So you’ve written something amazing and you want people to read it. Itis funny, profound and filled with great information. But nobody iscoming over to your blog, cause what? Your article is not SEO friendly! Or you have mistaken something about the Search Engine Optimization, Lets take some quick tip to improve your SEO practice.
1. Keyword research:
This is vital for setting up content groupson your site. Knowing what actual phrases users are actually searchingon allows you to use the most appropriate keyword or phrase withinrelevant content on your site.
2. Build content:
Mightseem obvious, this part, but it’s important you spend the time to builduseful, unique, content about your topic. Copying & pasting contentfrom other sites could get your pages flagged as duplicate content andmight land yu in legal hot water due to copyright . Try to build about100 actual, content rich pages to launch your site with. More or lesspages is fine. Each page should contain 200 plus words.
3. Mind your metas:
While only the DO NOT stuff keyword in there, be factual and make sure eachindividual page has a dedicated tag assigned – in short, don’t use oneset of tags across your whole site.
4. The actual pages:
5. Images & Alt Tags:
Cover this base – ifyou use an image on your site, take the 15 seconds to put in the tagwhich describes what the image is about – be factual, use a relevantkeyword or phrase in there, and keep it short. DO NOT stuff this withkeywords.
6. IP Address:
Get yourself a dedicated IP address. You can use shared hosting, but make sure you have a dedicated IP addy.
7. WWW v. Non-WWW:
Get this point sorted. When you type in http://domain.com, it shouldredirect you to the http://www.domain.com version of the domain. Youshould use the 301 redirect protocal to accomplish this. Should you beon a server running Windows, the process will vary, but the reusltsshould be the same. Many hosted solution providers WILL NOT make thisadjustment on the server for you, so be aware of this – it’s important.
8. Keyword density:
Don’t sweat this – just make sure you use the keyword in the title of the page, again in the title of the content (use
9. Keywords in URLs:
Again, don’t sweat this point – if you can, great. So long as using thekeyword makes sense and is related to the actual content of the page.This doesn’t really make or break rankings, though, so don’t beatyourself up here.
10. Hyphen, underscore or dot:
When youhave a keyword phrase (multiple words) being used in a URL, you’ll haveto decide how to introduce a space between the words. Some folksrecommend leaving them together, no spaces. I prefer to use the hyphen ( – ) or the dot ( . ) to separate words. Don’t use the underscore ( _ ).
11. Inbound links:
Once and for all – the only links of any real value to your rankings will be one-way inbound links from sites with similar topics. Reciprocal links(and all versions thereof, such as triangular link schemes, etc.) arenext to useless. The engines discount any value from these. In fact,your first thought when linking should be to provide useful resourcesfor your users and to obtain inbound links which may provide traffic toyou. You’ll want to persue one-way inbound links here, too, but bewarned – it’s tough. Quality counts, quantity doesn’t. Watch who islinking to you like a hawk. Bad link neighbors can cause you to get ablack eye from the spiders, too. If you are actively policing your linkstrategy, as you should be, you’ll see problems coming and be able totake action. Did I mention quality counts and quantity doesn’t?
Pay for Yahoo if you’ve got the $300. Submit to DMOZ and forget about itfor at least 6 months. There are lots of other directories, but research them carefully. Lots of junk directories have come around lately – youwant a directory which simply allows you to put your data in andprovides one link back to you. Watch for directories which promise toput your link “across their network” or for submission tools whichpromise to submit to hundreds of directories each month. Both should beavoided.
Don’t use a hit counter – getactual analytics which will allow you to see where folks are coming from and what search terms they’re using to find you.
Make sure a simple, html, sitemap is avilable from your main page – spiderslove these and it’s an easy way for them to quickly index all the pagesof your site – you want this.
15. Spam tricks:
Let’s behonest here – if you have to ask if it’s a spammy tactic, it is. Don’ttry to split hairs – spamming is spamming. You will either get caught by the engines themsleves and cease to exist in the index, or someone will report you (I would) and you’ll cease to exist in the index.
16. Chasing Page Rank:
OK, get over this NOW. First off, the PR value you see in the toolbar isroughly 3 – 4 months old – Google’s not using the data you’re seeing torank your site, so why do YOU care about it? “But you want high PR sites linking to you, right?” – What you really want linking to you are sites which have similar topical content to your own. PR is irrelevant. Topic is relevant.
17. Validate your code:
Spiders like cleanand simple. Show them code which is broken, dead links and stray tagsand they’ll get the idea you’re not serious about this. Validate yourcode, page by page, and take the time to correct any errors the reportsshow you.
18. Keep building more pages:
The old articlesuggested “build one page of new content per day”. I still like Brett’sidea here, though I prefer to invest a weekend and create a bunch at atime – personal preference – just remember to follow the basics for each page.
19. Optimization/Submission software:
Humansoptimize, software either spams, or goes out of data with it’s info.Seriously, software which claims to be able to optimize your website,simply cannot – it cannot make the changes, it does not read up thelatest news and it does not go to the conferences and speak with theengineers from the engines. It can give you numbers, and construct tagsfor you, but after reading this far on this page, you can do this on your own. As for submitting your site, well, here’s the biggest clue to look for: if the software claims to submit to the engines like Google,Yahoo, etc., it’s bogus. You DO NOT submit to engines, you get linksform other sites and spiders find you by crawling those links. As forsubmitting to directories, automated submission software often does notfollow the rules as outlined by the engines. In many cases, due toimage-based passwords designed to stop automated scripts, software tools are useless. Submit only by hand, and only to useful directories. Thebottom line is software doesn’t optimize, humans do.
20. Paying for services:
This is a plug for all of us who do this for a living. It’s not rocketscience, I’ll grant you, but if you don’t know what you’re doing andneed a helping hand, shop around. Some charge hundreds for advice, somecharge tens of thousands. Some use spam tricks, others (like me) don’t.Ask for references and call them.