Many of you have had your own sites for some time and others may be just starting up. You may have used SEO techniques very effectively without being quite sure what it means.
For the newbies and those who are not sure what SEO means, let’s start with some quick explanations.
We all know that for our sites to be effective, we need to have a lot of people know about our sites and visit our pages. We hope they would be interested enough to stay longer and maybe even buy our products.
For people to visit our websites, they have to find it, and the usual way is for them to use Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask.com.
The easier for people to find our website, the more traffic our site will get. When we search for something, using Google for example, we type in what we’re looking for in the search box. When we click Search, a page appears with a list of possible sites that may contain what we’re looking for.
Sometimes, we click on to the next page, and the next, but we rarely ever go to page 467, or 670. These pages of site lists are called SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages.
Naturally, we want our website to be on page 1, or as close to it as possible. Everything we do to make our site land on, or close to, the first page when a search is made using keywords related to our niche, is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
There are two main SEO Methods: Off-Page SEO, which are the things you can do outside of your website, even if you are not logged on to it; and On-Page SEO, which is what we will discuss here.
1. Website Design
A well designed website, especially a landing page with relevant content above the fold, and with minimal overt advertising, will immediately put you in the good graces of Search Engine indexes. Your website name should already have your best keyword in it.
2. Original Content
The major search engines are becoming aware of plagiarism and spinning issues so having original content on your site will not just offer your visitors insights that they cannot find elsewhere, but also make you rank higher in SERPs. Your site will then be considered as a go-to site as far as your niche is concerned and your traffic will increase tremendously.
3. Title & Meta Tags
Meta tags for each page must contain the relevant keywords for that page’s content (you would already have done research for your best keywords when you put up your site). There are a few plug-ins that can help shorten this task for you. On WordPress, there is the “All in One SEO Pack” which inserts the page title, meta descriptions and tags into the HTML of each of your pages.
Here’s a code of example meta tags:
< title >This is a title tag, which should with 65-character limit< /title> < meta name=”description” content=”Meta Description Here – 154 Characters Max”> < meta name=”keywords” content=”keywords goes here,keyword 1,keyword 2,keyword 3,so on” > < meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html;charset=UTF-8″> < /head>
Let me explain how you should use these correctly..
- Meta Page Titles: Choosing your page titles is a crucial technique in SEO. Make sure you include the best keyword for each page in its title, just do not overdo it and it should not contain more than 65 character. For example, a page with a blog about online jobs should have “online jobs” in its title; better yet something like “Most Unique Online Jobs” or “Top 10 Highest-Paying Online Jobs.” Your page will have a better chance of landing higher on the SERPs when a search for ‘online jobs’ is made.
- Meta DescriptionsDon’t overlook these descriptions because these will be included with your page name in the results listing. Make sure it’s a concise sentence with important keywords included like, “These unique online jobs are the highest-paying jobs to be found online.” The recommended length should be no longer than 154 characters. Use my favorite character count: Cut & Paste Character Count
6. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.)
Most site visitors have short attention spans so break up your content into short paragraphs – bullets or numbered lists are good – to keep them reading. Tags are allowed for these sections and are called heading tags including H1 (usually for the main heading – title of the page), H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. Search engine robot crawlers use these tags to determine importance of content so make these headings keyword-rich, based on each paragraph.
7. URL Structure
Make sure that the URL for each page is structured for better search engine crawling by using short descriptive URLs, with the relevant keywords. For example,
- Better URL: http://www.twelveskip.com/seo-rules
- Ugly URL: http://www.twelveskip.com/index.html?id_sezione=390&sid=8jk5i49857ebka691ft2
See how the first URL is more understandable and readable than the second one? Try to keep your URL short, simple and easy to read. It would do better in searches!
Also, it is recommended to use punctuation in your URLs. For example:
- Good: http://www.twelveskip.com/seo-rules or http://www.twelveskip.com/seo_rules
- No Good: http://www.twelveskip.com/seorules.
8. Internal Linking
Apart from inbound links, internal links are fast becoming SEO tools of choice because they help search engines, and your visitors, navigate your website and go to other related pages on your site. Placing links in your posts that connect to your other posts with related content are called internal links, which can encourage visitors to stay longer on your site. Duration of visit is another important factor in search engine ranking of your pages.
9. Keyword Density
Keyword density is the number of keywords used in relation to the total number of words in the content, but too much could make search engines label your site as a keyword-stuffing site and cause you to be banned from searches. The recommended density is 2.5% to 5% of the total word count. Creativity counts here because with keyword phrases used in different combinations or using synonyms, you will still be in topic without penalties.
10. Image SEO
Inserting images in your blog or content is one way to hold on to your visitors while at the same time giving you the opportunity to increase SEO by added relevant keywords in the titles, descriptions and alternative texts (alt text, required for images).
If you keep these SEO tools and techniques in mind while building up or rebuilding your website, you will find your SERP ranks improving, and you may even find a few SEO tweaks on your own that you can pass on to fellow webmasters and bloggers.