Listed below are 10 optimization tips that will help improve your web sites search engine rankings.
- Defined site architecture and design issues
Web sites that are built using the following technologies (Flash, Frames) often find it harder to rank well. This is because search engine spiders often have difficulty in navigating or indexing these pages. Obviously the best solution would be to avoid using the above, but sometimes, it is just not practical to apply, here are some workaround solutions.
Sites utilizing Flash technology
Avoid building sites that are completely developed in Flash. If this is not possible, create a HTML version that the search engine bots can easily spider and index. Another compromise would be to develop certain elements in Flash (e.g. banners and menus) while keeping the text content in HTML.
Sites utilizing frames
Web sites that use frames often have only a singular visible URL. Irregardless of how many different pages of content the visitor sees, the search engine bot only recognizes one page (usually the homepage). This runs the risk of all your interior pages never getting indexed properly or cached. The best solution would be to break the site out of its framing code. Alternatively, you could insert a <noframes> tag and insert your keyword rich content in between.
- Sites utilizing dynamic URLs
There are many high page count sites that utilize a version of session ids and dynamic URLs. Most notably e-commerce sites. Search engine bots often have difficulties indexing these pages, especially if the session id string is very long. Implement amod rewriteto enable your URLs to be more search engine friendly. Write keywords in the URLs to give your web page a rankings boost. For example, http://www.yourdomain.com/store/red-widgets.html
- Implement a sitemap
- Keyword research
Many times, a webmaster will wonder why his site gets very little targeted, on-topic traffic. By performing a proper keyword research, you can then know exactly what your targeted audience is typing in and searching for.Choosing the right keywords is essential as itwill be used throughout the optimization process. Some great tools for keyword study include KeywordDiscovery.com Keyword Research Tool, Wordtracker and Overture’s KW Tool.
- Avoid converting text to images.
Search engine bots do not read textual content in the manner humans do. All they ‘see’ in the code is an image. Forget about using Bookman Old Style and stick with Arial or Verdana. This compromise ensures your keyword rich content is not put to waste.
- Write keyword rich content
After you have researched and developed a set of keywords, it is time to put that to good use. Write and publish good original content with those keywords placed throughout your document. Do not overdo this as you may be penalized for keyword spamming.
Web sites with good original content usually rank well and you should aim for that.DO NOTcopy and paste content from a different site. You will be penalized with duplicate content, and as a result, your web page will never rank well.
- Title tag
By far, one of the most important components of on site optimization is the title tag. Use the proper keywords in the title tag. (Do not stuff keywords). Keep the character count below 65 for optimal results. If you have a site that sells Red Widgets, an example of an optimized title tag would be ‘Red Widgets For Sale’
- Meta and Alt tags
Alot has been said in recent times about the importance of description and keyword meta tags. While Google does not read keyword meta tags anymore, you should still write out short, effective and simple description tags as they do show up in your rankings site description. Keyword meta tags are still read by the smaller search engines, so it is a safe bet to insert a few keywords here.
Be sure to label each image on your web page with Alt tags whenever possible. As always, avoid keyword stuffing or spamming.
- One way, reciprocal and internal links
Using your desired keyword in the anchor text is by far the best method of increasing your ranking. There are many advanced methods of getting links, which I will cover in a future article, but for now, try exchanging links with other similar on topic family friendly and high quality web sites, (be sure that these sites are not spam sites!) or insert links in your internal web pages that point to one another using the page specific keyword.
- Don’t overdo it!
So you have implemented some of the tips described above and are starting to see movement in your rankings. That’s great news, but do not overdo it thinking that more is better. At some point, you will trip the over optimization filter and your site will be flagged and penalized. Moderation is key in SEO.
Our final bit of advice is to keep writing original keyword rich content and source out inbound hyperlinks to give your web site the best chance of rankings success!