You completed a web site for your business about three months ago,but you are still not seeing very many people visiting your web site.You do a little research and find that your web site is buried about ten pages deep on all of the major search engines. It seems that you havecreated a very nice web site, but it is not optimized for searchengines, so your page rank is very low.
Search engine optimization has become a very large field for manydifferent consultants all over the internet. However the techniquesneeded to optimize your web site for search engines are not very hard to implement on your web site all by yourself. Here are a few of the mostimportant things that you can do for search engine optimization:
1. Use keywords throughout your web site
Many people do a good job putting a good description and group ofkeywords in their meta tags, but they do not use these same keywordsthroughout the rest of their web site. You must continue to use yourkeywords throughout the content on the rest of your web site if youwould like to get high search engine rankings.
2. Create a sitemap
Many search engines will try to index your site’s pages by following links to all of the different pages. However if a search engine isunable to follow a link, then a page might not get included in thesearch engine’s results. To make sure all of your pages get indexed,make sure that you have a text-based sitemap that includes all of themajor pages of your web site.
3. Use Flash sparingly
Flash is a very neat technology and it has its place on the web.However you do not want to overuse Flash, because a search engine willnot be able to read the text that is embedded in the Flash elements,which could hurt your ranking if you have keywords in that area.
4. Get inbound links
One of the best things that you can do for search engineoptimization is to get inbound links to your web site. If you are ableto get high quality web sites that relate to your business to link toyour web site, then your search engine ranking is sure to climb.
5. Domain Name
Your domain name should be brandable (example: Google, Amazon,Yahoo!, etc.), easy to say, and even easier to remember. Don’t worry too much about stuffing keywords into your domain name. Keywords in domainnames no longer have the punch they used to.
6. www or not www
The choice is yours, http://www.webdeveloperjuice.com/ orhttp://webdeveloperjuice.com/, pick one and stick with it. I recommendusing the www.
7. Simple Design
Don’t reinvent the wheel. If your design is complex, chances are itwill hinder your visitors’ ability to navigate and view the site plus it will slow down development. The simpler the better.
8. Don’t create directories further than three levels down from the root directory
The closer pages are to the home page in the directory structure the better. Keep things organized but don’t overorganize. If you have onefile or sub-directory in a directory there should be a VERY validreason.
9. File/Directory Names Using Keywords
Your filenames and directory names should contain keywords. If yourpage is about Idaho potatoes then the filename should beidaho-potatoes.
Static URLs are URLs that are not dynamically generated. A staticURL looks like http://www.webdeveloperjuice.com/file-name.html anddynamic URLs look like http://www.webdeveloperjuice.com/tag/jquery/. You can make dynamic URLs spiderable by search engines but it’s a loteasier to get things indexed with static URLs.
11. Think Small
The smaller your Web pages are, the faster they load. A single pageshould be less than 15K (unless absolutely necessary) and the entirepage including graphics should be less than 50K (unless absolutelynecessary). Remember, not everyone is on a high-speed Internetconnection; there are still people without a 56K modem.
Use hyphens ( – ) and not underscores ( _ ) to separate words indirectory and file names. Most search engines parse a hyphen like areader would parse a space. Using underscores makes what_would_you_dolook like whatwouldyoudo to most search engines. You should definitelyseparate words in your URLs.
13. Navigation on Every Page
You should place consistent navigation on every page of your Website. Your navigation should link to the major sections of your Website. It would also make sense for every page on your Web site to linkback to the home page.
The title of the page should be used in the TITLE tag and at the top of every page. The title should be keyword rich (containing a max of 7to 10 words) and descriptive.
15. Description META Tag
Some people say META tags are dead but some search engines willactually use them underneath a pages title on search engine result pages (SERPs). Use no more than 150 characters including spaces andpunctuation. Your description should be a keyword rich, completesentence.
16. Keyword META Tag
A listing of keywords that appear in the page. Use a space toseparate keywords (not a comma). Arrange keywords how they would besearched for or as close to a complete sentence as possible. This tag is basically dead but by creating it when you create the page it allowsyou to come back eons later and realize what keywords you werespecifically targetting. If the keyword doesn’t appear at least twice in the page then it shouldn’t go in the Keyword META Tag. Also, try tolimit the number of total keywords to under twenty.
17. Robots META Tag
Some search engine crawlers abide by the Robots META Tag. This gives you some control over what appears in a search engine and what doesn’t. This isn’t an essential aspect of search engine optimization but itdoesn’t hurt to add it in.
28. Heading Tags
Heading tags should be used wherever possible and should bestructured appropriately (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6). You shouldn’t start a page with an H2 tag. If H1 by default is too big then use CSS to styleit effectively. Remember that most search engines like to see a headingtag then text or graphics; not H1 followed immediately by H2.
19. TITLE Attribute
Use the A HREF TITLE attribute (example: <a href=”/2015/12/page.html”title=”This page contains links to other pages.”>). The TITLEattribute improves usability/accessibility. Be sure to include keywordsas you see fit but remember it should tell your visitors where they will go when they click the link.
20. ALT Tags
Every image should have an ALT tag. Use a keyword rich descriptionof what the image is. If the image contains text use the text in theimage. This is also a usability/accessibility tool.
21. More text than HTML
A page should have more text content than markup language.
22. Anchor Text
Anchor text is the text used to link to a page. Using keywords inanchor text is a very good idea and will improve a page’s performance in SERPs.
23. Use Text Links, Not Images
If you’re going to link to something use text. Text in images can’tbe read by search engines. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is when you’re linking to something with a well known logo. Even then it’sstill better to use a text link. If you must use an image as a link then make sure you give it a good ALT tag.
24. Gobs of Content
The more content, the better. Having pages upon pages of original,relevant content is the best form of search engine optimization.
25. Add New Content Often
If you can add a new page of content every day then your site willstay fresh and give search engine crawlers a reason to keep coming backday in and day out.
26. Keyword Density
This is a touchy topic among Web developers and search engineoptimizers. Some say 5% is more than enough. Chris Short says your mainkeywords shouldn’t have a density of more than 30% and should be higherthan the densities of other phrases and words.
27. Build It, Put It Online
Your site should be built and in “update mode” once it’s uploaded to your Web server. Don’t add a page at a time to your Web server whenyou’re first building your Web site. Build your Web site first thenupload it. Add new content as needed.
28. Use a robots.txt File
Every good crawler looks for a robots.txt file in your rootdirectory. I would highly recommend creating a valid robots.txt just toappease these search engines and at the very least eliminate 404 errorsfrom building up in your log files.
Every page on your Web site should adhere to W3C standards asclosely as possible. Some say page validation can help your ranking inSERPs (the jury is still out on that one). But, standards compliant Webpages do help with cross browser compatibility.
30. Link Popularity
Once your Web site has been well established, it’s time to build upyour link popularity. The more relevant inbound links a Web site has,the better its rankings will be.
31. Analyze Traffic
Read your log files often. Make sure you’re not getting traffic youdon’t want and getting traffic you do want. Keeping a pulse on yourtraffic allows you to better optimize your pages.
32. No tricks
If it doesn’t seem ethical, then it isn’t a good idea. If it doesn’t help your visitors, then don’t do it.
33. No frames
Don’t use frames, ever.
34. No broken links
Linking to pages that don’t exist is a very bad thing. Search engines and people alike hate that.