A new start to a new year. As we get ready to blaze into 2011 we thought it would be beneficial to take a quick look back on a few of the most significant items of 2010. Search Engine Optimization continues to lead all other Internet Marketing based customer generation processes, and that does not look like it will be changing in 2011.
Anyone who has read the tips and the advice we frequently post to our website knows that we are big advocates of SEO Fundamentals. After a brief review of the work we have completed in 2010 we have created a short list critical items you should address to maintain and/or improve your rankings.

Quick SEO Checklist:

01. SEO Fundamentals – This includes on page optimization, meta tags, new and unique content, site maps, and all the things that your website needs to have to function effectively. The primary purpose of excellent SEO Fundamentals is to insure your website will be indexed often and correctly by the search engines. How important are SEO Fundamentals? How often do you want to show up in the Search Engines? What’s the best way to know if your SEO Fundamentals are in good shape? A SEO_Audit, click here to learn more.

02. Links – Google started out at the beginning of this century putting together algorithms that would grade a website based on several factors. The number 1 factor of a websites rank was how many links pointed to it. Well it’s been almost 10 years, and links may not be as effective as they were 10 years ago, they are still by far the most important factor in website authority, pagerank, and over all SearchRankings. Nothing about this is new, but the ability to find the best links and negotiate the best agreements for those links is becoming a much more complicated practice. It’s critical that you work with a company that can find the best websites, make sure the publishers adhere to strict content guidelines, and can manage the contracts of how links will be used on your behalf.

One of the most significant events in SEO happened this summer when Google launched Caffeine. Caffeine was promoted as more of a hardware and hyper-indexing upgrade than a regular old PageRank update. What we took this to mean, was that Google can now index the web faster than they ever could before. What this means for SEO more than anything else is you better update your site often, and make sure your link partners are also updating their websites often. Google is looking for fresh content, so are other websites that are out there looking to link to fresh content. If your website doesn’t have it, or your link partners don’t have it, Google will find it out faster than they ever have before, and your rankings could be at risk.

03. Last but not least is Content. As stated previously Google is only getting faster, and Google’s stated mission is to provide users with the best content available when searching on a topic. New content is not as important as links yet, but its becoming more important than it has in the past. New content not only helps your SEO, good content helps your website, your brand and your message. Similar to good links, good content provides new information for the index to crunch through, and other websites something to link to, providing ultimate benefits.

We could take each one of these items and turn them into their own post. As you get ready to head into 2011, this is a good refresh on the Mission Critical items you should focus on to improve your SearchRankings.