Search engine optimization is about making your website worth caring about so people want to link to it. That’s why most of my time here is spent talking about making non-shitty websites.
Still, there are some quick things you can do to optimize your pages and create your own “link neighborhood” when you launch a fresh site. I want to share some of my super-secret essential tips and tricks (shh, don’t tell anyone).
1. Pick a domain name that matches your primary keyword.
2. Get other important keywords into the secondary page URLs using mod rewrite (or a platform that supports it, like WordPress).
3. Make sure every page has a unique title and H1 tag that matches your primary keyword objectives for that page.
4. Make sure the homepage links to most, if not all, other pages (at least to start).
5. Make sure every page links back to the homepage and many other secondary pages using appropriate anchor text.
6. Register on every social media site that makes sense for you (using this list). Include a link to the site in your profile. You can see how I have done so at Twitter or LinkedIn. It helps if the username you choose is a primary keyword.
7. Link the social media profiles to each other where applicable. Fill them out as fully as possible.
8. Actually use the social networks. More activity will create more links to the profiles, in turn passing more “juice” to the website.
9. Want a link from Wikipedia but you’re not famous enough? You can write whatever you want on your own user page.
10. Claim your site using Google Webmaster Tools. Submit your sitemap (preferably one that is automatically updated when you add new content, like with this plugin for WordPress).
11. Add a link to your email signature. No, it doesn’t count as a link. Yes, it can get other people to link.
12. Write guest posts for blogs matching your niche. Include your link in the byline.
13. Bookmark every page on Delicious. And if you want, Mister Wong too.
14. Do a Google Search for every one of your top keywords. Figure out how to get a link from any site showing in the top 20 results.
15. If it’s a blog, become a Chris Brogan Rockstar, Liz Strauss SOB, and Alltop Whatchamacallit. If possible, start your own badge instead.
16. Do not under any circumstance pay someone for a link. Do not offer or accept offers to trade links.
17. Avoid linking out to shady websites of any kind.
18. Study the keywords your competitors target (if they use meta-keywords you can just view source). Write landing pages ultra-optimized (is that the name of a Transformer?) for those keywords.
19. Write a blog, or find some other way to continually add new content. This adds to the content you have indexed, but is also another opportunity for links.
20. Forget everything I just said, because it’s worth one millionth the value of making something worth caring about that people want to link to. Instead, focus on pumping out great stuff and telling people about it. And approach search engine marketing with a real strategy. Oh, and link to old content.
21. BONUS: I don’t know, build a Twitter client or something.