The must do’s and the don’ts of Website Optimization …
Good website optimization means there are certain things you simply must do, if you want your website to rank well with the search engines.
These things are essential to minimise the costs of advertising and to ensure your site isn’t buried somewhere in that great big idea’s cellar.
Read and digest our website optimization information and check every webpage you build to make sure it complies. Do it before you upload it, add it to your sitemap or try to get it listed in Google, Yahoo or any other search engine.
1. Domain Name (URL) and Keyword Relevance…
(keyword = webpage name)
The number one factor for webpage or website optimization for a specific keyword or keyphrase is to make absolutely certain your keyword is present in your domain name… (example: www.beauty-tips.com)
In the above example, beauty-tips is the keyword and so the webpage or domain (URL) should be the same.
Today, the chance of securing a domain name like beautytips.com or beauty-tips.com is remote, so you have to think out of the box and try variations like www.true-beauty-tips.com, www.essential-beauty-tips.com or www.truebeautytips.co.uk.
The basic rule of thumb, is to keep your primary keyword towards the beginning of your domain or webpage name, while keeping the URL as short as possible to make it memorable. So your visitors can easily return to your site in the future.
Keyword presence in your domain or webpage name (URL) is crucial if you are to achieve high rankings in search engine results.
If you and a competitor have the same amount of backlinks the site with keyword relevance in the domain name will probably achieve greater success.
2. Meta-Tags – Keywords …
(keywords = site and content relevance)
You must always include a keywords Meta-Tag in your webpage head section.
Example: META name=”Keywords” content=”keyword1, keyword2, keyword3″
Make sure you choose keywords that are relevant to your site and current page content.
Avoid repetitions as search engines can penalize your ranking for keyword spamming. Try to keep your keyword to the five most relevant to you page. Always include the most relevant keywords to the beginning of the tag, to increase their prominence.
3. Meta-Tags – Title …
(title = browser and tab header)
The content of your title meta tag becomes your browser heading title and is the first reference for your visitors. It should echo what the webpage is about and be relevant so search engines can determine what your content is about.
4. Meta-Tags – Description …
(description = tag line in search engine results)
Your description meat-tag is used by search engines to describe your site in search results. It should describe the webpage not the websiteand should be constructed in a way that will interest the searcher enough that they will click through to your site.
So, relevance is important as, the last thing you want is for a visitor to click through to your webpage, see nothing of relevance and click striaght back out again.
Make sure you seed your keywords in your description, again with the most relevant keyword in the first five words.
5. Text Headers – Headings H1, H2, H3 …
(Text Headings = legibility and keyword relevance)
It is important to ensure your primary keyword is present in the very first heading tag (H1) on your page. If you can also make your keyword the first word in the heading you will raise its prominence.
Text headers should be used to split large amounts of text for ease of reading and to draw the reader to relevant sections.It’s for this reason that search engines place emphasis on the content of text headers.
H2 Website Optimisation in the Heading
H3 optimised webpage keyword in less relevant section
6. Body Text – Your Page Content.
(Body Text = the meat and bones of your webpage)
A basic rule of thumb for website optimisation is to keep your webpage content to no more than 200 to 300 words, however, that isn’t always possible and can be difficult.
Take this page for example, the webpage content is well above the recommended figure, but we could have stuck to the rules by separating each sections into an individual webpage, but that can irritate readers who hate continually loading new pages, especially readers with slow internet connections.
So the sensible alternative is to include your keyword once per paragraph and have each paragraph consist of 3 to 5 sentences.
It will also help if you include your keyword close to the beginning of the first paragraph. Never repeat keywords one after another.
NOTE: Search engines place extra emphasis on words when you underline them or make them bold. Do this with primary keywords to help your page rank higher for them.
7. Keyword Density – sprinkle don’t flood.
(Keyword Density = season lightly)
Don’t overdo it, sometimes less is more. Try using a keyword density report tool to make sure your keyword isn’t repeated too much, or too little, for a specific webpage.
8. Image Tags – use the alternative.
(ALT and Title = content)
When you include an image in your page you have the option of including an ALT tag and a TITLE Tag. Do it and your images become content that helps search engines list them in image searches.
<img src="image.gif" alt="website optimisation image" height="50%" width="50%" title="Optimise Your Website Pic">
Include at least one of each of your keywords in your image alt tags and in your title tags but never more than three with the same keyword.
It helps to check your html and make sure your keyword rich alt tag is as close to the start of the code as possible.
9. Inbound Links – spread the word.
(Inbound = more relevance for the destination page)
Inbound links are links that are pointing to another page in your website. These keyword rich links can be important to some search engines and increase the ranking of the destination pages.
Example: (a href=”#xxx”)Website Optimization(/a)
10. Link Popularity – is good.
(Link popularity = everybody recommends your site)
In website optimisation this is the number of links from other websites to pages on your site, that the search engines are aware of.
Basically, the more links that point to your webpages the higher your pages should rank in search engine results. However, link quantity isn’t the only deciding factor. Link relevance is of even greater importance.
Links from similar subject sites to your own are of greater importance to the search engines and to your ranking. Relevance is of prime importance in your link building strategy.
What about backlinks …
To determine your site ranking, some search engines take mutual theme relevance into consideration. If the sites linking to yours have themes in common, ie; keywords in the body text, titles, page descriptions, etc., then your website has a better chances of ranking higher for those keywords.
What About Link Directories …
Link directories should play a decent part in any link building strategy especially if you can include your site links in a well ranked directory.
Free listings should be used sparingly as free directories can be poorly maintained, tend to sell email addresses, are full of ads and often utilise pop-ups
Pay to list or Bid to link directories should be used, but evaluated based on how well they are run, their categories, their pagerank and the cost to list. Bid directories are
usually well organised and include popular categories. A group of well organised and highly ranked sites in a single category will ensure relevance and should be considered.
- DMOZ.org – You should try to get your site listed in the DMOZ directory.
- Yahoo Directory – Regularly crawled by the Yahoo robots. A new site has a greater chance of being indexed by the Yahoo search engine if there is a link to the site in the Yahoo directory.
- Craigslist – List something for sale and link back to the sales page on your site. Google loves Craigslist.
- Gumtree – as per Craigslist.
- USFreeAds – as per the above.
- EzineArticles – Extract and re-hash a section of your website to create a keyword focused article then submit it to article directories. You’ll be amazed at the viral nature of article writing and the relevant backlinks it generates.
- Blogger / WordPress – Blog about your site, your subject, your interests and use links to your webpages to enhance understanding or emphasise points.
Website optimization to achieve good search engine ranking is a science, not a black art.
Follow a simple set of rules with pre-defined set of actions and you will get results.
- Ensure your site pages include the basics and each page is keyword focused
- Then ensure you focus on creating good content and establishing links with other websites that share your interests and are relevant to your content.
- Take time to build trust with the search engines, and they will recommend you
It takes time to build good quality and relevant link relationships. So, don’t expect instant results or to make a million without putting in some hard work first.