With yet another Panda update people are freaking out more than ever. I have checked a lot of websites lately after reading their owners’ messages on different forums.
And I have noticed that a lot of them missed some basics of SEO that might have affected their rankings.
This is by no means a complete list of SEO elements you need to pay attention to. It is actually a naked, stripped down version for those who are starting out or want to make sure they are doing the basics right.
#1 Don’t miss my WordPress on-page SEO 101 post.
#2 Set up your permalinks structure from domainname.com/?p=123 to domainname.com/postname.
#3 Use a SEO plugin on your blog, I highly recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast. (Thesis theme doesn’t work well with this plugin but Genesis integrates perfectly).
#4 Write and optimize your posts with ONE keyword in mind. (You will be found for long tail keywords later).
#5 Include your keyword in the URL of the post.
#6 Include the keyword in the title of the post.
#7 Use the keyword a few times through out the post and in a title with H2 or H3 (don’t over do it).
#8 Include the keyword in the description of the post.
#9 Add alt tag to the images in your posts.
#10 Track your bounce rate and try lowering it by giving people what they want (more links to related posts for example).
#11 Speed up your blog. You can use some of the cache plugins like W3C.
#12 To speed up your site as far as images go, use Smush.it and always include “width” and “height” values.
#13 Use as few plugins as you can. Remove all the plugins that are not essential.
#14 Use a clean theme, like Genesis or the default Twenty Eleven theme.
#15 Have clear navigation.
#16 Do not put hundreds of links on single pages.
#17 Make sure you don’t have long blogrolls, tag clouds or other link leaks in the sidebar that will just water down your SEO.
#18 Learn about nofollow attribute.
#19 Add nofollow attribute to your affiliate links.
#20 Build internal links (link to your own posts).
#21 Do not use nofollow on your internal links.
#22 Build links slowly. Building hundreds of links every week will ring the red Google bell.
#23 Build both follow and nofollow links.
#25 Diversify sources of your links.
#26 Diversify anchor text you use when linking to your posts.
#27 Use tools like Market Samurai to see where your competitors are getting the links from and then copy their strategy.
#28 Add social sharing buttons to your posts so people can share your work and naturally build links for you.
#29 Write for people while implementing the basic SEO rules for on-page optimization.
#30 Never engage in black hat techniques.
Feel free to add any tips to the list, but keep in mind that it is for complete beginners :)