Although there are some skeptics, few people challenge the value of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). At its core, SEO is based in an algorithm that determines whether (or how well) your site meets certain core criteria. The criteria the algorithm evaluates is: technical factors, on-site factors, off-site factors, content factors, and links. That being said, here are some ways you can master your own SEO practices.
1) Keyword Research
There are many tools out there to help you track your keyword use and rank such as iWebTool and Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Try using different words or phrases and then making a spreadsheet of frequency and competition. The trick is finding words with high frequency but low competition. Once you find your best words, place them in the title, introductory sentence, and closing sentence of your piece that way search engines will be more likely to pick it. Watch this MACsWomen In Business video tutorial.
Whenever you list your business or any personal information online, make sure it is uniform throughout. Include the same name, phone number, email, etc each and every time. Additionally, make sure your URLs are not too long and, if they are, rewrite them.
Google will penalize pages that have less than 600 words as being too "thin," so make sure your content meets that limit and is also highly specific. That being said, try to keep the content under 1,500 words so your reader will stay focused and not be intimidated by length.
4) Web Performance
Utilize google's family of Page Speed tools which work to identify the best performance practices for the highest "visitor engagement, retention, and conversions." Shoot for a score of at least 85 and implement changes to raise the score if it is below that bar. This will come in especially handy for attracting traffic from mobile devices that run slower than a computer.
5) Annual Audit
SEO is constantly evolving and can be hard to keep up with on your own. Therefore, hiring a quality auditor to check for penalties and to ensure your site is running smoothly would be a wise business move. Any money you would spend on an auditor would make up for itself in the Search Engine Optimization penalties you would avoid.