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24tips: the basics of natural SEO

17 Dec: there’s an awful lot of stuff talked about search engine optimisation, much of it peddled by people who make a good living out of making it a dark art. The truth is, some clever copywriting and lateral thinking gets you a long way in search, and there are some simple ways to do it right.

seo analysis

In SEO for the Average Joe, Kim Stearns of web agency Forty distills a whole bunch of tutorials and lists into fifteen commonly-cited, useful rules of thumb to ensure your website copy performs as well as it can in search engines, including:

  • Keyword prominence – keywords and phrases should appear as close to the top of the page as possible
  • Less than 100 links to external pages
  • Make sure singulars and plurals are used in keywords and phrases
  • Keywords appear in alt text (yes, but don’t distort meaning – Ed)

There’s also a nice link to this keyword density analyser. While we’re with the SEO tools, here’s a handy link analyser and a spider simulator, to give you a sense of what the Googlebot sees when it lands on your site. And if you’re into SEO, you could do worse than follow Matt Cutts’ blog.

24 helpful tools and techniques for doing web stuff cheaply