Let’s get one thing straight, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), can be taught to the masses, but very few individuals are willing to methodically go through the steps, on a consistent basis, to achieve and maintain the ultimate ranking for their website. This article is designed to simply touch on the cycle of event required to raise your current website’s ranking in the search engines and then maintain those levels for the long haul. The 10 Steps needed for proper SEO are outlined below follow by a very brief description. There are many tools available which enable you to perform the analysis required producing key data. This data is needed in order for you to effectively optimize your website. 1.Identify Your Competition Run analysis on what you figure to be the most common keywords searched for your site. Take a look at the websites that rank above you in the search engine results, this is your competition. Create a list of the top five websites and move on to step 2. 2.Quality Link Building Find out who do your competitor’s link partner with? Make every attempt to link partner with high quality websites. There is tremendous value in linking to high quality websites. Find out who your competition has link to it. Take the highest ranking (quality) websites they are linked to, contact these websites, and set up a link partnership. 3.Perform a Keyword Analysis on the Competition This allows you optimize your website for the same keywords. You’ll want to check out your competition’s website and optimize the content on your site for these particular keywords more effectively than the competition. Keyword Density, how often a particular keyword appears in your website, is paramount for achieving high rankings in the search engines. 4.Rinse and Repeat Steps 1-3 are the foundation for search engine optimization. What you are doing is building both a highly tuned website and search engine strategy enabling you to beat your competition both with your website and your website’s exposure on the search engines. Repeat steps 1-3 for as many keywords/phrases as you feel create the greatest exposure for your website. 5.Your Keywords Create a list of keywords/phrases that you may not have come across from your evaluations and find out what the popularity is of these keywords/phrases. You may find a niche that your competition does not have, therefore creating more exposure for your website. You would obviously want to inject and of these keywords/phrases into your website. 6.Let’s Go Under The Hood It’s not nearly enough to have the competition’ keywords and link partners, you need to tinker behind the scenes, “Under The Hood” of your website to really soup it up! Take your main keywords/phrases and very efficiently place them into your Page Title and Meta description of your website. This is absolutely necessary in order to help bring everything together if you want to rank high in the search engines. 7.Keyword Density (Keyword/Total Words) Quite simply, use, but don’t overuse, your main keywords that appear in your Page Title and your Meta Description. You want these keywords to appear as early as possible on your page, but in a grammar friendly format. Listing keywords/phrases randomly on the page is a “No No”. The text content should read well with a good flow. The more keywords you can place in your content, the higher the Keyword Density. Alt Tags and Header Tags increase your Keyword Density. 8.Submit Your Website Your website needs to be submitted to the major search engines in order for it to be seen in a timely manner. Google, MSN, & Yahoo, along with other major websites, make it available to you to submit your website for review. It is suggested to only submit a few pages a day to a couple of the major search engines. You do not want to perform this daily. Over submitting is a bad thing in the search engine world. Submit our pages a few times a week until you know you have been indexed. 9.Check Your Indexing Go to the search engine of your choice, type in the keyword/phrase you are interested in, and see if your site has been indexed. You may have to run through a number of pages to find your URL. Once you find your URL, you then know that you have been indexed. You may want to give this a few weeks in order to be indexed. 10. Continue to Refine Your SEO work is never complete. Getting ranked in the search engines is only the beginning. The on going work required to successfully rank high in the search engines never ends. It’s because of the grueling, never ending, process that most people fail at SEO. We wish you the best of luck with your optimization.