Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Optimisation Tips’
If you learn how to optimize a web page properly using these SEO hints and tips, then you will never have to pay for traffic again. The profit that your visitors bring you will go straight into your bank account.
You no doubt understand all the basic stuff, but in case you are new to this, let’s first have look at these basic SEO hints and tips, since many seem to omit them from their web pages. The most important are the HTML tags that are used by search engines to determine the relevance of your page to the search term used by the search engine’s customer.
Note the term ‘web page’, because many people don’t realize that Google, along with most other search engines, doesn’t list websites, but individual web pages. It is essential that you understand how search engines work if you want to learn how to optimize a web page.
I am going to refer to Google, not only because it is the biggest of the search engines, but also to save the bother of referring to search engines all the time. I will refer to Google, but take that as meaning search engines in general. Here are the main SEO basics:
a) The TITLE tag. This appears in the HEAD portion of your html, and is not actually seen by your visitors but is the most important tag on your web page because the spiders place very high weight to it. Use your main keywords here, and also any other text that will inform Google of the theme of your web page.
b) Heading (H) tags. Your page title should be placed within H1 tags, and should contain the same major keyword as you used in the TITLE tag. Your subheadings, if any, should be bracketed with H2 tags. I don’t use any of the lower tags, from H3 down, except perhaps H3 very occasionally. Any text with H tags will be regarded by Google as of specific importance, and most weight will be given to the lower numbers (H1 and H2). Don’t place everything within H1 tags, or that will reduce its emphasis and Google will ignore the tag.
c) Text enhancements: Use bold, italic and underline enhancements sparingly, and where you one again want to stress the importance of certain keywords.
d) Your keyword density should be concentrated in the first third of your web page. Don’t use too many: I get good results with under 1% overall keyword density, but using the main keyword in the first 100 characters, once in the last paragraph and once more each 300 words but concentrated in the first third of the page. Thus, an 800 word page will have the keyword three times in the first 250 words and once in the last paragraph.
e) Meta tags: the only meta tag worth using is the description tag, which is used by most search engines in the description of your web page in their listings. Google mainly uses it exactly as you write it. The keyword tag can also be used, but few search engines are thought to use it: Google does not. Any other meta tags are a waste of your space. Anybody that claims differently is wanting to sell you something.
These are the basic hints on SEO, now here are some of the more advanced SEO hints and tips that will teach you not only how to optimize a web page, but to understand the way that search engines work. These are less obvious, and generally not used by beginners to search engine marketing.
f) You should use text links from one page to another on your siet. Search engine spiders love text, and fancy graphics or java links might look great, but don’t get you kudos from the spiders. Stick to text if you want a good listing: there’s no point in fancy graphical links if you have no visitors to use them.
g) IT will benefit to you use as liuttle code as possible on each web page compared to the amount of text: maximise your text:code ratio. Your code to text ratio should be minimized as far as possible because . . . yes, you’ve got it! Spiders love text!
h) Another good SEO tip is to focus on your off-page linking. It is possible to get a #1 spot on Google with no content: just loads of links coming into your web page from other websites. Not just any websites, but authority sites, so reciprocal links to and from web pages not directly related to your niche are a waste of time, and can even harm you. Link farms can positively damage you.
i) Use anchor text for your links where at all possible. Google shouldn’t have to work out what your web page is about: tell them. Hyperlink your keyword to your website, but don’t use the same form of keyword from every webpage linking to yours. Mix them about so as to keep the links fresh.
j) And lastly: keep adding pages to your website. A single website containing 80 pages will likly provide you with more visitors that two of 40 pages due to a higher overall Google listing from the former as compared to both of the 40 page sites. Refresh your content frequently by adding new pages, but don’t ignore your older pages: rdevise these now and again with new vocabulary. Google detests stagnation.
These are just a few SEO hints and tips that can teach you how to optimize a web page. There are many, many more. Some quite basic, others very much more advanced than the above. However, you can’t get everything free!
1. Research your keywords – use online tools to check search volumes and competition. The higher the search volumes the harder it will be to rank well, but the more traffic you will get if you rank well!
2. Make sure your page content matches your Title descriptions and Meta data. The titles and Meta data should be as accurate as possible to describe the content.
3. Ensure your H1 tag contain your most desired keyword.
4. Make your H2 and H3 tags contain other important keywords that perhaps you could receive long tailed traffic from (must be relevant to industry).
5. Highlight occasional keywords and phrases in bold to add emphasis for visitors.
6. Look at your source code, see what content the spiders will see first and add value to this content, for example; if it’s a link – add a keyword / phrase, if its copy – add keyword or phrase to sentence.
7. Add keywords to your link descriptions within text copy, avoid “click here” and “read more” descriptions, but again make it relevant to the destination.
8. If you use any references to external websites also provide a link pointing to the source, this adds credibility to the content.
9. A sales page will not help you rank for a keyword, be informative and provide good detail on a page, include a click to action to your sales page if necessary.
10. Do not over use keywords in your individual page content. I have seen pages include a 3 keyword phrase more than 30 times on a single page and be placed 3 pages behind websites with 10-15 keywords on.
11. Make your content readable for your users not just the spiders, after all it’s the users you want to impress.
12. Include your targeted keyword and phrase in the first sentence – although there is no real proof this helps I personally believe it does.
13. When writing around images or using images to backup your copy, give an accurate description of what the image is for or what it refers to.
14. Be sure to add your companies address on the site, either on the contact page or elsewhere.
15. Don’t use text under 8pts to write your main copy – no one enjoys squinting (yes I know my text is quite small).
16. Use recognisable fonts – not everyone has the same font’s as you!
17. Make sure you don’t duplicate content throughout the website; each page should be unique, excluding the navigation etc.
18. Include keywords in Alt descriptions of images but don’t stuff them silly people!
19. Use http://validator.w3.org to check your website once the copy is added.
20. The best way to write good SEO friendly copy is to use your common sense more than anything. Be your own judge on what you think visitors will want to see, at the same time remember that spiders and bots do need to see your target keywords to make you visible in the searches!
SEO for online retailers is the process of improving a website potential in order to gain more organic non-paid traffic from the major search engines. Normally, SEO uplift doesn’t happen overnight and it can take a long while to rank well for non brand key terms.
The rule of thumb is this: the more competition a relative term has, the harder you’ll find it to rank for the term. With that said, you’ve got to start somewhere and there at least 50 ways I can think of to improve your SEO.
Choose your hosting provider carefully
1. If you’re targeting one specific region, say the UK, ensure that the physical IP address is country specific which will improve the likelihood of ranking in the UK
2. Always opt for a fixed IP address even if it costs slightly more
3. Run an IP address search to ensure the IP address hasn’t been black listed before. Domain Tools are an excellent source for quick IP address lookup
4. Ensure the server returns accurate response:
- 200 OK The request has succeeded – As an example you should see this server response for your homepage (www.sitename.com)
- 301 Moved Permanently – As an example you should see this server response for your non www version of your homepage (sitename.com)
- 302 Found – Use this server response only if you are redirecting temporary
- 404 Not Found – Always display a correct 404 response so you can get an indication when a page is broken for better user experience
Increase crawl rates because you can never get enough of Google
5. To check when your site was last crawled and indexed, search for site:sitename.com and play with “date range” advanced search options
6. Update the site’s content as often as possible. For online retailers, new promotions and offers offer a fantastic opportunity to update their content
7. Ensure pages are loading quickly by analyzing your code, content and images. Web Page Analyzer is an excellent source to analyze a page load time
8. Fix duplicate content issue such as having two versions of your homepage, for example www.sitename.com and www.sitename.com/index.php
9. Add an XML site map and submit it to the major search engines
Ensure image optimisation across the site to enjoy traffic from Google image search
9. Keep images on a folder level rather than a subdomain so sitename.com/images/ is better than images.sitename.com
10. Use a descriptive name for the image, such as the product name
11. Use alt text for all your images and use a descriptive name again for the image alt text name
12. Use caption by placing a small description directly under, on top or on the side of your image
13. When possible save the image as jpg format
14. Use a free tool such as xenu to find images with no alt text
Ensure metadata optimisation to get high level of qualified traffic
15. Ensure that every page has unique metadata in terms of page title and page description
16. Limited page title to 70 characters and page description to 150 characters
17. Don’t bother too much about keywords, do something else
18. Optimise each page around one key term
19. Place the most important term first, followed by a soft (non spammy) call to action and brand
20. For product pages, opt for an auto generate metadata solution based on <product title> + <call to action> at <site name>
21. Use AdWords ads to test the best text for better CTR by creating a few ad variation in AdWords which include your key term
Content is truly king
22. Every page should have unique content which reads well for users (and therefore for the search engine spiders as well)
23. Don’t repeat the key term more than 3 times so to avoid keyword stuffing
24. Place the key term in the page H1 title, image alt text and once in bold
25. Use “recommended products” to link between similar products to increase their relevancy
Apply essential URL and coding tweaks
26. Use robot.txt to block parts of the site you don’t wish the engines to index
27. Offer an HTML site map which is auto updated based on the XML site map
28. For sites running on PHP use an .htaccess file to avoid content duplication
29. Use breadcrumbs navigation across the site for better user experience and SEO
30. From time to time, view your site using a text browser such as SEO Browser to “see” how spiders are likely to find your on page content
31. If your site architecture has more than three levels, restructure it so to m ake the information more accessible to both users and spiders
32. Keep URLs short for better SEO and to create a better viral effect as short URLs are more memorable
33. Include your key term such as a product title in the URL
Apply essential maintenance from time to time
34. Fix all your 404 errors and consider redirecting to a more appropriate page
35. When products are removed from stock or discontinued ensure that a 301 is placed to the main category or to a similar product
36. When linking to another site, consider checking whether you’re linking to a bad neighborhood using a free tool such as text link checker
37. If you have multiple domains unify around one domain using a 301 redirect taking into account links pointing to each domain, domain age and the domain name
The Google PageRank issue
38. Don’t pay too much attention to Google PR as it won’t effect your ranking
Content is king, so start blogging
40. Place your blog on a directory level so www.sitename.com/blog/ rather than a sub domain blog.sitename.com
41. Blogging at least once a week will help increase your crawl rate
42. Read The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For Your Blog
Get more links, otherwise no one will see you
44. Don’t pay for links, you’ll get caught at some point
45. Help your customers help you by placing on each page an easy way to share content using a sharing tool such as AddToAny
46. Ask for links take 1 – place a nice soft request in your website sale confirmation email to link back to your site
47. Ask for links take 2 – ask your suppliers and contractors for a link
48. Give blogger prior notice of new products and ask for a review
49. Offer great products at competitive prices and the links will come organically
50. Kick off a social media strategy to encourage discussion (and links) on social networks and other user-powered sites
We all know it’s hard to position our pages on Google and other search engines. The more we try the harder it gets. With the ever-growing number of competing websites, the speed at which information travels on the Internet thanks to support forums and the host of plugins available for content management, SEO has become a fierce battle against both search engines and our competitors.
Here are 5 tips that help you get a better ranking on popular search engines.
Your article title is one of the most important weapons in search engine optimization and if you do a good study of the keywords you will get it right.
The title is the first thing a reader will read from the search engine results obtained. It should be well written and summarize the content of your article.
OZCAR Tip: A catchy and unique title will grab readers attention thus getting them to click.
Meta description field is important as search engines will better understand what the article is about. Many times search engines use this description as a summary of the article in their results pages.
OZCAR Tip: A short but accurate description of the content will ensure an influx of quality traffic to your website.
Use keyword suggestion tools to get an idea of hot keywords related to your article. Tools such as Google Trends and Google’s Insight for Search are very powerful and provide detail information on areas of search, for example latest search terms, hot searches in different countries, alternative phrasings and so forth.
OZCAR Tip: A quick look at these tools gives you good terms which can be used in the title and content of your article. Find popular terms suggested by these tools that your competing websites haven’t utilized.
Social networking sites
Submit links to social networking sites to gain traffic as well as to get good incoming links to your article.
OZCAR Tip: Submit links to blogs, forums and sites which are related to your site and have a high page rank. These incoming links will be more valuable, in terms of immediate traffic, than the ones coming from broader social networks.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google offers a comprehensive list of tools called Google Webmaster Tools. They provide you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on the Google search engine, the #1 search engine in the world.
With this tool you can view data about inbound and outbound links to your site and find out which keywords from Google search engine drives traffic to your site.
OZCAR Tip: Analyze the inbound and outbound links as well as hot keywords related to your site. See how you can expand your site’s content and thus traffic for those particular topics.