Search Engine Optimization is a vital part of any website’s lifeline. If a webmaster makes a mistake that lifeline can be damaged or even cut. When this happens, it will take a lot of time, effort, and a SEO specialist to revive a dyeing website and get it back on top. After studying and working with an old school SEO specialist, I have learned that there are things every webmaster should do when it comes to SEO practices.
Before Starting a New Website
SEO is an ongoing process that will never end. SEO is not a process you only need to do once and ignore it for the rest of the life of the site. SEO rules and rank are constantly changing. If your goal is to be on the first page of the search engine, this can be a lot of work. Rank changes almost daily, you will have to research why you lost rank and why your competitors gained rank. Then work to correct this. If you are not up to this, then you will need to work with a consultant.
Before starting a website, you will need to decide if you will do your own SEO or pay a consultant. Once you make your decision, you need to research your site’s niche. Research the keywords, check your competitors outs, find out why they are number one. A lot of times you can do a simple “View Source” on their site and view their code and see what it looks like. Most web developers and SEO consultants can look at code on a site and use its an reference or to understand what changes in the code they did to make their site better. You will also need to do keyword research. There are plenty of free and paid tools to help with your research. I have used such tools as Keyword Discovery, Free Keyword Tracker, and Good AdWords Keyword Tool.
If you plan to hire a consultant, make sure you research the company and check references if possible. There a lot of people out there that say they are “SEO Gurus” when in reality they know very little about SEO practices. These types of consultants may end up costing you more money and getting your site added to Google’s bad list. Once you are on this list it can be hard to get removed from the list. Another important thing to ask is what they practice. Ask if they practice White Hat SEO, Blue Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO. Choosing black hat might look good up front and get you great results quickly, but in the long term it could be disastrous for your site and even get you band from Google Search Engines
Be patient! SEO can be a slow process. It can take weeks if not months to get results.
Educate yourself; learn SEO, the tactics, and the rules will help you build a better site. Even if you hire consultants; you need to know and understand how SEO works. There are many websites out there that can help you understand SEO and get you more involved in the SEO community.
Do not hand over your site to an SEO consultant and forget about him until he bills you. Stay in contact with him, research his strategy and make sure it’s a good one and that makes sense. Work with him, ask questions and stay involved. Most SEO consultants will want you around if they have questions about your site and goals.
Building Your Website for SEO
Fill out your meta tags. The meta tags are important because they tell the search engines what your site is about. Make sure to use the title tag, description tag and keyword tag (yes I know Google doesn’t use keyword tags anymore, but other search engines do). When creating your meta tags use keywords that are important to your site and niche. Make sure to only use keywords that will be found on your site. Be natural; do not over stuff your keywords, Search Engines will count against you if they find you are keyword stuffing.
Always use relevant titles and meta description on every page
Page titles are one of the most important on-page SEO strategies and should be researched. Make sure your main keywords are in the first part of the title and descriptions. From the research I found, the description tag will not help you rank, but it can show up in the description field along with the page title. The description tag should be no more than 160 characters and add your key words towards the beginning of the description. Most search engines will only display the first 160 characters in the description section of the search results. If the description is longer than 160 characters, most search engines will cut off the rest of the description.
Use H1 through H6
Use H1 through H6 for all of your headings. H tags are used for organization and to structure of a website. Both user and search engine use these H tags. Users tend to skim through a page and if a title catches their eye they will stop and read it. The H tags should have a catchy title using your keywords.
Use your keywords as the anchor text when creating hyperlinks
Anchor texts are the clickable text that links out to another page. Do not “click here” but use something as “on page linking strategies” for the text. Anchor Text is ranked highly in the search engine algorithms. Search Engines will rank your page higher because in most cases linked text is relevant to the current page.
Link to relevant sites
When linking to relevant sites, try and use sites that are higher ranked than you. I found that a mixture of rank levels works well. try and choose wikis, blog post that are in the same niche, and research sites. As long as these links are relevant. Search Engine will rank you better. Don’t worry if the reader will come back to your site. If you have good readable content they will come back. If you do not, well…
Use internal linking whenever possible
Do not over do it. About every hundred and twenty words is a good number to use for internal linking. Internal linking should be treated as out bound linking using click about anchor text that flows with the content and not a ‘click here” link.
Only use original content, write for your readers first and the search engine second. If you write for your readers and follow the SEO tips then you will be writing for the search engines. If you write for the search engines first, then you will not have returning readers. But if you write your content as if you are a reader and give life then you will have returning readers.
Bold your keywords in the article
An old school tip I learned from my partner is to bold your keywords in the article. Not all of them, but the more important ones. Search engines may see this as something important. Even if it does not, it will catch the readers eye and may get them to read more of the article.
Create a site map
Search engine spiders cannot crawl everything. If your entire site cannot be crawled, then your site will not be properly indexed. Site maps help spiders find and crawl all of your hard to reach pages.
These are just some of the tips I have learned for on-page SEO. Having a good SEO strategy starts with your site first. Once you have everything in place, then you can start your link building strategies.
Have more tips? plz share with us some tips you do to build up your on-site SEO?
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