Top 20 SEO TipsToggle



CONTENT

The term "Content is King" is so important. Recently, search engines become even more focused on it, looking for new ways to slice and dice what you have to say on your site. Promotional language is usually unavoidable, but in crafting your message, try to focus on what you do and how you do it and a little less on the "chest pounding". Think as if you were looking for your service having little knowledge of it. What information you find useful and what would you just gloss over? Think like your visitors do. Stated over and over everywhere, but countless websites miss this concept completely. Focus on your "competitive advantage", if there is one, and if not, just pick something that you feel you do a little better than the rest and make that your "competitive advantage". A solid approach is to identify the problem your customer has and how you can solve it. Become your customer for a minute and think it through.

KEYWORDS

It is assumed that readers will have a basic working knowledge of SEO Search Engine Optimization is not all that difficult. Once you understand the structure of the game, it becomes a matter of creativity and determining effective ways to implement keywords in the various contexts required.
Many current industry professionals suggest that Google no longer pays attention to the keyword meta tag, preferring instead to extract the topical info from the relevant words with a website's content. Many websites are still using the keyword meta tag. By doing so, a given site's competition can "view source" and by doing so can look at these keywords that brought your success, as they will also be embedded in your site text. This tells them what words are working for you and enable them to mount a stronger competitive position. Tip: You can also look at their keywords with "view source". Take those words from the top sites in your category and run the through Google's free keyword tool in adwords to pick the cream of the crop. Then go back and plant them in your copy. It works both ways. Be careful not to "Keyword Stuff", limiting your density to around 2% of the total word count of a page. Tip: Use Google's Free Keyword Tool in Adwords. Depending on your market scope, test Global and Local counts for keywords and long tails. Also WordTracker's Scout another great free keyword tool.

TITLE/DESCRIPTION/ALT/META TAGS

These is a very obvious element, but they are often not given the weight that they should. Google will look at your Title and Description Tags and may or may not use that in it's search result for your link. It's dependent on what search terms the user has entered. If Google can see text on your site that more closely matches the search terms entered, it may use that verbiage instead. Alt tags should be used for every tagable object, usually images on your page. If you have a list of items to present, one trick is to create a small graphic object bullet point for each item in the list placing it ahead of each item. In each bullet point you can load the Alt tag with a key word. This gives you more flexibility in keyword placement but again, be careful not to stuff. The closer something is to the top of a page, the stronger and more relevant it is to the search spiders with regard to content. Tag elements are much more important though. Title Tag Description Tag Keyword Tag (No longer relevant) H1 / H2 Tags IMG ALT tags If something is lower on the page, but is in a Header or an Alt image tag, then it is more important to page content than things at the top. Responsive site design and CSS is moving away from tables, but many websites still use tables and do perform well. If you are designing a sign from scratch, you probably should use CSS and div tags and not tables. Website designers put far too much emphasis on how much website design using CSS impacts SEO. The answer is very little. The basic tags listed above matter much more than whether or not you use tables.

IMAGES

Images make a site more compelling. People do care much more about your content, but clean crisp and relevant images help drive home your point. Do not put too much text within an image object, as Google does not see text existing in images. Now the name file the image file, that's different... Google does see that. There was a time when correct image name protocol involved naming the image (file name) to what the image is, the logic being that if a particular user does not display images, they would see the words that the image were about. I do not do this. Pretty much everyone has a browser that will display images. The only reason to shut them off on a browser would be to increase page load time, which perhaps some do, but I have never seen it. I name images anything I want relevant to the page topic and not just the image. Image names are another tactic that can be used for keyword placement, as named correctly, you can call the image as a pertinent keyword.

DUPLICATE CONTENT

Make sure that within your site, there is no page that contains bodies of text from other pages. Even a few identical lines can cost you points. If you need to say the same thing on different pages, revise the words a bit to avoid this trap. Do not take copy from other sites and use it "as is". This can also cost you points if detected. If you find a well written body of text on another site, revise it enough to make it unique from the original source. We've all had "inspiration" from others works in every genre of creativity, so as long as you take the time to rework, no real foul.

BACKLINKS, BACKLINKS, BACKLINKS

Most are aware that backlinks are a very important component to high SERPs (search engine rank position), however, you need to be very careful where you seek them out. A third party service that offers mass back linking can often earn you a penalty from the search engines. In 2013 Google came out wit the Panada series of algorithm changes, which looks at the sources of backlinks accumulation for website. Those sites that had a spike in a very short time were penalized, by having their rank position lowered (gone down on the page) or in some cases removed altogether, the theory being that no site could get 400 backlinks in a few days and that had to be an artificial occurrence. It also looked at the quality and relevance of site links. Are the links relevant to the topic of the site. Also how popular are those sites linking to another site. a high PR (popularity rank 7+) is of great value to a site, especially if it is relevant. The value descends below 7 down to 0 which is essentially useless and can even hurt a site. Avoid sources that claims to get you large quantities of backinks quickly is more that likely using these "backlink farms" or similar mechanisms. These farms have pretty much faded from view as those that run realize high quality backlinks are those that are relevant to your business focus. For example a backlink on Al's Auto Sales the points to Joe's Auto Repair is a great match. Maggie's Bakery having a backlink to Al's Auto Sales is not a relevant link. Quality backlinks are mutual. A points to B and B points back. Both are relevant to each other. B pointing to A "you" only, is good A (you), pointing to B is good for B, minimally effective for you. .EDU's and .GOVs are very strong for ranking, although are in most cases, very hard to get. The higher the traffic at a back linking source, the better. Use Alexa to see where the source sites rank.

LANDING PAGES

Depending on what your site's purpose is, a landing page is a very good thing to have. A landing page a little different from you home page, as is a page designed with a specific purpose in mind, such as selling a single product or service. Many sites have a landing page for each product that they sell, thereby allowing the to fine tune the verbiage and keywords to that product or service. It is not about anything else like your company and support, etc.. It should be created in as simple a construction as possible, stating clearly the following; a. What it is your selling b. A brief description and photo(s) of the item or service c. A way for the visitor to submit a question to you. A text box SUBMIT area near the bottom page is preferred. It can run below the fold, just be sure to have at least a couple of the first fields visible above the fold. I like to put a more info near the top of the page and a link in the text that points to an anchor that positioned at the beginning of the SUBMIT area. d. A way for users to purchase pointing to your shopping cart or purchase mechanism. Creative aspect is at your discretion, but testing suggests that a clean, straightforward, not too cluttered page is most effective. Avoid lengthily paragraphs, breaking them in to short easier to scan sections. Do not put a menu bar to your website on a landing page, providing instead a single link somewhere just above the fold to your complete site. ALWAYS use a conicanal tag on page that largely resemble another page on your site. The conicanal tag tells Google to use the site point to by the tag as the true content source and not to treat the page with a conicanal tag as duplicate content (You can Google the word for more information on this).

ANALYTICS

Managing a website requires knowing whats going on. Track your traffic, see where it's coming from, how long they stay, which pages are visited, and much more. All this can be done using my two personal favorite tools, Google Analytics and StatCounter. With these two tools, there is wealth of useful information you can use to fine tune and improve your site. There are many other free tools out there and some that charge, that you can employ. Research them to determine which best fits your needs and budget. See the THIRD PARTY SITE ANAYLIS paragraph below for more.

PAGE LOAD SPEED

Page load speed is critical to keeping visitors that visit your site. An index.html page that takes too long to load will have visitors clicking away in a just a few seconds. Some common things that slow pages are; 1. Large graphics 2. Too many graphics 3. All html in page... use CSS as much as possible 4. Too many calls to our side sources. (Javascript, other third party, outside calls. Every outside call or preload your page needs to load takes time. 5. Use of Flash objects An estimated average 75% of visitors to your site come with your site not cached. Make your page load fast for these first time visitors for a better user experience. A great tool for page load statistics on a per element basis can be found at http://websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/ If you use Flash, be very sparing with it. Google marks it as dead space and more than a little Flash slows things down. It cannot read ANY text that is embedded on an image,

DOMAIN NAMES

Ideally, a domain name should contain something relevant to your business type. A good domain name would be something like "alsdrycleaning.com". A weak domain name example would look like "als-dc.com". If you already have an established domain name, you can purchase other names relevant to your business type and forward them to your core domain. It is probably prudent to do this only with one or two names, as too many may cause peripheral issues. Examples: Core domain: "petes-auto.com" Forwarded to "petes-auto.com" could be "petes-auto-repair.com" and/or "auto-repair-by-pete.com" (use dashes, never underscores) A 302 redirect should only be used when you want need to redirect a page temporarily to a different page. On different domains, it can lead to a serious problems should not be used. On the other hand, 301 Redirects that are used for permanent redirection can be a safe bet. Be sure to use a 301 redirect or the .htaccess if on a Linux server. Control panel for a server can generally auto-generate the entry and put it into your .htaccess file. Choose www.mysite.com or mysite.com as your core address. Then be sure to 301 Redirect the www.mysite.com to mysite.com, or vs. vs.. Also redirect the index.html page to one or the other. This will avoid duplicate content issues as Google could see this as three of the same pages if you do not do this.

SHORTCUTS

There are many sites out there that promise you traffic and posting, articles submission, backlinks, and more. While many of these are legitimate and will do you well, my guess is there are more that will just take you money and fall well short of the promise. When dealing with SEO work, results are sometimes difficult to prove or disprove leaving one in many cases not knowing of the work was performed as advertised and in an ethical (white hat) manner. BUYER BEWARE. Do thorough research on these places. I like to do a "XYZ TRAFFIC COMPANY SCAM" search and see what comes up. Even this can be difficult as some competitors of an otherwise good site will post scam info to deter users from using them.

DOWNLOADS

As often as you have visited other sites, I'm sure you have downloaded useful information, whitepapers, how-tos, etc. Be creative and come up with something useful to the visitor that will make the bookmark your site. Whenever I find something of value on a site, I will almost always bookmark it to return later. Additionally, if you have something of value for your visitor to download, make sure to collect thier name and email address to build an email marketing list.

FONTS

Fonts are one element that can add to the esthetic aspect of a website. Know that most of the fonts offered by Windows are not available to all users. A list of web friendly font can be found with a simple search of those words. I like Century Gothic, Verdanna and Helvetica. A much broader array of fonts can be implemented from a third party site. I like fonts.com. Google fonts is a free site that you can use for font calls form your site. At most font sites, for a small monthly fee you can implement great heading and text fonts that all users will render because they are "served" by fonts.com and do not need to be on the visitor's computer. My favorite text font for basic text is Century Gothic, as it looks very modern and clean.

SEARCH VIDEO

One of the more recent SEO strategies and one that will propagate quickly over the next year is search video. By placing a video(s) on YouTube with related keywords, it will be picked up by Google and included in as a search result. A small image of the first frame of your video will appear to the far left on the second line of your search result. Most search results right now do not contain a video. Testing has proven that searchers are 42% more likely to click through on a link containing a video image. To see an example, from Google, search for "best air charter grand rapids". Near the bottom of the fold you should see a search result for Aargus Air Charter with an embedded video link. clicking on the image will launch the video from Youtube. This will be a very powerful advantage for those who get one up and running soon.

MARKETING

There are countless places to market your site online. How easy it is to get you on the first page of search engines is dependent on a number of factors. For me, the single most relevant one is what I call affectionately "nichieness", or how many competitors are there in a market range for the product or service that is offered. In a medium size city such as my own Grand Rapids, there a perhaps 4 or 5 direct competitors for one of my core sites and perhaps another 5 or 6 national level competitors that vie for page position. It's easier to get a ranking on the first page of the big three (Google, Yahoo, Bing) for a niche market than say an attorney, real estate company, or dentists of which there are probably 100+ of each in the local market. There is nothing that can really be done about what you do business wise, but it is helpful to know how big the mountain is. The keys factors in getting position are; a. Niche and number of competitors in market b. Site content c. Good SEO d. Traffic drivers - Google Adwords, Google Local, Google for Business, Yahoo Ads and Yahoo Local, Bing and Bing Local and countless other sources for driving traffic c. Social media - Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Article Submission, Press Releases. Not any one of these is likely to make a huge difference but taken together they can do a lot for your traffic, especially over time and if you are consistent in attending to the frequent needs of each component d. Off-Internet Marketing - Business cards, word of mouth, attending local business functions and seminars, can all lead you to new contacts and resources.
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PAGE STRUCTURE

The file name of your pages can be used enhance the topic recognition by Google and other search engines. While the home page INDEX.HTML (or whatever auto-identified name you use), should remain the same, instead of BENFITS.HTML name the page "BENEFITS OF USE JOES CLEANING SERVICE" this gets an extra "JOES CLEANING SERVICE" and "CLEANING SERVICE" in the search engine index for your site. Do this with each page, each time trying to match page relevance with a critical keyword appearing within the page.

SITE MAPS

A large site needs a site map, which should be linked to from every page on the site. This will help the search engine robots find every page with just two clicks. A small site needs a site map, too. It's called the navigation bar. If your site has only a couple levels of navigation, a complete XML sitemap is most likely a waste of time. Using a robots allows you to expressly give or withhold permission for spiders to access certain pages (or not).

THIRD PARTY SITE ANAYLIS

There are countless website that will allow you to enter your URL and return extremely valuable information on almost any aspect of your site. They can measure keyword value, analyze tags, count words, find mistakes in content of any kind, syntax errors, and can even compare your site against your competitor's sites. This is jus the tip of the iceberg and to use them can be worth it's weight in gold in refining your website and strategy. Some of the better ones are moz.com, wooorank.com, seoprofiler.com, AHRefs.com as well as many others.







 

 

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