You’ve built your website or sales page, submitted a Google site map, it’s been indexed, and now you’re checking Google and your weblogs every day to see where you rank and how many visitors you’ve gotten. But there doesn’t seem to be much happening, does there?
A common misconception about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is that once you’ve built your website, you’ll automatically start attracting visitors. Another misconception is that once your site has been indexed by the various search engines, you’ll get a high ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)for any and every keyword you like. In reality, the process of optimizing your site for the search engines – in other words, getting ranked for specific keywords – requires you to have a strategy, as well as putting in some degree of effort.
Surprisingly, you can achieve 75-80% of the maximum SEO by taking a few simple steps when you put together your webpages.
First, you need to decide which keywords to target. Generally speaking, you will do best by choosing no more than three keywords or phrases per page (that’s per page, not per website). This requires a balance between what most people in your target market tend to search on, and what words have less competition – such that you’re more likely to get a higher ranking quicker than otherwise. If you don’t know what keywords your prospective customers tend to search on, look at your competitors and what keywords they are ranking on. You can also look at the source code for their home page and see what keywords are in their “meta keyword” tag at the top of the page.
Once you’ve decided on the keywords to target, it’s time to strategically include them on the pages of your website. Consider which pages should be optimized for which keywords. You’ll want the headline and lead paragraph to begin with, or at least include, you are chosen keywords. After that, it’s a matter of sprinkling them throughout a given page in the following manner…
Now consider the “title” tag. Keywords placed in the title tag of a webpage are the biggest “on-page” factor for how and where search engines rank that web page in the SERPs. Other tags to which the search engines tend to give greater weight are the heading tags, particularly the H1 and H2 tags (in that order or priority). Apart from this, you want to have your keywords appear throughout the text of the page.
Much has been written about using a particular level of keyword density (i.e. the degree to which keywords appear in proportion to the entire volume of text on the page), however current thinking is that your keywords should appear as natural as possible. Excessive keyword frequency will not only turn off visitors but also raise “red flags” among the search engines. We’ve all seen webpages that are obviously written to include keywords. More times than would be natural. The search engines are acutely aware of the various tactics used by people to gain greater rankings and, where they believe that a site is guilty of “search engine spam”, are quick to drop those sites from their indexes altogether. This is not a risk worth taking!
Another thing to consider when building your website is to remove any obstacles to search engine indexing. Search engines cannot “read” images, Flash movies, CGI scripts or dynamically generated pages, so while having these on your website won’t necessarily harm your ranking, they won’t help it either. In general, the cleaner looking the text in your source code, the easier it will be for search engines to “see” your keywords.
If you are using images and Flash movies, for example, it’s a good idea to give them a file name that contains the key words, and (in the case of images) use the key words in the relevant “alt” tags.
Providing key word rich links between your web pages is another useful way of improving your search engine results. Remember, search engines typically index website content. In general, the more quality, topic-relevant content, the better. And of course the more useful the content, the more likely others will actually link to your site – an “off-page” benefit to search engine optimization.
Optimizing your website for the search engines involves both planning and implementation. Think carefully about which keywords to target and then carefully construct your website to make the best possible impact on the search engines. There is, of course more to search engine optimization than just on-page factors. However, it’s important (and easy!) to ensure that your website is designed for maximum favorable attention from the search engines.
As with so many other things, a few simple steps can vastly improve your website performance and ranking, whether your goal is ecommerce, Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, or simply increasing website traffic [http://www.improveyourinternetmarketing.com/category/beginners/].