Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is an industry buzzword that basically means the process of organizing, writing, and editing your sites content to get more traffic through “organic” or unpaid searches. Basically, it’s making your sites content more accessible to search engines, like Google, to increase your site’s natural appearance on search engines. Most of these services offering SEO are actually quite simple, and some are a bit more complex. However, most of the techniques used can be done by you quite easily. Let’s look at some of the more important techniques to increasing your search engine optimization.
1. Be specific - If you are a company selling a service, chances are you aren’t the only one. Most companies are in a “red ocean” of competitors and these competitors live on the web as well. So when it comes to building your website, you need to think about three or four key phrases or words that you are set on. It’s impossible to be number one on Google for every key word you can think of about your product. You need to Be Specific. If you sell, rent and trade musical instruments in Dallas, TX. Then you should think about trying to increase your ranking for one of these services. Perhaps, the one with the highest potential income. This will help you to concentrate and capture this audience.
2. Key words & descriptions aka Metadata- Some people will tell you that these are the key elements to your site. Don’t listen to them. Most people will agree that major search engines disregard these tags. They are to easily manipulated to be given worth. The most important one of these tags is your title tag. This let’s the user know what page they are currently on. It also shows up on the link for your search results. You shouldn’t disregard these metatags, but don’t spend to much time trying to optimize these words. Here are a few pointers when it comes to metadata:
- Title: Remember that your title is what your visitors see and what is usually placed on search engine results. It is advisable that you keep your titles short around ten words or so. Also, your titles should be different for every page. Keeping your page titles unique helps distinguishes them on result pages and if your customers book-mark that page.
- Description: This is to describe the purpose of your page. This should be kept concise. It’s suggested that you should keep this to around two sentences and incorporate the key phrases that you want your site to be ranked for.
- Keywords: Use words that are around the same key phrase that your customers are searching for and that match your key phrases that you want to be ranked for. It’s important to include alternate words that are similar to your key words. If you are looking for similar searches that your customers use, Google has a tool for that. [link] The cap for keywords is said to be 25. However, best practices suggests to keep these around 10. Also, make sure your keywords match the content that is on the page.
3. Sitemaps - Sitemaps are XML versions of your website that define the structure and content of what is on your site. If you are not familiar with sitemaps, don’t worry there are plenty of tools out there that will assist you. xml-sitemaps.com is one such free service [link]. After you get your xml sitemap, it’s time to submit these to all the popular search engines. Here are some handy links to help you with this: Google, Yahoo, Bing.
4. Blog - Put a blog on your site. You should have a blog that keeps your customers updated with what you are doing. You don’t need to blog everyday, twice a month is sufficient. This will be a great outlet to engage with your customers and increase your page rank for your key phrases. Articles with content can be easily outsourced with services like Articles-Written if you cannot think of what to say. Note: this article was written by Mariche, not articles-written. However, we have used them before and their quality is good, and they didn’t even pay us to say that.
5. Links - Links are one of the most important ways that your site gets higher ranked. Take Google for example, each page it indexes has an associated page rank. This page rank is a number between 0 and 10. If you have a page rank of 3 and several sites link to you that have a higher page rank, then your page rank will increase as well. This works the same for lower ranked sites, but don’t worry about this too much, this penalty is mainly for submitting your site to known link farms. Here is one site to check your page rank as well as your competition [link].
6. Code Structure & Readability - Another way to make your site search engine friendly is to ensure that the source code behind your webpage, the actual html code, is correctly written. That is, make sure that your code is valid based on it’s declared document type. This is easy to check since the w3 schools has a nice validator here.
Conclusions - These are some very simple ways that you can adjust your page rank and increase your website traffic. Remember that you want to concentrate on just a few keywords or phrases. Don’t try to be number one on Google for all search queries, you will fail and be number one for none. One good check for your site that we’ve found useful is the free Website Grader. This tool will help you get a concept of what you need to change. [link]