By Danielle Dandridge

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an integral component in increasing your website’s visibility in search engines and directories. Here are five easy tips to help the novice get started with SEO.

1.) CONTENT – This may be the most important factor in successful search engine optimization. The content of your website should include a high density of your keywords without sounding too redundant. (You can also strategically place your keywords in image tags.) Take the time to do keyword research, identify the most relevant keywords for your site, and implement them into your content. This establishes high relevancy and will help you get a higher ranking in search engines. Fresh content, new content added regularly, is also very desirable to search engines, so update your site often.

2.) META TAGS – It is extremely vital to optimize your meta tags. Meta tags are located toward the top of your page’s code. You want to make sure your title tag contains main keywords and is present within the content of your page. Your keyword meta tag should contain the keywords you found in your research that you implemented into your page content. Your description meta tag should be keyword rich as well, and it’s not a bad idea to take the description directly from the page content if possible. All of this also establishes high relevancy and assists in search engine rankings

3.) LINK BUILDING – Linking to relevant, complimentary websites that share similar keywords with your site and have a decent PR (page rank) is a great way to boost your own PR. You can achieve this by building relevant inbound (backlinks) and outbound links. It is crucial that you ensure the quality of both the sites that link to you and the sites you link to, as search engines can actually penalize you for having irrelevant, low quality links. There are a few free link exchange websites you can join. Avoid paid/automated link exchange programs because search engines can penalize you for using them, as well. Only join FREE MANUAL link exchanges, and be sure to trade quality, relevant links. This helps increase your site’s search engine visibility.

4.) SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION – Submit your website to the most popular search engines in order to get indexed. It is true that searchbots (search engine robots) can find and index websites on their own (if they are properly optimized for relevancy), but it doesn’t hurt to manually submit your site instead of waiting for it to be found.

5.) DIRECTORY SUBMISSION – Choose as many relevant and popular directories as you can find to submit your URL to. Some directories have hundreds of categories to choose from, and others are more specific to certain categories and industries. For example, if you have a web design site, you can submit it to some of the larger, multi-categorical directories like Yahoo!, and also to directories that are solely for web design and web development. All of this will help increase your site’s visibility, bolster your web presence, and boost your page rank.

About the Author: “I’ve been the CEO and Website Solutions Specialist of Paradigm Shift Website Solutions, LLC for 3 ½ years. For information on our services, you can contact me at