SEO Principles and Tips

Search anywhere on the Internet and you will surely find an article by just about anybody and his granny on the subject of search engine optimization.

Everybody has their own opinion as to how to “trick” Google into making them overnight millionaires, while some people just downright hate it …

However, there is no getting away from the fact that this phenomenon is growing to be extremely important in today’s business world. As more and more small to medium businesses are starting to get the most out of the internet, they all want to know how to get to the top of the ladder.

Here are a few tips to help some of you along the way.

1.Be patient
For anybody that sets up his or her first domain and submits to Google, you soon get that sinking feeling within the first week that you’ve been taken for a ride.

It seems that new domains are sent to the “Google sandbox” ( for the first 6 -12 months of their existence. For this time, all you can do is keep plugging away, until you are allowed come in to play.

2. Forums
Forums are a great place to get your name out there and get yourself known as an industry expert. Only post in forums that relate to your industry.., then like trying to squeeze a fart out without anybody knowing, cheekily slip your signature into the bottom of your posts. Nothing wrong with it… However, don’t use it as a blatant advertising tool. Try to help people out and if you know what your talking bout you will get what you deserve. Blacknight hosting solutions do a good job of this in several different forums across Ireland.

3. Keywords
Before you do anything! Make sure that you have the correct keywords. You should spend about 30% of your overall time on SEO on keywords alone. There are some brilliant keyword tools out there, but like everything else, you get what you pay for.
Most people visit, which is designed to see how many times your selected keyword is searched for during a certain period. I think its crap.

I use where you get a lot more ideas for keywords along with keyword popularity for specific countries also.

4.Building links
Everybody’s favourite bit of SEO is building links. “Look I’ve already linked to 4,400 sites”…”why amn’t I in the top 10?”

The answer is that most of those sites are probably:
1.Heavily involved in selling viagra
2.Have rubbish content and are just big sacks of spam.
3.They have no page rank.

Only link to quality sites such as and sites that are related to your industry. Avoid crap sites like the plague.

5. Validate your site using W3C validation.
Another principle I like to uphold is making sure that a site is validated by the W3C standards. Visit

Design your sites in CSS. Tables are useless for purposes other than holding information, which is what they were built for. Avoid their use wherever possible.
Most sites that use tables as opposed to CSS look like they came straight out of 1997 and were drawn using HB colouring pencils. (Most, not all..).

6.Title and description
The tag is one of the key factors in your site’s search engine attractiveness. Make sure that every page’s title tag is different and contains the name of your business and at least one of your main keywords.
The “description” isn’t that useful as far as SEO is concerned , however it can be a great marketing tool for your business. Write something that separates you from the bunch and will compel somebody to click on your link..

7.Peel three onions on every second full moon.
Please do that and don’t forget that content is king.
All of the previous tips while useful in principal are worthless if your site is crap and has rubbish content.

No amount of SEO will help you then.
SEO- brilliant if accompanied by a brilliant site..
Stuart Chaney
Owner of Expand Web Design Ireland.
About the author
Stuart Chaney is the Owner and Managing Director of Expand Web Design Ireland.