20 Dec Search Engine Optimization Tips
So after posting a couple of recent posts on what’s going on in the SEO world, and some general tips and explanations about email set up, I have decided to go back to the main point of this blog: search engine optimization tips!
I just noticed that I have written posts on how to rank your website on google, what are meta tags and some other general search engine optimization tips, but realized I have not actually explained some of the fundamentals in search engine optimization, about where to begin. So I will now start from the beginning and explain some of the most important search engine optimization tips that will help your website rank well on major search engines.
Search Engine Optimization Tip #1: Determine your current rankings
In order to develop a strategy for ranking your website, you need to first determine how well your website ranks right now. You can do this by simply doing a manual search for your most important key words and key phrases and seeing if your website ranks within the first 3 pages of the results. If not, then you need to almost start from scratch.. if you have a search engine optimization strategy in place, it is obviously not working, so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again! I recommend starting by confirming how many of your website pages have actually been indexed by Google. You can determine this by searching Google for ‘site:www.yourwebsite.com’. Run this query in Google and you’ll get a result of all the pages Google has indexed of your website.
Search Engine Optimization Tip #2: Create an XML sitemap
An XML sitemap is a simple data stream of your website pages which you can submit to Google, via the Google Webmaster Tools service. By creating an submitting your sitemap to Google, you are telling it exactly which pages your website currently has, the update frequency and how important they are in relation to all other pages on your website (priority). If you have a CMS, check if your website came with a dynamic sitemap generator and use the link to that. Dynamic sitemap generators are the best because every time you add a new page or edit a current page, it will automatically update your sitemap for you, which Google will pick up automatically since you have submitted your sitemap via Google Webmaster Tools. Easy, huh?
Search Engine Optimization Tip #3: Make sure your site is built in a search engine friendly way
The best way to confirm that your website was built in a search engine friendly way is to confirm:
- Each page has an SEO friendly name. This means you should use your main key phrase for the page, as the page name,
- Each page has meta tags implemented and most importantly, has unique key words and descriptions for each page,
- The link to the sitemap is clearly accessible,
- All your images have an alternate description. Search engines cannot read images, but the alternate description tells them what the image is, so you can use your main key phrase here!
Search Engine Optimization Tip #4: Make sure your text content is written in an SEO friendly way
Simply writing out your services, about us, etc is not good enough for good search engine rankings.. you need to actually write your content in a search engine friendly way. This means you need to strategically make your main key phrase around 8% – 12% of your entire text body (this percentage is always debated, but I find this range works well). Make sure you use H1 tags (main title of the page) for your main key phrase (i.e – the title of the page should be your main key phrase) and start the first line of the first paragraph with your main key phrase. NEVER randomly throw in a bunch of competing key words into your text content! And always make sure you don’t go over around 12% of your entire text body for key words otherwise you will be penalized for ‘key word saturation’.
Search Engine Optimization Tip #5: Tell the world about your website!
The best way to gain position on search engines is to promote your website like mad. Submit your website to as many search engines as possible, offer links to your website on other websites, sign up on directories and link your website from there, post your website links on social media platforms like facebook, twitter, linkedin and youtube and create as many reciprocal links as possible.
Now this part is important. I regularly have clients throwing up links to Govt websites, Google etc on their websites in hopes of achieving higher rankings. I cannot stress this enough: simply linking to well known websites will not help your rankings! Please stop adding links like the above to your website (in a convenient links page, which gives me a chill every time I see one) unless they link back to you! A valid reciprocal link (meaning you link to them and they link back to you) will definitely help your rankings, and more so if the site that links back to you is an ‘authority domain’ (basically, has a very good ranking on Google, for example, and lots of traffic). But please stop linking to Google, waiting for your rankings to shoot up to the top of the results page, then ponder why you haven’t gained any position in your rankings. If you do this, you’re an idiot and better give up now and hire someone (like me!) to optimize your website. Maybe I shouldn’t have called you an idiot if you’re going to hire me… oh well.
So, in closing, I hope my search engine optimization tips have been helpful, and make sure to reference my other search engine optimization articles like how to rank your website on google, what are meta tags and submitting your website to search engines.
If you would like more detail on this topic, please comment below (and please don’t waste my time, I am very busy) and I’ll write up new articles based on the most requested topics.