Search Engine Optimization is a very hot topic in the Internet World. After all, everybody wants to rank higher and come up on the first page of Google search and get more traffic.Businesses are growing more aware of the need to understand and implement at least the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). But if you read a variety of blogs and websites, you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot of uncertainty over what makes up “the basics.” Without access to high-level consulting and without a lot of experience knowing what SEO resources can be trusted, there’s also a lot of misinformation about SEO strategies and tactics.
Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with SEO though. In my opinion, the best technique is to keep it simple and apply a bit of common sense.
Most SEO plugins will take care of the common architecture related stuff for you. So in this article, I will only focus on techniques that you need to do yourself.
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques and Checklist
1. Commit yourself to the process.
SEO isn’t a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked last year may not work this year. SEO requires a long-term outlook and commitment.
2. Be patient
SEO isn’t about instant gratification. Results often take months to see, and this is especially true the smaller you are, and the newer you are to doing business online.
3. Ask a lot of questions when hiring an SEO company.
It’s your job to know what kind of tactics the company uses. Ask for specifics. Ask if there are any risks involved. Then get online yourself and do your own research—about the company, about the tactics they discussed, and so forth.
4. Have web analytics in place at the start.
You should have clearly defined goals for your SEO efforts, and you’ll need web analytics software in place so you can track what’s working and what’s not.
5. Build a great website.
I’m sure you want to show up on the first page of results. Ask yourself, “Is my site really one of the 10 best sites in the world on this topic?” Be honest. If it’s not, make it better.
6. Include a site map page.
Spiders can’t index pages that can’t be crawled. A site map will help spiders find all the important pages on your site, and help the spider understand your site’s hierarchy. This is especially helpful if your site has a hard-to-crawl navigation menu. If your site is large, make several site map pages. Keep each one to less than 100 links. I tell clients 75 is the max to be safe.
7.Use proper anchor text for inter-links
. Don’t use “here”, “there” etc for the anchor text (if you can avoid it).Optimize the images, always create alt tags and write the description in the alt tag.
8.Optimize the images
, always create alt tags and write a description in the alt tag.
9. Do keyword research at the start of the project.
If you’re on a tight budget, use the free versions of Keyword Discovery or WordTracker, both of which also have more powerful paid versions. Ignore the numbers these tools show; what’s important is the relative volume of one keyword to another. Another good free tool is Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, which doesn’t show exact numbers.
10. Open up a PPC account.
Whether it’s Google’s AdWords, Microsoft adCenter or something else, this is a great way to get actual search volume for your keywords. Yes, it costs money, but if you have the budget it’s worth the investment. It’s also the solution if you didn’t like the “Be patient” suggestion above and are looking for instant visibility.
Consider read : What is PPC & How PPC Work
11. Use a unique and relevant title and meta description on every page.
The page title is the single most important on-page SEO factor. It’s rare to rank highly for a primary term (2-3 words) without that term being part of the page title. The meta description tag won’t help you rank, but it will often appear as the text snippet below your listing, so it should include the relevant keyword(s) and be written so as to encourage searchers to click on your listing. Related bonus tip: You can ignore the Keywords meta tag as no major search engine today supports it.
12. Write for users first.
Google, Yahoo, etc., have pretty powerful bots crawling the web, but to my knowledge, these bots have never bought anything online, signed up for a newsletter, or picked up the phone to call about your services. Humans do those things, so write your page copy with humans in mind. Yes, you need keywords in the text, but don’t stuff each page like a Thanksgiving turkey. Keep it readable.
13. Create great, unique content.
This is important for everyone, but it’s a particular challenge for online retailers. If you’re selling the same widget that 50 other retailers are selling, and everyone is using the boilerplate descriptions from the manufacturer, this is a great opportunity. Write your own product descriptions, using the keyword research you did earlier (see #9 above) to target actual words searchers use, and make product pages that blow the competition away. Plus, retailer or not, great content is a great way to get inbound links.
14. Use your keywords as anchor text when linking internally.
Anchor text helps tells spiders what the linked-to page is about. Links that say “click here” do nothing for your search engine visibility.
15. Make SEO-friendly URLs.
Use keywords in your URLs and file names, such asyourdomain.com/red-widgets.html. Don’t overdo it, though. A file with 3+ hyphens tends to look spammy and users may be hesitant to click on it. Related bonus tip: Use hyphens ” – ” in URLs and file names, not underscores ” _ “. Hyphens are treated as a “space,” while underscores are not.
16. Start a blog and participate with other related blogs.
Search engines, Google especially, love blogs for the fresh content and highly-structured data. Beyond that, there’s no better way to join the conversations that are already taking place about your industry and/or company. Reading and commenting on other blogs can also increase your exposure and help you acquire new links.Related bonus tip: Put your blog at yourdomain.com/blog so your main domain gets the benefit of any links to your blog posts. If that’s not possible, use blog.yourdomain.com.
17. Use social media marketing wisely.
If your business has a visual element, join the appropriate communities on Flickr and post high-quality photos there. If you’re a service-oriented business, use Quora and/or Yahoo Answers to position yourself as an expert in your industry. Any business should also be looking to make use of Twitter and Facebook, as social information and signals from these are being used as part of search engine rankings for Google and Bing. With any social media site you use, the first rule doesn’t spam! Be an active, contributing member of the site. The idea is to interact with potential customers, not annoy them.
18. Take advantage of local search opportunities.
Online research for offline buying is a growing trend. Optimize your site to catch local traffic by showing your address and local phone number prominently. Write a detailed Directions/Location page using neighborhoods and landmarks in the page text. Submit your site to the free local listings services that the major search engines offer. Make sure your site is listed in local/social directories such as CitySearch, Yelp, Local.com, etc., and encourage customers to leave reviews of your business on these sites, too.
19. Take advantage of the tools the search engines give you.
20. Diversify your traffic sources.
Google may bring you 70% of your traffic today, but what if the next big algorithm update hits you hard? What if your Google visibility goes away tomorrow? Newsletters and other subscriber-based content can help you hold on to traffic/customers no matter what the search engines do. In fact, many of the DOs on this list—creating great content, starting a blog, using social media and local search, etc.—will help you grow an audience of loyal prospects and customers that may help you survive the whims of search engines.
21.Keep the content up to date
. Visitors don’t like outdated content. Updating the content frequently also attracts the Search engines spiders to index the web pages frequently.
Best practices that help to Implement SEO effectively
It is not so easy to implement SEO strategies for getting desired results. Some of the practices many bloggers and website owners forget.
If you take good care of them, you can make a significant difference as how to rank pages in the Search Engine Queries. These are briefly mentioned below:
Use proper anchor text for inter-links. Avoid using “here”, “there” and similar texts in the anchor text.
Optimize the images, do not forget to create alt tags and write the description in the alt tag.
Use permalinks that are search engine friendly.
Do not give any preference to ‘&’, ‘?’, ‘!’ etc. characters while creating a permalink. Try to keep the URL short and précised.
Do not use underscores (_) in URLs; you can instead use hyphens (-).
Avoid using session id in URLs. If you are a user of good hosting, then you don’t need to worry about the session id.
Use both internal and external links whenever you find appropriate. Give preference to internal links for better outcomes.
Use sticky posts and do not forget the tag clouds whenever applicable.
Always insert descriptions in categories of your blog/website.
Let the visitors subscribe to category specific RSS feed. For this, you can use category-specific RSS plugin which is available in WordPress.
Use rel=”no follow” tag on low-value links.
Try using sub-directories rather than sub-domains.
Research your target audience and make sure the site provides relevant content.
Last but not the least, do not forget to keep the content up to date because visitors do not like outdated articles.
Developing SEO strategies that drive an immense amount of traffic to your site is the need of the time.
The good news is that some of the ways are out there to help you target the right type of audience.
Here is how I do it.
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