SEO is commonly thought of as the desired keywords coupled with their placement. While keywords and their placement are important, perhaps even most important, there are other SEO techniques that should be utilized to maximize their effectiveness.
A Sitemap is a necessity for good SEO. Not only is a Sitemap an easily understood navigational aid for visitors, it allows the search engines to more readily index the site as well as to find more inaccessible pages, especially those not well linked.
Site setup is perhaps even more important. URL normalization, while not necessary for search engines can help visitors return to a given page. Too, they help reduce and even eliminate the number of programming language parameters in the URL which can be limited to as few as two parameters for sites without enough authority. Also, a flat directory structure is best. Nesting a page too deep in a directory structure can prevent the page from being indexed even with a Sitemap. Also, when using a CMS, or content management system, such as WordPress or Drupal for a web site, settings should be adjusted accordingly. Finally, a robots file is needed to prevent search engine crawlers from indexing pages on the site, especially those that contain duplicate content such as print pages.
Links can be as good as they can be bad. Linking to so-called bad neighborhoods as Google terms them, such as link farms, can greatly damage a site’s ranking in the SERPs. However, using the nofollow tag in links can be used when such linking is needed or when the link to a specific page isn’t to be considered an endorsement.
Finally, perhaps the most important technique for SEO – though couched in keywords – is the regular addition of new content. Most dated content will likely drop from the SERPs over time. If topical content is not replaced, the site’s ranking in the SERPs will degrade as well. Sites utilizing blogs or other content management systems are especially vulnerable as the search engines regularly crawl and index pages on those sites – those sites are designed to be regularly updated, and the search engines must keep up to date.
While keywords will likely always be the most important aspect of SEO, other aspects can greatly improve standings in the SERPs as well. Implementing those steps without the assistance of professional seo services can be daunting but can be done. Study the techniques and implement them step by step. And test and watch the results for maximized keyword effectiveness.