SEO Guide

The following categories are used throughout this post:
Formatting– This has to do with HTML coding, or other items which directly involve visual layout, design and appearance.
Usability – This has to do with making the experience more efficient and fulfilling for the users. This also has to do with accessibility.
Analytics – This has to do with analyzing logs, patterns, and related research.
Strategy – This has to do with intelligence, planning, and implementation.
Expense – This has to do with management expenses, and other overhead.

This is not expected to be a complete list, however, it is a good place to not just start, but for some projects finish as well. We invite your comments, be they on this site, or directly to us at SEO Treo .

SEO TIPS & TRICKS Bold important text. Formatting. By selectively highlighting keywords with the B, STRONG or EM tags, or other tags which may be modified through CSS, users and search engines alike are directed to important information. When used properly, strategically bolded keywords draw the eye, as well as search engine spiders.

Italicize properly. Formatting. Italics are a more subtle form of bold, and can be used more frequently.

Use Headers to organize content. Formatting. Usability. Creating organized sections can highly improve the experience and effectiveness of your site.

Hyperlink text naming. Formatting. Usability. Properly naming links is among the easiest search engine optimizations which can be done, and is a SEO fundamental. says, of hyperlink text,

Use text that makes sense when read out of context. For example, avoid “click here.”

Link titles. Usability. Formatting. Use Anchor TITLE attributes effectively. This is one method for doubling keywords on a page, and also a method for implanting additional keywords. Link TITLE tags can also be used to alter generic link names to relate to keywords. An example of this is incorporating a domain name with the “Home” link so often used on websites: <a href=”” title=”Advanced Search Engine Optimization SEO Treo Home”>Home</a>

IMG tag ALT attributes. Usability. Formatting. Use image ALT attributes effectively. Beyond having accessibility benefits, image ALT attributes may also act in similar fashion to Anchor TITLE attributes, and can be used to incorporate keywords into the page.

Use page TITLE tags strategically. Usability. Formatting. Strategy. Consider placing site/company name at the end of page titles, when using TITLE tags. Use TITLE tags effectively. Keep in mind that TITLE tags are generally used to create bookmarks and favorites.

Tie page TITLE tags into the BODY. Usability. Formatting. Strategy. Incorporate TITLE tag phrases and keywords effectively throughout the body or content of the page. Make TITLE tags relevant to the page.

Diversify TITLE tags. Usability. Formatting. Strategy. Do not use the same TITLE tag throughout the entire site.

Internal linking. Usability. Use effective links to pages within your own site. Search engines use internal links to create a site map of your site. The site maps created by search engines start at the root of your domain and layer outwards, giving higher priority to lower layers or levels. A page within your site which is not directly linked to from the root of your site is not seen by the search engines as important as a page which is directly linked to from the root of your site.

Tag properly. Usability. If your site uses tags, use them very wisely. Too often a plethora of tags exist where only a few are necessary, had some foresight been given at their creation and application. If your site then uses “tag clouds,” be very aware of your users, as it may be more confusing and frustrating than expected, as well as a potential eye sore.

Diversify traffic sources. Strategy. Analytics. Keep up with where site traffic is coming from, and cultivate new sources.

XML Sitemaps. Strategy. Properly and efficiently utilized XML Sitemaps are powerful guides for search engines, and potentially other resources. One key of implementing XML Sitemaps is maintaining search engine standards, or rules, as well as keeping the XML Sitemap up-to-date. A stale, or old XML Sitemap is mostly useless, so keep it current. For larger websites, break the XML Sitemaps into separate files, perhaps by groups (again, this is in keeping with specific search engine rules).

Site Maps and Directories. Usability. Site Maps and Directories are useful not just for users, but for search engines as well, especially search engines which do not use XML Sitemaps.

Proper URL / URI naming. Usability. Naming files easy, readable and keyword oriented names is a simple way to increase usability for your site.

Cross Promotion. Strategy. Whenever feasible and possible, advertise your website(s) through other mediums, such as television, radio, print, et cetera.

Credit sources properly. Strategy. Giving credit where credit is due is a way to establish and strengthen one’s own reputation. It can also help by tying authoritative names to your site.

Backlinks. Strategy. Usability. These are links from other websites which point to your site. Backlinks are SEO 101. Establishing backlinks is the primary objective of Link Building. The more the merrier.

Deep Linking. Strategy. Usability. These are backlinks which point to pages within your site, not directly at the root of your site. Deep links are an effective method for attributing authority to pages which are several layers deep into your site. See Internal Link for more about link layers.

Backlink keywords. Strategy. Usability. This is link naming on third party sites. Try to get strategically named links pointing to your websites. In regards to link naming, backlink keywords may be more important when they are on other websites pointing back to your site. This is also an interesting way to see how your site is perceived by the third party sites.

Think Internationally. Usability. Be aware of International audiences, which includes paying attention to TLDs, languages, and trends.

Use ROBOTS.TXT. Strategy. This is a very easy and important way to stay in touch with search engines. Robots.txt files allow you to direct search engine spiders to important information as well as direct them away from unimportant information.

Provide quality content. Usability. Strategy. If we were ordering this list, providing quality content would be my number one recommendation. Users will recognize a good resource, and will not only come back for more, but will recommend it to others through backlinks, reviews, word-of-mouth, et cetera. This is not always the quickest route to being top of the SERPs, but is more of a long-term tactic.

Be aware of keyword density. Usability. Strategy. Keyword Density is the frequency of keywords within your site in relation to the rest of the content within your site. Keyword Stuffing, as the practice of using far too many keywords per page is called, not only ruins the experience of the user, but may result in search engines interpreting your site as SEO spam, which it probably is, and refusing to index your sites. So, keep the amount of keywords per page down to a strategic minimum. Over-saturating your pages with keywords violates the common sense approach of using natural language.

Stay In Touch With Users. Strategy. Keep in contact with users via e-mail, mailing lists, and other mediums.

Stay In Touch With Your Interests. Strategy. Keep up with your area of interests, specific to your website. This will help you provide better content for your users, and will provide more opportunities for you to be, or remain, an expert in your field.

Order of Appearance and relation of importance. Strategy. Formatting. Search engines tend to place higher value to items which they encounter first, within your page. This is one area where writing for search engine spiders will pay off.

Family Branding. Strategy. Have multiple domains within the family of networks which all relate to one another, and promote one another.
Provide Original Content. Usability. Strategy. Provide original content whenever possible. This helps establish you as an expert authority both with readers and search engines.

Utilize Pay-Per-Click advertising. Strategy. Usability. Expense. This is not for everyone, but Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a good way to introduce you to internet advertising, as well as to your target market. Internet advertising, depending where you advertise, and how, can get very narrow, in a good way. You should be able to narrow your advertising down to zip codes, niches, and highly localized groups. Also, tracking your PPC advertising campaigns should be very easy to do.

Keep content fresh. Usability. Strategy. Some sites may be able to get away with stale or not very up-to-date information, but most sites will benefit from some regular TLC. It does not have to be a complete site redesign, but your site should hold value and should draw the interest of users who check your site on a daily basis.

Keep your site design fresh. Formatting. Strategy. Maybe every year or two, redesign your site. This is purely to keep up the impression that your site is current, latest and greatest, new, fresh, and the right place to be.

Know Keyword History. Analytics. Strategy. Be aware of search phrases and historically effective keywords. Check out internet archives such as, and observe patterns which various sites have and put your SEO hat (you choose the color) on, and think about why certain changes were made, and what results they may have had. Internet archives are also a good place to find information which has been pulled, for whatever reasons, from the actual “target” site(s).

Properly use 301 Redirects. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. URL forwarding through 301 Redirects tells users and search engines that the page they are trying to reach has PERMANENTLY MOVED to such and such new PERMANENT destination. There are various ways to implement 301’s, so just do your homework before implementing URL Forwarding.

Properly use 302 Redirects. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. URL forwarding through 302 Redirects tells users and search engines that the page they are trying to reach has TEMPORARILY MOVED to such and such TEMPORARY destination. There are various ways to implement 302’s, and if used improperly, 302’s can have adverse effects … as in your site may be removed from search engine indexes, banned, or basically your SEO campaign can be assassinated. So, it is very important to do your homework before implementing 301 URL Forwarding.

Efficiently use 404 Errors. Usability. Strategy. A 404 Error is what happens when a user attempts to view a page that does not exist. These generally happen for either misspelled page URLs or for pages that have been deleted or moved without any notices. See 301 and 302 URL Forwarding. Be creative with 404’s! Some of my favorite 404’s, we have even bookmarked, because they offered wonderful site maps or directories to the site. Google now offers the ability to include a site search option on 404’s, which is very helpful to users who have lost their way.

Use Search Engine submissions. Strategy. Use search engine submission as a backup. A lot of alleged SEO experts ignore search engine submissions and claim they are a waste of time. If you are unable to spare twenty (20) seconds to submit your site to a single search engine, you need to call Franklin Covey or just find a different profession. Submit your sites to search engines using their submission forms, but do not leave it at that. Hopefully you are using as many of these SEO tips as you can. If you are running an actual SEO campaign, then you will be making efforts to secure backlinks, and such from strategically chosen sites which are already indexed. SEO is a lot like security, in that a layered approach is often the best path. The more layers you effectively and efficiently implement, the greater your chances of success. Do not limit yourself, and do not let your SEO Consultant limit you. Submit your sites. FWIW, if your site takes off like a wildfire, and is indexed before you take the few seconds it takes to submit it to a search engine, then you can go ahead and skip this tip.

Avoid search engine submission services. Strategy. There are several reasons for this, but we will list just two. One, do not be so lazy! Two, some search engine submission services do not play nice, and the search engines respond by looking at the sites these services submit in a negative way. We have never used these types of services, because we can take five minutes or so out of my day and do my own search engine submissions. Just bookmark the submission pages, and save yourself a minute or two the next time you need them. If you absolutely insist on wasting your money to have your site submitted to search engines, contact me, and we will submit your sites to the top three to five search engines for our minimum one hour fee … this way you feel good for paying someone else to do things, and we feel good for making a quick buck. We will then open up my bookmarks, and manually submit your site, which should take me about twenty seconds each SE if we hurry or sixty if We are busy in another browser tab. Also, do not even ask if you can get fifty-five minutes of consulting service with that!

Use frames sparingly. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. Frames are not user-friendly in most scenarios. They may have their uses, but in a lot of situations, a little extra creativity should allow for a better solution with a method other than frames. Frames are also not search engine friendly. There have been a few arguments that frames allow multiple opportunities for keywords and such, but we have not seen any proof of this to date.

Share content as a form of advertising. Strategy. If you can provide quality content which other publishers can benefit from posting, then do so!

Create linkable content. Formatting. Strategy. Create content which lends itself towards social media networks, making it easier to obtain backlinks. You may also find it beneficial to create summaries for each page, post, section, et cetera, so as to make it more a copy and paste endeavor for anyone wanting to link to you. You may also take the copy and paste concept even further and provide completely ready to go links for your readers.
Copy & Paste Summary & Link:
<a href=”” title=”Advanced SEO & Internet Marketing Tactics SEO Treo Blog”></a>, and <a href=”” title=”Internet Marketing Reverse Search Engine Optimization SEO Online Identity Management SEO Treo ”>internet marketing</a> firm, SEO Treo have compiled a comprehensive list of search engine optimization tips which should be not just in every SEO professionals checklists, but that of every webmaster or website owner. Each SEO tip has a brief description or explanation which allows this <a href=”” title=”SEO Tips and Tricks”>SEO tips and tricks</a> list to be useful for all levels of search engine optimization.<br />Read the article here: <a href=”” title=”SEO Tips and Tricks”>SEO Tips and Tricks</a>

Low-Level Browser Compatibility. Strategy. Usability. Provide basics for low-level browsers and search engines when using JavaScript, Flash, et cetera. Be aware of your target market’s browsing capabilities. In regards to search engines, the more basic the site, the easier and quicker they can process it, which is a win-win for you and the search engines.

Browser Compatibility. Usability. Strategy. Be aware of your target market’s browsing capabilities, and habits. Keep in mind that search engines may not be able to interpret a page or site as well as an internet browser client. There are tools out there which can assist you with this, one of my favorites is

Use reputable website hosting services. Strategy. Where you choose to host your websites can impact how users and search engines perceive your site. This is true on numerous levels. Obvious issues may include bandwidth, or the lack of, as well as server errors and other technical issues. Not so obvious may be blacklisted IP addresses, spam histories, virus histories, protections for current and future issues of each, and so forth. Just do your due diligence when selecting a web site host.

Standardize root links. Strategy. Standardize root links to just the domain name, or to index.html, et cetera. This is to maximize your marketing efforts. Also, be aware of how others will naturally link to you. If they will naturally just link to your domain name, then perhaps you should consider doing the same. If they will link to your domain /index.html, then again, perhaps you should consider the same. This should stay true throughout just about all of your advertising campaigns. This is another reason to know your target audience as well as interested entities, such as those who may review your products, or comment on your products, and link to your sites.

Use META tag keyword objects effectively. Formatting. Strategy. Usability. Whether search engines fully utilize META Keywords as part of their indexing and ranking or not, META Keywords can help you determine what the focus of each page is. META Keywords are simple to implement, and are a classic way to place keywords onto a page.

Use META tag description objects effectively. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. The META description is most commonly seen in search engine summaries within the SERPs. The description is also an opportunity to include keywords in a natural language, i.e. for humans rather than for search engine spiders. Each page should have its own unique META description.

Create and maintain directories. Usability. Formatting. Strategy. Create and maintain directories for specific types of content, such as videos, audio, various documents, et cetera. This is an easy way to help your users and search engines better navigate your sites, and it helps break your sites into organized pieces.

Use natural language. Usability. Formatting. Strategy. Write primarily for people, not search engines. This is something which may sometimes be difficult to identify as an issue. Be aware of what you are composing, and be sure it makes sense to someone who may be learning from your site.

Properly surround links. Usability. Strategy. Surround links, images and other multimedia with descriptive content. Both people and search engines place things into context, each in their own way of course, but the content surrounding a link should support that link, or image, or multimedia object.

Identify images and multimedia with the ALT attribute. Usability. Strategy. Include the word “image” or “picture” in the ALT tag option of images. Include the word “video” in the ALT tag option of videos and movie clips.

Develop content which flows well. Usability. Formatting. Strategy. refers to “Page organization.” When developing content, your use of natural language should be just that, words which naturally flow when read, spoken, or thought.

Sparingly use splash pages. Usability. Formatting. Strategy. If you must, use them sensibly and efficiently.

Interact reputably with your industry, market, niche, community. Strategy. Search Engine Optimization sometimes falls outside of the internet. By creating a strong reputation for yourself, you are creating demand for you, your work, and or your organization. Your name is your brand. Build it. Protect it.

Know the value of various TLD backlinks. Strategy. Be aware of the value of backlinks from various top level domain types, such as .gov, .edu, et cetera, for your particular needs.

Use HEAD tag sections effectively. Formatting. Strategy. The HEAD tag contains several opportunities to provide valuable information to both human readers and search engines.

Be aware of localized search patterns. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. Localized search patterns may range from inclusion of local geographic names to local language nuances. Understand these, and determine if and how you may use them to your advantage.

Analyze search engine caches. Strategy. Analyze search engine caches as part of evaluating current and potential locations for backlinks. Sites which are already indexed and cached carry the potential to direct the search engine to your sites. As part of this they can also offer their vote to your authority.

Keep the amount of keywords per page down to a strategic minimum. Usability. Strategy. Over-saturating your pages with keywords violates the common sense approach of using natural language. Keyword Stuffing, as the practice of using far too many keywords per page is called, not only ruins the experience of the user, but may result in search engines refusing to index your sites.

Strategically target backlinks. Strategy. Develop a list of authoritative resources from which you would like backlinks and work towards obtaining and maintaining these links. Be aware of TLD Authority.

Ensure navigation is available as text links. Formatting. Strategy. This may be more difficult in sites which rely heavily on eye-candy, however, in such situations, be sure that ALT attributes are used properly whenever possible, and perhaps offer a low-resolution alternative.

Leadership blogging. Strategy. In some instances it may be advantageous for high level executives, specifically the President or CEO of an organization, to have a blog or other regular outlet for publications. Be very sure though, that anyone officially publishing content for your organization has a deep and thorough understanding of search engine optimization techniques and tactics. Also, try to have someone to edit and keep the blog on track, which may be a more pressing task for the ego’s of leadership than anything else, but such is the way of things.

Use eye-candy strategically and efficiently. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. Even sites with a heavy reliance on graphics should understand how to maximize the use of such objects. We suggest studying arts of persuasion, art in general, and related forms of psychology and sciences.

Use audio strategically and efficiently. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. It is a personal annoyance to have audio automatically play when a page is loaded, especially when We are already listening to something, or am enjoying the silence and have forgotten to mute or turn down the volume. Also, a heavy reliance on audio, will have little effect on users with hearing impairments or on those lacking audio hardware. Of course, if your site is all about music or such, one would think your target audience is prepared for audio, but even then, just think respectfully of your users. If you absolutely must play audio with each page load or such, please offer an obvious and effective method for stopping your audio.

Develop each page as a landing page. Formatting. Strategy. By developing each page as a landing page, you are inviting, and are better prepared for backlinks. This also allows for easy entry into your site, but may be more difficult to channel or control the flow of users.

Stay current with domain expiration times and renewals. Strategy. Expense. Be aware of the dates when your domains will expire. Also, be aware of the dates when desirable domains you currently do not own will expire. It is such a simple task it is often deemed unimportant, but it just takes one domain expiration to cause immense misery with an organizations internet presence.

Offer site search which keeps traffic on your site. Formatting. Usability. Strategy. The concept here is to keep users on your domain for as long as possible, and to provide valued resources to these users throughout their visit to your site. In some situations, you may even want to avoid sending traffic to another domain you own. If you implement a site search, which we suggest you do, then use a search solution where both the search and results are on your site. You may also be able to glean search patterns from users.

Where feasible, use text captions with images. Usability. Formatting. This is primarily a usability issue. However, consider it another opportunity to choose your words wisely.

Whenever possible, use absolute links over relative links. Formatting. Strategy. Absolute links continue to work if your information is published elsewhere. Relative links will most likely not work outside of your site, which translates to lost backlinks and a poor impression. For the curious:

Absolute link:
Relative link: ./index.php

Properly utilize search engine image options. Strategy. By intentionally allowing, and even encouraging search engines to index your images, you are allowing more options for your site to be in SERPs. An example of this would be “enhanced image search” from Google Webmaster Central’s Webmaster Tools, specifically Settings, Image Search, “Include my site in Google Image Labeler.” (Recently moved from Tools to Settings.)

Verify your server headers are clean. Strategy. Verify your server headers are being properly generated. There are free online tools which can help you check your web server’s headers. We suggest you start with, “check headers.”

Keep up with search engine policies and practices. Strategy. This may be accomplished via the search engine’s own blogs, mailing lists, forums, et cetera.

Properly utilize rel=”nofollow”. Formatting. Strategy. NOFOLLOW should be used to emphasis strategic or non-strategic sections of your site and outbound links, or exit points. Here is what Wikipedia, at the time of this writing, defines nofollow as, “nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring.” Essentially, it is telling search engines which use this anchor attribute to not use that pages link juice or authority towards benefiting the nofollow link. The link is still usable by site users. The following is an example of a before and after of an anchor tag and the nofollow attribute:

<a href=”” title=”Advanced SEO & Internet Marketing Tactics”>Advanced SEO</a>


<a rel=”nofollow” href=”” title=”Advanced SEO & Internet Marketing Tactics”>Advanced SEO</a>

Also, regarding nofollow’s, blogs, and plugins, do not be afraid to just directly edit the HTML code. It does not take long to type fourteen simple characters.

Utilize Press Releases effectively. Usability. Strategy. If you send out press releases just for the sake of sending out press releases, chances are potentially interested humans will begin to opt out of reading your press releases. Put press releases out when you actually have something worth talking about. Do not waste your readers’ time. Implement the Golden Rule here … not “He who has the gold makes the rules,” but “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you do not have anything worth mentioning in a press release, stop worrying about stupid press releases and start working on improving your organization, reaching goals, achieving amazing results, dominating your industry, and so forth. This all said, press releases are good opportunities to pitch your organization, and to do it strategically.

Use search engine provided analytical tools. Analytics. Strategy. The most obvious examples of this, for me, are Google Analytics and Yahoo Site Explorer. There are third-party website analytics tools out there, but we suggest you utilize the search engine(s) you are targeting analytical tools if possible.

The following is directly from’s Website Design page, and is not just good web design advice, but very applicable SEO advice:

Users Are Scanners

If you think a typical user will read the entire content of your Web pages, you are wrong.

No matter how much useful information you put into a Web page, a visitor will only spend a few seconds scanning it before they decide whether to leave it or to stay.

If you want a visitor to read your text, be sure to make your point in the very first sentence of the page. After that you should try to keep them occupied with short paragraphs and interesting new headers all the way down the page.

Less Is More

Try to keep all sentences as short as possible. Try to keep your paragraphs as short as possible. Try to keep your chapters as short as possible. Try to keep your pages as short as possible.

Use a lot of space between your paragraphs and chapters. Pages overloaded with text will kill your audience.

Don’t place too much content on a single page. If you have a lot to say, try to break your information into smaller chunks and place it on different pages. Don’t expect any visitor to scroll all the way down to the bottom of a page with thousands of words.


Try to create a navigation structure that is common for all the pages in your Web.

Keep the use of hyperlinks inside your text paragraphs to a minimum. Don’t use hyperlinks inside text paragraphs to send your visitors to every random page of your Web. That will destroy the feeling of a consistent navigation structure.

If you must use hyperlinks, add them to the bottom of a paragraph or to the navigation menus of your site.

Download Speed

A common mistake made by many web designers is to develop a site on a local machine with direct access to the data, or to develop the site over a high-speed Internet connection. Sometimes developers are not aware of the fact that some of their pages take a long time to download.

Internet usability studies tell us that most visitors will leave a Web page that takes more than 7 seconds to download.

Before you publish any content heavy pages, make sure they are tested over a low-speed modem connection. If your pages take a long time to download, you might consider removing some of your graphic or multimedia content.

Let Your Audience Speak!

Feedback from your users is a very good thing. Your visitors are your “customers”. Very often they will give you some valuable wisdom, or advise you, completely free of charge, about what you could have done better.

If you provide a simple way to reach you, you will get a lot of positive input from a lot of people with different skills and knowledge.

we also suggest you keep up with the W3C’s Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and their Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), as well as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Do be aware though, that just because something is a W3C Accessibility method does not mean it is a SEO tactic. Accessibility is a usability tactic, which is an important item when writing for humans.

Patience is often cited as a Search Engine Optimization tip, however, there is no time to be idle. SEO is an intense job which requires a lot of dedication, planning, implementation and constant learning. As with a lot of things in life, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.

Now we have something on which to build …

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