SEO Refresher, what's new and what still works?

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is as important to your online presence as ever. Google has been the dominant search engine for some time, being used nearly 90% of the time by people around the world.

While Google is constantly changing and improving their search algorithms, there are many basic things you can do keep your site placing effectively in search results. Here are a few tried and true methods to improve your site's SEO.

1. The right copy makes a difference. Take your time, do your research and figure out the keywords you need to focus on. Choosing keywords that explain what your business does AND get searched for frequently are the keywords you want to use on your site. The right keywords in page titles, headers, and body copy will help users find your site when they're looking for the services you offer. Make sure the copy on your site is made up of between 4% to 7% of your chosen keywords. This is the average range that search engines determine as acceptable. Anything less and your keywords may not be registered, anything more could be considered spam or keyword stuffing.

2. Keep it fresh. Many sites today have news sections or blogs. There are many benefits to having one on your site, including letting search engines know your site has a pulse. Regular content updates via a blog or the addition of pages means new content to get crawled and indexed by engines. Fresh information published on a regular basis helps your SEO.

3. Links back to your site. It's all about who you know. Wherever possible, whether it be in an article published on another site or for a business you've just completed work for, try to have a link back to your site included on theirs. This builds trust in Google's eyes, creating a sense of 'community' on the web. The bigger that community, the better the results for everyone. While you're at it, try to include some title text on those links that describe what your business does, if possible

4. Get the word out. Take advantage of Facebook and Twitter pages. Keep fairly active on them and you'll see results. Improve your online presence by participating on social media sites. Share news, promotions, photos, videos and more to draw readers in and back to your site.

5. Work with professional developers. Not sure where to begin your SEO work? Hire a professional to help. Many companies today are SEO specialists, they can help research your industry and determine the kinds of keywords you need to use, and monitor the results properly. Developers can optimize parts of your site like page titles, urls, headings, alternative text on images and more to get your site noticed.