SEO is a moving target, constantly evolving with new best practices, algorithms, and updates. It's difficult to stay abreast of this information, but here are some of my favorite tips from around the web.

1. Write for humans first and search engines second. 

Your primary focus should be to write good, informative content for users. Google will reward you when they see well-written pages. Don't worry about keyword density or other technical aspects that might affect rankings. 

2. Use targeted keywords in all the right places. 

Keyword research has been a staple of SEO for years now, and it will probably always be important. But there are other ways to use targeted keywords in your content -- including using headings, subheadings, bolding, and italics. Make sure you use these techniques judiciously and sparingly. For example, don't use them just for emphasis. Also avoid keyword stuffing; you want to keep the text flowing easily. 

3. Focus on user experience (UX). 

User experience (UX) is more important than ever as people spend more time online and fewer and fewer are making purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Your page needs to load quickly and have clear navigation. Avoid Flash animations for images or videos. If you're using an image gallery, make sure each image is captioned clearly and prominently. 

4. Build relevant links. 

A great way to get more traffic to your site is through organic links. So one of your top priorities should be getting high-quality, relevant links pointing back to your site. 

5. Focus on quality over quantity. 

In the early days of search engine optimization, many marketers thought that if they built a lot of spammy sites, their domain authority would eventually rise. This was not the case at all. Quality is far more valuable than quantity. Focus your efforts on creating original content and using social media to promote it. 

6. Remove anything that slows down your site. 

Search engines have gotten smarter in recent years. They can tell when a page loads slowly, so they penalize you accordingly. Some things you can remove to speed up your site include JavaScript, Flash files, and Flash videos. 

7. Format content for featured snippets. 

Google recently announced that they will start showing excerpts from articles on their SERPs. These snippets appear next to results in Google Search and Google News. The excerpts come from the body of the article and may contain a headline, an excerpt, and a snippet from the first paragraph. You need to make sure your content is formatted properly to capture these snippets. For example, you should use bold tags to emphasize key points, and use italicized text to add extra emphasis. 

8. Remove anything that doesn't help you. 

If you add a comment block to your website, make sure that it's filled out correctly. Check every box, and then click Submit Comment again for another review. Be careful to only use comments that are useful to visitors and helpful to you. 

9. Consider removing ads. 

For most websites, ads generate revenue. However, you may find yourself losing money by keeping them up. And if you decide to take them down, be sure to do it carefully. In many cases, removing them too soon can cause people to leave your site. 

10. Create content that lasts long into the future. 

This one is obvious, but I still see a lot of websites that haven't caught up to the idea yet. Keep adding new content regularly. As long as you continue to provide value to readers, they'll continue to visit your site. 

11. Stay focused on the long term. 

You may think that short-term gains are better than long-term ones. But it's possible to get both. Just remember how much of the internet is devoted to short-term strategies such as pay per click advertising and link farms. By focusing on long-term strategies like optimizing your site for organic search, you stand a greater chance of being rewarded with higher rankings in the long run. 

12. Don't forget to monitor your progress. 

As with any marketing strategy, it's easy to lose sight of what you've done since last month. To remind yourself of what you've accomplished, try using a spreadsheet or tracking application. Or you can even create a simple document with a list of dates and a few statistics, such as number of unique visitors from Bing, Yahoo, and Google. 

13. Don't stop learning. 

SEO is constantly changing, and there's plenty to learn. Here are several great resources to check out. If you'd like more information, feel free to contact me directly. 

Want to know more? Try a search for "best seo tips." 

Do you have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!