiders to ignore your navigation.
3. Embrace cascading style sheets (CSS). These separate presentation from content. Well-designed CSS achieves the following:
● your pages load and render more quickly;
● searchbots better understand your page; and
4. Blogs and RSS. Search engines love fresh content presented at regular intervals in machine-friendly format. Blogs and really simple syndication (RSS) provide just that. With proper publishing pings and tagging, the engines will discover and index your RSS content rapidly. Blogging is another great way to communicate with customers and prospects. There are many good blogging platforms; WordPress (see wordpress.org) is particularly popular given its rich set of plug-ins.