Thursday , 24 April 2014
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How To Optimize For Successful SEO

How To Optimize For Successful SEOThis is my Top 10 Optimization Strategies For Successful SEO, something that search engines will focus on in a well optimized website or blog. You may want to consider paying particular attention to each item on this list if you are to ensure your pages are well ranked with the various search engines !  In fact these are habits that you as a website / blog owner, should quickly become proficient with.

 

1. Choosing The Right Keywords

 

It’s important that you choose your keywords based on the following 3 criteria,

  • 1. Relevancy
  • 2. Competition
  • 3. Search Volume

Your choice of keywords is the means by which you will target your visitors. Choosing the wrong keywords is equivalent to a shop placing an ad in the window for an item they do not stock! Yes sure, you may well get the customer through the door, but they will quickly disappear when they cannot find what they are looking for. There are plenty of FREE tools available to help us with our selection of good keywords, Keyword Discovery, Keyword Tracker & of course Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool, to name but a few.

It’s imperative that this step is not missed because much of the remaining SEO will hinge on your use of keywords.

 

2. Choosing The Right Domain Name

 

It’s imperative that the domain name you choose should be relevant to the product / concept you sell. It would be great if you could include one or more of the keywords in the domain name which enhances your chances of being listed in the results of a search query!

E.g. Ace-Valeting-Services is much better than Johnson & Sons , so don’t let vanity get the better of your judgment when choosing your domain name.

Also bear in mind that if you ever want to change your domain, it can be a nightmare for those less experienced. Changing a domain name can also be catastrophic for your SEO efforts, as the older the domain name is, the more authority is granted by the search engines. I guess you could call this the reliability factor.

 

3. File Naming Convention Matters For SEO

 

When you save a file to be hosted on your website, its wise to save it with the most relevant keyword you have for that page.  For example, if you had a travel website and had a page talking about ‘cheap flights’ a good page name would be “http://www.sunshine-travel.com/cheap-flights.htm”

There is no restriction in naming the file the same as that of your competitors. Regardless of what you use; Dreamweaver, WordPress or Frontpage make it a habit to use keywords in your file names. It is just one more step closer to your site appearing in search query results!

NOTE:Whilst it is perfectly ok for you to save files on your home computer with gaps / spaces between words, it definitely is not ok for your website. The problem arises when using a hosting service that runs Linux on their servers. Linux does not like spaces in file names, therefore get into the habit of using either – or _ between words, do not use / as this would indicate a directory & not a file.

4. Using Keywords in Titles

 

It helps tremendously to have the most relevant keywords in the title bar of your web page, instead of the age old convention of mentioning the company name in the title. Another bad habit is the inclusion of conjunctions and prepositions in the title “in, the, of, at, is, to, and, with, etc. These words are not keywords, they mean nothing to search engines & therefore are often ignored. However their use can & will dilute your keyword density. E.g. look at the two examples below;

Example A” how-to-upgrade-your-windows-xp-to-vista”

Example B“upgrade- windows-xp-vista”

Ok in these examples, title B has 4 words & therefore each would be roughly equate to 25% in terms of keyword density. However title A uses 8 words & therefore each word would equate to around 12.5% density.

Now if someone was to search for “upgrade to vista”, whilst neither title matches fully, title A would score a total of 25%, yet title B would score 50% & therefore would be placed much higher in the results.

One method I have found that works very well, is the use of 2 titles, the first being the title of the page, which appears in the address bar of your browser, this one is primarily for search engines and would for example use title B above. The second is the main heading on the page that is being viewed by a human…? This is where I would use title A in order to give a more detailed explanation of what the page is about.

5. Use Keyword Text to Navigate

 

It’s good practice to place a few hyperlinks throughout your page text, which use keywords in the link, in order to link to other relevant pages. As an example we may have page B from above “upgrade-windows-xp-vista” & in the text of this page we could place a hyperlink “installing-windows-xp” in this case “windows xp” being the keywords and then linking it to the relevant page about “installing-windows-xp”

 

6. Repeat Keyword Content

 

 

The phrase “Content is King” is very true. This being the case, you should repeat your most relevant words 5-7 times on your main pages. Whilst still maintaining the readability level of your page. In other words, make sure you don’t overdo this & end up with a page that looks like spammed content or is grammatically incorrect. Always write for humans first & just give a thought to search engines.

Updating your content often will also help the search engines to crawl your site regularly and help to get you noticed. The more content you have the more likely you are to get noticed and have an opportunity to cross link to other keyword focused content as mentioned above. Put simply if you have 500 pages on your website or blog & a competitor has 50 pages, yet both have been fully optimized, then is should be quite obvious that you are 10 times more likely to get a hit from a search.

7. Making Keywords a Part of the Meta Description

 

 

Your Meta Description is what normally shows in search results under the title & is what usually compels a user to click on a particular ad, which in turn takes them to our site. Therefore use your relevant keywords in your Meta Description & also exercise a little care when  writing your description. Try to put yourself in the mind set of someone seeing your site listed in their search results. Would a description such as ” WOW GUYS CHECK THIS OUT!!!” compel you to click on an advert or link to a website….???

 

8. Secure High Quality Incoming Links

 

 

Securing high quality incoming links is very important. Its always good to get listed in a reputable and frequently consulted web directory (such as DMOZ). Admittedly DMOZ takes time to get you listed, but it is a good step up the ladder to be listed in this online directory. You can add your content on many other sites which will list you free for their referral / exchange link. Take care that sites you link to are relevant in some way to your own site, otherwise you can trigger alarm bells with search engines, especially when there are a high number of links that seem to have no relevancy to your own site. Furthermore, links that seem to have no common interest with the theme or subject of your website, are often ignored these days by the search engines & carry no value what so ever, because a link from an irrelevant site has no authority.

It’s the equivalent of YOU as a brain surgeon getting a pat on the back & a recommendation from a brick layer !

 

9. Use Keyword Links Instead of Conventional Words

 

The best way to get linked to another page is not using the old fashioned “Click Here” but using the keywords instead. So if you want to link to a particular page for say “Keywords Optimization” in your website,  the line should be like “You can get more info about Keywords Optimization here” (and link the words keywords optimization to the relevant page instead of using the conventional words “Click Here”)

 

10. Use of Sitemaps

 

The old method of using a sitemap was a separate HTML page that acted as a directory or contents list of your website. More common these days is the use of a XML site map, this is accessed & used far more by the search engines than it is by human readers, although it is readable by both. The use of a XML site map is said to help search engines find all content on your website & as such do a better job of crawling your content. Each page linked on your website is hyperlinked in your XML sitemap & therefore makes it very easy for search engine spiders / bots to follow.

 

To Summarize

 

Finally always avoid such black hat tactics as “tiny text, text same color as background, inappropriate keywords such as (sex, drugs, nude), keyword stuffing, embedding high numbers of keywords in images using the alt option”, whilst it is true that initially you may well gain from such tactics, such gain will be short lived & your reputation with the search engines will suffer irreparable damage I assure you & may even result in your website being banned.

Whilst each of these points in itself (save for item 1) , would not mean the difference between a decent ranking or being cast of to the far off reaches of a search engines supplemental cache, never to see the light of day ! As a combined effort they most certainly will make a difference & if you can make each of these items a habit when writing your pages, you will indeed soon notice an improvement in ranking.

Well I hope you found this information useful and if you have any questions then feel free to use the comment box below.

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About Steve Nickson

Steve is a UK ex-pat currently living in the Philippines, he has been involved with computers for over 24 years, the last 7 years focusing on SEO & Social Media strategies, Web Promotion & Affiliate / Internet Marketing. He is constantly testing new ideas & is always keen to share his knowledge & expertise with fellow bloggers. Connect with Steve using the links below.
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