A lot of the time, people have beautiful, functional websites, but they are not optimized well and rank low in the search engines! And what’s the point of having a beautiful website if no one can find it! So how do you correct this? Optimize it, that’s how! Before signing up for a SEO optimization plan, have a look through our Top Ten list of SEO tips to get you started!
I can guarantee that if you work your way through the list below, your website WILL rank higher!
1. Submit your websites to all the major Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc)
This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many times people either forget to do this, or expected it to be done for them already! This simple, quick and easy task is essential for your Search Engine Optimization strategy! Here are links to the major Search Engine submit URL pages: GoogleYahoo Bing
2. Make sure all of your page titles are descriptive and relative to that pages content.
Your page titles are extremely important in Search Engine Optimization. It is the first bit of information the search engines crawl, so be descriptive. Between 20-50 characters is recommended, and should contain at least one of your main keywords you want to rank for.
3. Make sure that all of your images have alternative text (in other words an image description tag)
This will serve two purposes; people who have images turned off will at least see what the image description is, and secondly, Search Engines will see you site as having more relative content, as well as indexing your pictures in their image search!
4. Make sure you have chosen the right keywords for your site
This may sound obvious, but it’s extremely important! It would be a waste of your time to optimize your website for keywords that are not even being searched for! Even if you do get top placement for a broad keyword that isn’t what most users are looking for, Google will calculate the number of times users did not select your listing, and the number of times they returned to the search results to choose a different website. Trying to beat this calculation is futile and more often than not, just a huge waste of time and energy. A great way to find out the popularity of keywords is the free Google Keyword Tool
5.Check that all your headings have the right tag
Breaking down your content into headings with the <H1> and <H2> tags not only help explain to your view where your main points are, but also for the search engines! A small adjustment that will yield good results!
6. Make sure your content is relevant and most importantly unique!
At the end of the day, Google’s (and other major Search Engines) main objective is to provide high quality and relative content to the viewer. So well written, extensive without being repetitive content that is uniquely written will rank higher than content that is not descriptive enough, or copied from another website (which Google will know, trust me!)
7. Get or create a XML sitemap
A Site map is a list linking to ALL pages of your website. This makes it easy for Google and other Search Engines to index all your pages. The positive links between the XML sitemap and the pages will also increase your page rank. A easy way to create a sitemap for smaller sites (less than 500 pages) is xml-sitemaps .
8. Give all your links a alt description (the text that displays when you hover over the link.
This helps Google read more relative content, and is a good practise to get in!
9. If you have a splash page / intro page, get rid of it!
Your home page is extremely important in Search Engine Optimization, so filling that page with a flash intro (that most search engines cant index correctly) or a small amount of text is a waste of your most important page!
10. Build Links and check broken ones
If you have heard anything about SEO, you will have undoubtedly have heard about Link Building. Google and other search engines love positive link backs (when you link to a website on one of your pages, and that website links back to you on the same page), and rank you accordingly. Building up positive links to high ranking sites (of a Page Rank of 4 or more) will greatly help your general ranking. Ways of doing this is by requesting links by email, creating free listings on sites that offer it (and linking to that on your website), and by having a “Links” page or block to make it better organized.
Broken links is have the opposite effect on SEO, and should be corrected or removed as soon as possible. A great tool to check for broken links is the W3C Link Checker
Search Engine Optimization is no small task, but by putting in a bit of time to the tips above, you can make a drastic difference to the effect of your website! And remember, if you ever want to hand over your SEO Optimization to the professionals, please view of SEO packages