Search Engine Optimization April 19th, 2007
I enjoyed the recently published article by DJ Kennedy regarding the SEO Checklist! I did, however, want to expand on his list of items that search engines look for in a well optmized website. So just for fun I have gone ahead and listed in this post 10 further tips you will want to consider to ensure you rank well in the search engine rankings!
It’s important that the keywords chosen are the most relevant to your industry. Keywords chosen are the means to target your site with the most relevant visitors. There are many tools which help us select good keywords and the search volume done in given month. One good tool is http://www.keyworddiscovery.com. Of course we all like free versions don’t we?
It’s absolutely critical that this step is not missed because the rest of the SEO depends a lot on this.
It’s imperative that the domain name you choose should be relevant to the product / concept you sell. It would be great if you could include one or more of the keywords in the domain name which enhances your chances of being searched!
Now, let’s say you sell “steel buildings”, so it would be good to have a domain name like www.steelbuildingsinc.com. The best way is – to find a domain name that’s easy and matches the product / concept you sell.
Secondly, if you ever want to change your domain, think twice. Changing a domain name can be catastrophic for search engine purposes. The older the domain name the better it is recognized by search engines as they consider the aging factor for a domain to be of high importance.
When you save a file to be hosted on your website, its wise to save it with the most relevant keyword you have for that page. For example, if you had a boat cruise website and had a page talking about ‘our planners’ a good page name would be “http://www.upstreamcruises.com/our-planners.htm"
There is no restriction in naming the file the same as that of our competitors. Regardless of what you use – FrontPage or Dreamweaver, make it a habit to save the file names that way. It’s just a step closer to your search query!
A tip – do not leave a blank space between words for your file name. For example – “two way watch.asp” could be renamed as “two-way-watch.asp” or “two_way_watch.asp”. Either will do.
It helps a lot to have the most relevant keywords in the title bar of your web page, instead of the age old convention of mentioning the company name in the title.
Also it’s best to avoid using conjunctions and prepositions in the title. We should avoid using words like “the, a, an, and, for, with” and so on.
For example, “Hard Bound Cardboard – Oakwood – Pinewood art”. Notice that in this title the spaces between the hyphens can be avoided and used (or wasted!) at the end of the sentence. Thus “Hard Bound Cardboard–Oakwood-Pinewood Art” would make more sense.
It’s good practice to use html keyword text to navigate to other pages instead of using conventional images with a hotspot linked to a page. Image links are counter productive when it comes to SEO. This is because an image is not readable by the search engines while HTML text is!
Although the image links can have keywords in the tag, linked text carries more weight in the algorithm for search engines. So start linking your HTML text instead of images!
The adage “Content is King” is true. This simply means – repeat your most relevant words 5-7 times on your main pages. Make sure you don’t overdo it to make it look like a spammed content or is grammatically incorrect.
Updating your content often will also help the search engine spider your site and get noticed. The more content you have the more likely you are to get noticed and have an opportunity to cross link to other keyword focused content.
This will compel a user to click on the relevant ad (which in turn takes them to our site). Being ranked higher does not mean that you can get clicks on your website links. The more relevant keywords your meta description contains – the better it will be ranked.
Securing high quality incoming links are important. Its always good to get listed in a reputed and frequently consulted web directory (such as DMOZ). Admittedly DMOZ takes time to get you listed, but it is a good bet to be a part of the online directory. You can add your content on many other sites which will list you free for their referral / exchange link.
The best way to get linked to another page is not using the “Click Here” but using the keywords instead. So if you want to go to a particular page for say “Sunmica Redwood Tables” in a website – the line should be like “You can get more info about Sunmica Redwood Tables(and link the words Sunmica Redwood Tables to the respective page instead of using the conventional words “Click Here”)
A sitemap is a separate HTML page that acts as a directory of your website. Each page linked on your website is hyperlinked. Usage of keywords in the linked anchor text is a good habit. Consider using synonyms instead of the regular keywords is a good practice.
A sitemap not only helps search engine spiders to easily crawl on to the site but it also helps a surfer to look for info / pages that he/she might have overlooked.
Hope this short list has helped! Feel free to post your own comments!