Since I focused mainly on what not to do in regards to seo in my last post 7 SEO Myths, it seemed only fair to write a little about what you should do. Keep in mind there is no magic formula when it comes to seo. Here though, are 7 seo tips you can use to help get better rankings for your website and web pages. Just as with the myths these seo tips are not necessarily in any particular order. Just a few that came to me when I sat down to write.
I can’t stress this one enough. Yes there are people who will be happy to regale you with their seo exploits and how they went from getting 0 traffic to millions of unique visitors in a matter of days and how easy it is. Uh huh. Truth is seo is an ongoing discipline. Accept the fact that you won’t be number 1 for every keyword you want by the end of tomorrow and you’ve already made a big leap. You’ll be able to start to see more clearly what works and what’s just hype. It will help you better sort through the misinformation and get to the facts about seo.
If you really want to rank well for popular keywords you’re going to need links. Lots and lots of backlinks pointing to your site. It’s not all about quantity in link building, but those sites at the top have a few years and possibly a few thousand links lead on you. They didn’t get them all overnight and neither will you.
There’s also something called the ‘sandbox’ when talking about Google. It may or may not exist exactly the way people think, but there is some evidence that your site isn’t going to rank all that well on Google right away. It might have more to do with the lack of links a new site has or the age of the links or it may indeed be some kind of filter at Google. No matter which your site is going to need to age some before you start seeing major results. Be patient and spend those months acquiring links.
Write Good Title Tags
Title tags are probably the most important part of your page when it comes to seo. Take a look at the results of any search and chances are you’ll see a lot of the keywords you typed in the titles that the search engines return. If the title of your page is “Chew Toys for your Dog” it stands to reason the page is going to be about chew toys for dogs. The search engines certainly see it that way.
When you write your title tags place your keywords as close to the beginning as you can. Feel free to use them a couple of times, but don’t overdue it. If you’re company name doesn’t contain your keywords it won’t give you any seo benefits so don’t put it up front. If you want to include it place it at the end of your title. A better title for the chew toy page might be “Doggy Chew Toys For Your Special Dog at doggychewtoys.com”
Add A Sitemap
Adding a sitemap to your site and providing a text link to it from the home page of your site will help search engine spiders find all your pages and index your site. If they don’t know about your page they can’t show it in the results. Ideally you’ll have search engine friendly navigation, and even if you do a sitemap can help.
Your sitemap doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. Most of your visitors probably won’t use it, though it’s always possible they may. Just make sure it contains text only links to all your pages. It’s there as a roadmap to spiders. Once they find it which they should after discovering your home page, they’ll be aware of every page of your site and put those pages on the list to come back and visit and index. Remember to update your sitemap when you add new pages and if you have a lot of pages on your site it’s ok to spread out your sitemap of a couple or several pages.
Use Keywords In Anchor Text
The best links are relevant links. Using keywords in the anchor text of links helps to make them more relevant. You may not always be able to control the anchor text when getting backlinks since those links will be on other sites, but when you can you should. If you’re exchanging links with another site you can suggest the text. You can also add some ‘link to us’ code somewhere on your site where you can control the anchor text.
One place you can control your anchor text is in your internal links. Your inks between pages of your site are also links so use keywords where you can. It may not always be appropriate within your main navigation, but when you see an opportunity in your content by all means make it a link to another page on your site. Don’t overdue it, but if on your nutritional dog food page you happen to mention chew toys make the text a link to your chew toys page.
Use Keyword Modifiers
Sure you want to be found on a search for dog toys, but there’s a lot of competition. Almost 30,000,000 results when I just typed it into Google. So optimize your page for ‘chewable dog toys’ instead. Google only returned 162,000 results for that term and if your page is optimized for ‘chewable dog toys’ it will also be optimized for ‘dog toys.’
It’s going to take a lot of links to compete on the general terms so while you’re building those links compete on the more specific terms. Market your site to the search engine tail. Each of those phrases may not yield as many searches as the general phrases, but there are a lot more of them and they add up to the majority of searches in any given month.
Write And Syndicate Articles
One of the best ways to attract not only links, but links with relevant anchor text is to write a focused article on a given topic and then give it away for free. There are many sites that act as a repository for articles which anyone can download and use on freely on their site. You will usually be asked to write a brief author bio or credit which should contain a link or two back to your site. You can also link some of the text in the article directly to relevant pages on your site.
If you write a good article people will download it to use on their site giving you keyword rich and relevant links in the process. Not only will the links be relevant, the page containing the links will be relevant since you wrote it. Chances are the sites where the articles end up will also be relevant. Article writing can be one of the quickest ways to build links.
Optimize For 2-3 Keywords Per Page
Trying to optimize your pages for all of your keywords only dilutes the optimization of all of them. You’re page is not going to be found for every keyword so pick a couple for each page. Your site will have all your keywords even if every page on your site doesn’t. There’s no reason why all of your pages can’t be landing pages. In fact it’s a good idea. You want people searching for dog toys to land right on your dog toys page. So why optimize your dog leash page for dog toys.
When choosing which keywords to optimize a given page. Pick one main keyword phrase and then one or two subordinate yet related phrases. Let all the phrases work together by making them relevant to each other. Choose keywords for your pages that help each other and work together instead of competing with each other.
There are 7 seo tips that you can use to hopefully benefit your site and help bring more traffic. There’s certainly more to seo than these 7 tips, but each can benefit your site. Have any tips of your own. feel free to share them here.
Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.